Being arrested does not mean you’ll be convicted and sentenced to jail. A strong attorney can help you fight the charges against you, working to have them reduced or dismissed.
Our firm has a winning record of getting charges reduced and cases dismissed.
We empower you with helpful and useful information that will give you more options and make informed decisions.
We offer affordable and convenient payment plans.
The world is rife with attorneys who are happy to stand beside you while you take a plea deal or plead guilty. They never intend to help you get your charges reduced or dismissed. The attorneys at The Law Office of Ken Gibson have decades of years of experience in criminal trials and a winning record of getting charges reduced and cases dismissed.
Having a competent, experienced legal counsel can make all the difference in a case. We offer flexible payment plans and free, no-obligation case reviews to make expert legal representation accessible to all.
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If you want an attorney that will go the extra mile, you should get Ken and Park on your side.
Ken went above and beyond, dealing with both me and my legal matter, to get a resolution that allows me to live my life to the fullest.
Not only has Ken has helped me, he’s also helped friends that I have sent his way. He’s a great guy that will work hard to get you the best result.
Dealing with a DWI charge is a headache, but Ken and Michelle made it as painless as possible. On my initial consultation with Ken, he told me he’d get my case dismissed, and that’s exactly what he did! The office was excellent at keeping me informed every step of the way.
We want our clients to make educated, informed decisions about their cases, and we treat them as active participants in their own defense. As such, we empower our clients with education and knowledge about their case, so they can have their side of the story heard in court.
The attorneys at The Law Office of Ken Gibson know that a true story told well can turn the tide of a case. Law enforcement and the prosecution will have their side of the story, but the attorneys at The Law Office of Ken Gibson want to tell yours. From the beginning, we will fight for your rights and seek the most favorable outcome for you by investigating your case, calling witnesses, and presenting evidence that proves your innocence or uncovers weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument. With a strong advocate in your corner, you can feel confident telling your side of the story.
The Law Office of Ken Gibson approaches the law a little differently than most. Let other law firms plead their clients guilty – we’re only interested in having your case dismissed or the charges against you reduced. To do that, we look at every single piece of evidence against you, challenging it in court and undermining the case against you. It’s a tenacity that we’ve proudly built our reputation on.
And when you’re arrested, the day in court and the night in jail is just part of what you’re facing. Beyond the possibility of a longer prison stay, there are long-lasting consequences that will impact your life for years. Which is why we move quickly to protect your liberty, working one-on-one with prosecutors and district attorneys to reveal the flaws in the charges against you.
We work quickly to get charges dropped before trial. And if the prosecution does proceed, we remain one step ahead of them with a battle-tested method of intense preparation that has proven successful for thousands of clients.
This method means digging deeper, starting with an independent investigation that launches as soon as you meet with us. We find the evidence that will demonstrate your innocence. We find witnesses who can corroborate your story. We pick up apart all the evidence from police reports and test results to footage from nearby security cameras to build an iron-clad defense.
What is the likelihood my case will end with a conviction for DWI?
If you choose to proceed without an attorney, sadly, the likelihood is high. But if you have the right attorney, one who specializes in DWI cases, it is likely your charges can be dismissed or reduced.
Is DWI considered a felony in the state of Texas?
Felony charges carry much higher consequences than most DWI charges, with more jail times, higher fines and suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, it can have far-reaching impacts on your job, child custody and more. It’s a more serious charge, but generally speaking, a first offense DWI will not be prosecuted as a felony in Texas, although circumstances can lead to elevated charges. In most cases, a DWI only becomes a felony after a third or subsequent DWI conviction.
What potential jail time does a DWI conviction carry?
Obviously multiple factors will affect a sentence, but the general sentencing guidelines in Texas suggest 180 days imprisonment for a first offense, a full year for a second offense, and 10 years or more for any subsequent convictions. There are additional minimum sentencing guidelines with a second or third conviction that include 3 days in jail for a second offense and 10 years for third or subsequent offenses.
What potential costs and fines does a DWI carry?
Even for a first offense, the average DWI case can cost you anywhere from $7,000 to $25,000 depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This stems from the numerous primary and ancillary fees you’ll be paying, including:
There are tremendous cost savings that come from hiring an attorney to get your case dismissed, as the courts will return your money and rescind any fines or fees.
How long can I expect a trial to last?
Again, there are multiple factors unique to your case that could make your trial run longer or shorter. Generally, however, DWI cases take anywhere from 5 months to a year.
