1. If you have been arrested for DWI/DUI, there are two legal proceedings that have been put in motion:
a) the court case against you for the offense of DWI/DUI, and b) the administrative action to suspend your license for either taking and failing, or refusing the breath test or blood test.
2. You will be able to view a video of your arrest with Mr. Russell in his office and decide how to proceed with your court case.
3. You have only 15 days from the date of arrest to notify the Texas Department of Public Safety that you want to contest the suspension of your driver’s license.
4. If you do not contest the suspension of your license, it will be automatically suspended 40 days after the date of your arrest. If you do notify DPS that you want to contest the suspension of your license, the suspension will be put on hold until your hearing in front of an administrative law judge.
5. Your lawyer will notify DPS if you want a hearing on the suspension of your license. Your lawyer should also subpoena the officer who arrested you to appear at the hearing. If the officer fails to appear at your hearing without good reason, you should win the hearing and get to keep your license. If the officer appears and testifies, you have only a slight chance of winning the hearing. For a first DWI, if you lose the hearing, your license will be suspended that day for 90 days if you took the breath/blood test and failed it, or 180 days if you refused to take the test. Second and subsequent arrests for DWI have longer suspension periods.
6. If your license is suspended for a first DWI/DUI arrest, in most cases your lawyer can help you obtain an Occupational License right away. For second and subsequent arrests, there will be a waiting period until you may obtain an Occupational License.
7. DWI 1st is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, and carries a potential sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2000. In most cases of DWI 1st, probation is offered for a period of 1 year to 18 months, with a fine of approximately $500, and counseling required as a condition of probation. Community service hours of 60 hours or more are usually required as a condition of probation.
8. Not that it will help you now, but you did not have to perform any of the tests by the side of the road that the officer had you do. You are only required to watch the officer perform the tests, and politely refuse to do each test that the officer demonstrates. You also do not have to answer any of the questions that the officer asks you about where you have been, or whether you have been drinking alcohol recently.
9. Wade Russell is certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing procedures—the same training police officers receive to be qualified to do the tests by the side of the road. He is able to analyze the tests given to you and tell you if they were done correctly. If they were done incorrectly, they have little or no value as evidence against you.
10. Even if you are not perfect on the Field Sobriety Tests, in many cases you may otherwise appear less than intoxicated and be able to have your case reduced or refiled as another offense that is not a DWI. There is a very good reason to get your case reduced or refiled: a DWI conviction results in a requirement that you pay DPS a surcharge of $1000 or more per year, for 3 years, to keep your license after you are convicted, in addition to the requirements of probation mentioned above. If your case is reduced or refiled, no surcharge payments to DPS are required.