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DWI Lawyer in Houston, TX

Driving While Intoxicated in Texas

DWI: these three letters can cause profound disruptions in your life. No other criminal offense carries with it the immediate possibility of lengthy driver's license suspensions, yearly license surcharges, travel restrictions, and heightened or cancelled auto insurance coverage. Additionally, no other misdemeanor charge has created such a complex and ever-changing body of law for your attorney to master. For these reasons, every citizen accused of a DWI or alcohol-related offense should seek representation by a DWI lawyer who is familiar with the latest developments in DWI law as well as the latest scientific challenges to police officer sobriety testing procedures. Practicing DWI attorneys must understand scientific techniques and how to question the reliability, accuracy, and validity of the State's witnesses.

DWI Attorney, Houston, TX

Houston, Texas criminal defense attorney Christopher Downey is a former chief Misdemeanor Prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney's Office. He was chosen by the District Attorney's office to receive specialized training by the Texas Department of Public Safety in the prosecution of DWI offenses. Mr. Downey has trained numerous prosecutors in the finer points of DWI trial preparation and prosecution and has lectured at area police academies on the role of the police officer in a criminal trial. He is a member of the National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) and has served as an Instructor for the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association DWI Top Gun Seminar. He has written numerous articles related to DWI criminal practice on topics such as effective jury selection, pretrial preparation, and jury instruction. He brings this extensive knowledge of prosecution and defense techniques to the aid of every client accused of DWI or intoxication-related offenses.

Alcohol-related crimes are among the most frequent offenses for which the Downey Law Firm is retained.Since 1999, Mr. Downey has successfully represented hundreds of individuals charged with alcohol-related offenses.

DWI Driver's License Suspension

If you have recently been arrested for a DWI in Texas, you should contact our firm immediately. You have only 14 days from the date of your arrest to contest the possible lengthy suspension of your driver's license. Fighting such a suspension may not only protect your ability to drive but may also lead to the discovery of very valuable evidence that could assist you in winning a dismissal of your DWI.

DWI Penalties

A first-time Texas DWI is charged as a Class B misdemeanor with a 72-hour minimum jail sentence. Any person convicted of driving while intoxicated in the state will face a minimum yearly surcharge imposed by the Department of Public Safety of at least $1,000 for the three years following conviction. Second offenders will face a yearly surcharge of $1,500 and any person who registers in excess of .16 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC) on a legitimate breath test will face a $2,000 surcharge. A BAC of .08 percent or above provides evidence of a Texas DWI. You can also be charged with a DWI for demonstrating an impaired driving ability due to the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Common State Alcohol Offense Punishment Ranges:

Class C

Public Intoxication

0 - $500.00 fine

Class B


DWI (test under .15)

0 - 180 days in jail

Class A

DWI (test over .15)

DWI 2nd

0 -1 year in jail

3rd Degree

DWI 3rd

2-10 years in prison

3rd Degree

Intoxicated Assault

2-10 years in prison

2nd Degree

Intoxicated Manslaughter

2-20 years in prison

Professional Memberships
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of Texas Criminal Justice Section
  • National College of DUI Defense
Professional Positions
  • Instructor, DWI "Top Gun" School , Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association

  • Faculty, State Bar of Texas Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar

  • Co-Chairman, Houston Police Department Crime Laboratory Serology Investigation Panel

  • Author, Instructing the Jury, 2012 State Bar of Texas Annual Advanced Criminal Law Seminar

  • Author, Subpoenaing Big Brother, 2010 TCDLA Annual Top Gun Seminar

  • Author, Picking a Skeptical Jury in A Short Amount of Time, 2008 TCDLA Annual Top Gun Seminar

  • Former Felony Prosecutor, Harris County District Attorney's Office

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

Phone: (713) 651-0400
Address: The Downey Building, 2814 Hamilton Street, Houston, Texas 77004

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