I refused the breath test – what can I expect?
In the state of Texas, you drive under the notion of implied consent. What that means is, by virtue of receiving a driver’s license, you agree to tests of your blood, breath or urine by law enforcement if they suspect that you have been driving while intoxicated. Essentially, what it says is that you have the right to refuse this test, but by doing so you trigger an automatic suspension of your license.
In this scenario, the arresting officer asked you to submit to a chemical test to determine your degree of intoxication, and you refused, which is your right. At that point, you would have been given a 180-day administrative suspension of your license. This suspension, however, can be challenged.
How do I get my license back?
The process of having your license returned and ending your suspension is called an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing. This is separate from your court date for DWI, and is a crucial first step in protecting your ability to drive. From the time of the arrest, you have 15 days to apply for an ALS hearing, where your attorney will challenge the suspension of your license, giving evidence that justifies restoring your ability to drive.
During this hearing, your attorney will argue that there was a lack of probable cause, or reasonable suspicion to make the stop in the first place. They can challenge breathalyzer results or point out any procedural errors made during the arrest. This will not only help you restore your driver’s license, but it also gives your attorney an incredible amount of insight into the case against you and an opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer in advance of any trial.
And it gives you a chance to put your objections on the record. Best of all, you don’t even need to attend. Your attorney will act on your behalf.
The good news is, most first-time offenders will not return to jail following the initial arrest. Obviously, that depends heavily on the circumstances of your case. If another person was injured, there were children in the car or your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tested unusually high, you could be facing additional jail time. But there are consequences for first-time convictions that go beyond jail time, including:
In addition, there are separate consequences based on your BAC at the time of the arrest. Those with a BAC below .15% can expect fines up to $2,000 and a jail sentence between 3-180 days in addition to the consequences above. With a BAC above .15%, fines reach $,6000 and jail time extends anywhere from three days to a year in addition to probation, installation of an IID, etc. There are alternatives to these punishments that you can pursue for a first-time DWI in the state of Texas. For example, your attorney may urge you to:
Attend a Pretrial Diversion Program: Allowed by the court on a case-by-case basis, this program entails guidelines such as a year of alcohol monitoring and counseling, abstinence from drugs and alcohol, maintenance of a clear criminal record and 25 hours of community service. Following these guidelines will lead to seeing your charges dismissed. Failure will result in the resumption of charges against you.
Negotiate or Plea Bargain: This tactic relies heavily on the experience of your attorney but allows them to cut a deal with the state to withdraw the charges against you and replace them with lesser charges. It’s worth noting that under Texas law, charges cannot be amended or reduced; only withdrawn and replaced, possibly as low as a class C ticket. This is more likely in cases where there are no prior arrests and your BAC was low at the time of the arrest.
You should know that Texas law does not set a “lookback” period, so if you have any prior DWI convictions, no matter how long ago, they will count towards your second offense – even if they occurred in a different state. As a second-offense DWI is considered a misdemeanor, the maximum amount of time you can expect to spend in jail is 12 days, although an experienced attorney should be able to help you avoid that.
If your first offense did not include serious extenuating circumstances such as high BAC or injury, your attorney can challenge the second offense to avoid jail time. However, if they are not successful, a second conviction does carry with it a minimum three-day jail sentence, driver’s license suspension, and:
While most first- and second-offense DWIs are considered misdemeanors with the potential of felony charges, a third or subsequent DWI can and will be prosecuted as a hard felony in the state of Texas, carrying with it up to 10 years in jail. However, the majority of people who hire an experienced attorney will not have to serve that kind of time. Many are able to walk out after 10 days in jail, albeit with probation and further consequences as illustrated above. That said, felony DWI charges carry far greater penalties than simple misdemeanor charges.
There are multiple alternative punishments for jail time that your attorney will work with judges and prosecution to secure if you are convicted. They may be disruptive to your daily life, but will allow you to live freely and support your family outside of jail. They include:
Probation: If a judge agrees to probation, jail time will be waived as long as you follow rules set by the court for a period of time (generally up to two years after your first offense). Conditions of your probation may include regular meetings with a probation officer, screenings for drugs and alcohol, and installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) which requires a clean breath test to start and operate your vehicle. Failure to comply with any of these conditions can lead to reinstatement of jail time.
Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel: Another alternative is to attend a panel meeting led by victims, bystanders and family members who have had their lives disrupted by the impact of drunk driving.
