If you’ve been charged with DUI or DWI, it’s important to realize that you may have options, especially if this is the first time you’ve been charged. With the help of your DWI attorney in Houston, you may be able to get the charges dropped or the penalties reduced by following these steps.
A police officer needs probable cause such as swerving or other erratic driving behavior to stop you. If you think you were unfairly stopped, talk with your Houston criminal defense lawyer. He can send out investigators to look for nearby cameras or witnesses who can prove that you were driving responsibly.
Get an Alcohol and Drug Assessment
If the charges aren’t dropped, your Houston DWI attorney will probably recommend that you go for an alcohol and drug assessment. If you don’t have a substance abuse problem, this can work in your favor by proving to the judge that this incident was a one-time occurrence and isn’t likely to happen again. When this is the case, he will be much more likely to give you a lesser penalty.
Even if your assessment shows that you have a drug or alcohol problem, getting an assessment can help your cause by proving you realize how serious the situation is. The next step is to seek treatment to address the problem. Although the court will probably mandate some form of rehabilitation as part of your sentencing, getting a head start on it proves that you’re committed to making a change.
Don’t underestimate the importance of being on your best behavior any time you’re interacting with the judge. A belligerent attitude will only hurt your case. Be respectful, show up to court in professional clothing, and follow instructions to the letter. Judges are always more likely to give a break to people who aren’t hostile.
Do your best to clear your schedule as much as possible. Not only do you want to get the case over with as quickly as you can, you don’t want to continually inconvenience the court. It will give the judge a better impression of you if you don’t reschedule a hearing or keep making excuses for why you can’t show up.
It’s just as important that you don’t miss your scheduled court dates or any other appearances you’re expected to make. If an unexpected emergency comes up and you absolutely cannot make it, tell your criminal defense attorney in Houston, TX, as soon as possible so he can give plenty of advance notice to the court.
Start Community Service
Like rehab, community service is a common punishment for drunk driving, and it’s something you can get started on before your sentence is handed down. Your drug defense attorney in Houston can use the time you put in to bargain for a lesser sentence. Like starting rehabilitation early, getting a head start on community service proves you understand what you did and are determined to correct it. As an added benefit, the community service you choose may be more enjoyable than whatever the court assigns to you.