Articles Posted in Ramifications of a DWI Conviction

Published on:

Judge Ray Wheless, the County Judge of Collin County #4 is the only Judge in the county that offers a Drug Court and a DWI Program.

The DWI program is for repeat offenders.  Specifically those who think they have a problem with drugs or alcohol, and want help.

His court hears almost all DWI 2nd cases now.  There are some definite benefits to the program, but also some down sides.  There are also, in my opinion, some major unintended consequence of his having the program in his court.

Published on:

     What happens if you have had your license suspended because of a Breath Test failure or Breath Test refusal, and during the suspension, you are acquitted of DWI on the criminal charge?

     524.015 of the Transportation Code is controlling in this case.  The code reads:

DRIVER’S LICENSE SUSPENSION. (a) Except as provided by Subsection
(b), the disposition of a criminal charge does not affect a driver’s
license suspension under this chapter and does not bar any matter in
issue in a driver’s license suspension proceeding under this
(b) A suspension may not be imposed under this chapter on a
person who is acquitted of a criminal charge under Section 49.04,
49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, or Section 106.041, Alcoholic Beverage
Code, arising from the occurrence that was the basis for the
suspension. If a suspension was imposed before the acquittal, the
department shall rescind the suspension and shall remove any
reference to the suspension from the person’s computerized driving

     When my clients are found Not Guilty by either a jury or a judge, I always send a letter to DPS with a certified copy of the judgment, and reference this statute.

      In order to find out if your license suspension has been rescinded, you can call DPS at 512-424-7120.

Published on:

device      In a new law enacted at midnight tonight, Arizona will require all first time offenders convicted of DUI to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles.  The Arizona Republic Online reports that not only will 1st time offenders be required to install this device, but also, anyone whose BAC is over .20 will have a mandatory jail sentence of at least 45 days.

The article reports:

Hardest hit are first-time violators and a new class of "super extreme" DUI offenders whose blood-alcohol concentration registers 0.20 percent or above, which is more than double the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

Published on:

Apparently some other groups are getting into the court watching program too.

Christian court watches keep tabs on judges, is the title of CNN’s article on the subject.

This Kentucky group has been getting in on the action as well.  It appears that their motives are more for drug offenders when they watch the courts.

Published on:

I have been recently asked:

You stated: "You will receive almost identical punishment if you are found guilty
after trial."

If one is found Guilty, is the punishment generally the same as was
offered in the plea bargain, or generally the full penalty?

While I can never predict the future, no judge in the counties I practice in will ever assess a maximum punishment for a first time DWI offender with no history. Standard "plea bargain" punishment before trial, or after trial are almost always the same. Between 1 and 2 years probation, a fine between $300-$800, 24-40 hours of community service, and alcohol awareness courses.

Published on:

I am often asked the question,

"What is SR-22 Insurance?"

SR-22 insurance policy is a note held on file by the DPS. It is an extra charge you pay for your insurance carrier to communicate directly with DPS. DPS will hold your proof of insurance in their system, and whenever there is a lapse of insurance your carrier will contact DPS, possibly resulting in another suspended license.

Published on:

In yet another instance of the "guilty until proven innocent mentality," an Indianapolis radio station has decided to do their part and read off a list of people arrested for drunken driving (DUI in Indiana). 

I wonder if anyone at the station even though, just for a second about what they were doing?  How about TAINTING a potential jury pool of people who would be instructed to presume the person on trial innocent until proven guilty?

Although I wouldnt be for it, I would think that reading a list of those CONVICTED of DWI / DUI that week would be more appropriate.  At least it wouldnt taint future jurors, or compound the problem of further humiliating innocent people that were arrested.  Below is the article.

Published on:

In a recent case in New Mexico, a citizen was arrested, tired, and acquitted of DWI.  Despite his being found not guilty by a jury of his peers, and after a clerk "checked the wrong box" saying guilty, his picture and name was published in the newspaper.

Oh yes, a retraction was printed, but I’m quite sure it was too little too late for him.  The interesting thing is, I found this article online, on an NBC news site, which not only published his name, but also published his PICTURE as well!   Apparently they don’t care about his privacy either….

Here is the story, but in order to not perpetuate the wrong that was done to this man, I have removed his name and his picture.

Man mistakenly published on DWI offender list

A man who was never found guilty for DWI had his picture published in the local paper saying he was guilty of drunk driving.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, was arrested last August and blew at or above the legal limit, according to court records. XXXXXXXXXXX fought the case and was found "not guilty," in February.

A Metropolitan Court clerk made a mistake and marked guilty next to the DWI charge days after XXXXX was acquitted.

XXXXXXXXX works for the Federal Government on Kirtland Air Force Base and has been trying to get higher security clearance.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXX said, "I’m gonna have to do a lot of explaining I shouldn’t have never had to do."

For two months XXXXX was officially a convict, until the mistake was found and fixed.

During the time XXXXXXXXXXXXX was mistakenly labeled "guilty" his name was put into the mix of guilty faces to be published by Albuquerque police.

Metropolitan Court spokeswoman Janet Blair said, "We really regret Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXX had to go through this…and we don’t understand why such outdated information was used when correct information has been available for three months."

The Albuquerque Police Department plans to issue a retraction in the next few months.

Contact Information