Drug and Alcohol Evaluation: This alternative requires you to submit yourself to questions surrounding your use of drugs and alcohol, with the hope of identifying underlying substance abuse issues that can be treated appropriately.
DWI School: Generally part of the requirements for probation, especially in cases where it’s your first offense, this program educates participants on the dangers of drunk driving and educates them on how to identify and break patterns of substance abuse to discourage future drunk-driving incidents.
Beyond simply charges of driving while intoxicated, there are several factors that may lead to more severe charges, as there are several levels of DWI offense in the state of Texas. Among these separate charges, some of the most common are:
Underage DWI: Under state law, those under 21 years of age or prohibited from purchasing or consuming alcohol. As such, rather than the legal limit of .08, anyone under 21 driving with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system while driving could be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol by a Minor (DUIA by a Minor).
Intoxication Assault: A standard DWI charge requires four elements for the prosecution: that you were (1) found to be operating (2) a car or other motor vehicle (3) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol (4) while in a public place. In the instance of a fifth element, causing injury to another person regardless of intention, an additional charge of Intoxication Assault can be added to the DWI charges.
Intoxication Manslaughter: As with Intoxication Assault, this charge requires that all four elements of a DWI be in place. In order to be charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, your actions while operating a motor vehicle under the influence must lead to the death of another person, either intentionally or accidentally.
DWI with a Child Passenger: This more serious charge results when you are found to have committed DWI while transporting a passenger younger than 15 years of age.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs: Whether under the influence of illegal drugs or prescription medications, being found to be driving while on drugs can lead to greater consequences than simply being intoxicated by alcohol.
Part of how the prosecution will attempt to charge you with DWI is by using the results of the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tests that were administered at the time of the arrest. A working knowledge of how these results are measured and what they mean can be a vital part of your defense. Getting these test results dismissed from evidence, or challenging their credibility, is how experienced attorneys help secure their clients’ freedom.
What follows is a brief primer on the various levels at which your BAC might be tested during the initial traffic stop. Not only does your ability to function weaken as BAC increases, so do the potential legal ramifications.
At this level you might experience reductions in your ability to track objects, operate your vehicle or respond to sudden emergencies. While still below the legal limit of .08, you can be charged with DWI at this level if you are under 21 years of age or hold a commercial driver’s license which carries a legal limit of .04%.
A range just above and just below the legal limit of .08%, this level of BAC carries with it a reduced ability to control speed, process new information, apply brakes in a timely fashion, maintain your position in the lane and perceive the road ahead. Physically, at this point you will be mildly impaired in terms of balance, vision and speech.
At this point, beyond the legal limit, you will experience sluggish response times in braking and avoiding hazards, impaired ability to control a vehicle as well as your own body, and significant loss of judgement.
Adding to the significantly decreased ability to operate a motor vehicle, this level of intoxication brings with it severe physical effects ranging from vomiting and queasiness to substantial loss of balance and vision. As this extreme level of intoxication represents a dangerous situation behind the wheel, Texas law allows for much higher penalties for drivers who test at this level. This means more jail time, greater fines, and smaller chances of having charges reduced.
The greater penalties outlined above apply to drivers found to have a BAC at this level and higher. Apart from an impaired ability to operate a motor vehicle, this level of intoxication can lead to the inability to walk without assistance, loss of consciousness and/or bladder control and overall inability to function.
At this level of intoxication, a person can expect to lose consciousness and in extreme cases fall into a comatose state.
.4% and higher
At this stage, a coma is a certainty, with death by respiratory failure highly likely.
As the standard police-issue breathalyzer simply measures the alcohol content of a driver’s breath, it cannot actually measure the precise amount of alcohol in their blood. This has been backed up by scientific research, which suggests that most breathalyzers have a shocking 50% margin of error when compared to measurements taken by blood. In addition, factors ranging from your age, gender, health and emotional state can all skew readings, as can your rate of consumption and any medications you might be taking.
This widely known unreliability is just one way that BAC readings can be challenged. If the breathalyzer device itself is not regularly tested for accuracy, routinely calibrated and carefully maintained, its readings can be skewed upward. While this maintenance is crucial, most police departments fail to follow proper protocols in keeping their devices accurate.
