Welcome to DUI Zone.  More than likely you are here because you, or someone close to you, have recently been arrested and you are looking for answers to the million questions running through your head. I put this site together to help people like yourself because there wasn’t much out there that told me the truth and I always felt like my world was caving in when I was in the same situation.  I have created several pages talking about different parts of the process and there’s also a forum where you can ask questions.  I am not an attorney and do not give legal advice, but I can give you my opinion and my experience of being sent through the legal system a few times.  I hope you get some questions answered on this site.

A little background on myself…I have received 3 DWIs (Texas calls them DWI whereas most other places call them DUI) and have been through it all.  Weekend jail time, lawyers, probation violations, nice probation officers, and true battle axe POs.  At the time of writing this, I still have an interlock device on my vehicle.  No one can give you true information unless they have been through the process, especially 3 times.  Each time I was arrested, I would frantically search the web for answers to my questions and there is really nowhere that helps.  Lawyer websites give you generalized information and often try to scare you when it’s unnecessary.  I realized I had a wealth of information I could share with others and help them through the stressful times in dealing with it all.

When you get hit with a DWI/DUI, the minute you get out of jail you need to find a good attorney.  If you have someone already, you are in good shape.  If you need to find one, the best advice I can give is to find an attorney who will be your attorney through the entire process.  If you get into a “firm” where there are multiple attorneys on staff, your consultation will be with their best attorney, which will make you feel good, but they will more than likely hand you off to the newer attorneys at some point.  This means when it is time to go in front of the judge, it won’t be with the attorney you had a consultation with.  Things to look for when searching for attorneys:

  • Just 1 attorney on staff – this ensures you work with the same person through the entire process.  Big firms just mean more money and most certainly being handed off a time or two.
  • Find someone who used to be the DA for the county your charge is in.  This means your attorney has worked on the other side and knows the process well.  They will also know judges, the current district attorney, and ways to properly fight your case.
  • Make sure they work in your county and have tried cases similar to yours with a good track record.
  • Read Google reviews and any other reviews.  The easiest way is to google your attorney’s name + reviews (Ex: John Doe Reviews).  Read as many reviews as you can.  I actually will sort by the worst reviews and read through all of them.  These are usually more authentic because anyone can ask a friend for a 5-star review.  If there are common negatives about a lawyer, then you get an idea they might not be a good fit.  Also, remember some people will post negative reviews because they didn’t like the outcome, so just use your best judgment.
  • Trust your gut.  If you meet with someone or speak to them on the phone, if you have any sort of negative feeling about your interaction, look for someone who makes you feel comfortable about your situation.
  • Attorneys aren’t cheap unless you have a court-appointed attorney.  This is a huge life event because this charge will forever be on your record, so while court-appointed attorneys will still help, they usually won’t get the results a paid attorney will.  If you can afford it, spend money on a good attorney.

There are 2 sides of a DWI/DUI charge.  You have the criminal side and then you have the civil side.  The civil side is regarding your license being suspended and you have 15 days after your arrest to request an ALR hearing (Administrative License Revocation).  This is why getting representation immediately after your arrest is so important.  Your attorney will try to keep your license from being suspended, but these are extremely difficult to win.  Expect your license to be suspended, but your attorney can request an ODL (Occupational Drivers License).  This will allow you to keep driving during your license suspension.  I know in Texas they used to put tough limits on where and when you could drive, but these days they just require you to have an interlock device installed and you can drive wherever and whenever you want.

The interlock device is an annoying part of the process, but it’s the standard these days when alcohol is involved.  I have always felt the device was the worst part of the entire experience.  I have an entire section dedicated to this device you can read.  It’s important to know everything about having one because it is the one thing that can get you a violation during your time being monitored.  Be sure to read that section if you have one.

The first few weeks are a frantic time.  You are freaking out not knowing what to expect, getting representation, ALR hearing, interlock device, finances, but I am here to tell you, everything will work out as long as you get representation.  On my 2nd charge, I tried to handle things myself at the beginning but quickly found out, that you can’t do much if you aren’t an attorney.  Just get representation and they will walk you through the entire process.  Listen to everything they tell you and ask questions if you have them.  If you did good research in finding an attorney, your attorney and their staff will make you feel as comfortable as possible through the process.

In my situation, my 1st DWI I went with a firm, and the attorney I met with told me I was falling from the sky and was about to hit the ground hard and they were there to make the fall not hurt as bad.  He scared the shit out of me.  Then passed me off to someone else that I never spoke with but showed up to court with me.  Worst experience by far.  There was constant screaming in their offices and I never felt comfortable.  In my 2nd DWI, I went with a smaller firm whose lead attorney was married to a friend of my wife.  Much better experience.  Felt comfortable through most of the process except when I was passed off to a brand new attorney the day of court and I felt the negotiations of a plea were not very well handled.  In my 3rd DWI, I went back to the same guy from my 2nd because they did plea me down to only getting charged as a DWI 1 instead of 2.  The issue with getting a 3rd DWI is it is a felony and at this point, they come down on you pretty hard in Texas, and most states.  Once I received a felony indictment, since my wife knew his wife, he decided to pass me off to another attorney who he said was his mentor.  By a mile, the best experience I had with attorneys.  He was the only attorney and he had an assistant that worked there.  I mostly traded emails or phone calls with the assistant, but she was awesome.  My attorney was amazing and not only was he the previous DA for my county, but his wife still worked for the DA and every attorney and judge knew him and respected him.  He ultimately was able to plea me down to a DWI 2 which is a misdemeanor.  He knew how to work every angle with the current DA and even when we stood in front of the judge, the judge said I should be thankful for my attorney because he worked a miracle.  This is why I say find the best attorney you can.  If you have a criminal case in Denton, TX, shoot me a message and I will be happy to share my attorney with you.

This is a brief overview of what to expect and what you need to do if you find yourself with a DWI/DUI charge.  I have broken down this website into different sections so I can go into detail about each.  I hope my information helps you through your situation.  I wish you the best.