In addition, there are procedural mistakes that can skew the results of a BAC test, mistakes made on the part of the officer. As one example, police officers are required to observe anyone suspected of DWI for a period of 15 minutes to ensure they do not belch, vomit or inject any fluids that could alter the results. Official procedure dictates that they must restart the test if this happens, but officers rarely pay attention.
In addition, there are a slew of circumstances which can trigger false positives and skew BAC readings higher. These include:
High concentrations of naturally occurring alcohol, or chemicals in your body that mimic alcohol, can be found in your mouth or throat regardless of whether or not you’ve been drinking. And any one of them can skew a BAC reading.
More than any other piece of evidence that may be used against you following an arrest for DWI, field sobriety test (FST) results might just be the most meaningless. To begin with, complying with the officer in taking an FST is completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to take the test, and it really doesn’t benefit you because the test isn’t designed to determine your sobriety. It’s designed to help the arresting officer compile evidence against you.
Thankfully, even if you do submit to an FST, the evidence collected from them generally does not hold up well in court. As these tests were not designed with any credible scientific basis, they are notoriously difficult to pass, even by those who are stone sober. As such, there are numerous ways to have their results thrown out.
A skilled DWI attorney is one who is certified at FSTs, and can skillfully pull apart all the improprieties in the tests’ administration. If the officer failed at any part in administering the test, all or part of the results can be thrown out. Your attorney can also make the judge or jury aware of any medical conditions you might have, from obesity to injury and even neurological issues, that might have skewed the results of your FST.
Although a blood test is considered the most accurate method for measuring blood alcohol concentration (BAC), it is important to recognize that issues can arise with the test process that may impact the reliability of the results. Your attorney might question the credentials of the person administering the test, or highlight any procedural errors that may have occurred. As an example, once blood has been extracted it must be stored with a preservative and an anticoagulant in a proper vial with a tamper-proof seal. Issues with any one of these requirements can call the integrity of the test into question. Your attorney might also raise questions about proper chain of custody for the test itself after it was administered, how it was stored or whether it was exposed to any chemicals which could affect the results.
Many of the most effective ways to challenge a DWI charge is by closely examining whether the arresting officer followed proper procedure to the letter during the initial stop. In fact, the majority of DWI charges that are dismissed or thrown out entirely come from police failing to follow their own policies.
To begin with, the police must have reasonable suspicion to pull your vehicle over in the first place, if you are weaving in and out of your lane for example. Essentially, they need to show that the circumstances warranted pulling you over.
Even if they establish reasonable suspicion to pull you over, they must have shown probable cause to have placed you under arrest. More than reasonable suspicion, probable cause requires some form of evidence, be it physical characteristics like bloodshot eyes or slurred speech, the presence of open containers, an odor of alcohol on your breath or failure on an FST.
At nearly every step in the process, there are ways that an officer’s own prejudices or biases might tarnish their credibility. There are procedures that must be followed from the initial traffic stop on, and any errors can lead to a dismissal of charges. This is particularly important due to the lack of training most officers receive. While we’d like to think that officers are given proper instruction in determining if someone is under the influence, administering sobriety tests and checking BAC, the fact is they are often underequipped and uncredentialed.
The fact is, the science behind testing is questionable and the tactics used in determining sobriety aren’t grounded in reality. A skilled attorney can seek out missteps and errors in the case against you and use that to help reduce or dismiss your charges.
An arrest for DWI does not guarantee a conviction. Those who choose to invest in themselves by hiring an experienced attorney, almost always enjoy the dividends or better outcomes. Beyond simply avoiding financially crippling fines and jail time, they can circumvent the long-term fallout from a DWI conviction which can hamper their ability to secure a job, keep their home and property intact, and live a full life.
At the Law Office of Ken Gibson, we strive to be the best investment you’ll ever make in yourself. We dig deeper into the facts of your case until we know every detail better than the prosecution. We collect the evidence that will exonerate you, do the research into the procedures that need to be followed and seek out expertise that casts doubt on the case against you.
We do all of this, because we know the secret to winning a criminal case. The secret is preparation, knowledge and a willingness to go the extra mile for clients. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case.
Research shows that 84 percent of people trust reviews they read online as much as recommendations from friends and family. At The Law Office of Ken Gibson, we are grateful for what our clients say about us in person and online, and we’re proud of the 5-star scores we have on Google and other online rankings.
Contact us today to schedule a free case review online and start planning your defense. Whether you hire our firm or not, you’ll leave the conversation with more knowledge than before, feeling empowered to fight the charges against you.