When Should Someone Try To Get Their Car Out Of The Impound?
San Antonio DWI Impound Attorney
A person’s car will probably be towed away if they are arrested for a DWI. The car would usually be taken to the city impound lot, and it will cost money to get their car back. I recommend that they get there as soon as they are released from jail, so they could get their car back at the cheapest cost possible, because they will be charged for each day of storage.
Should Someone Explore Options For Transportation And Make Any Necessary Preparations To Be Legally Able To Drive?
The person should ask their attorney to get them an occupational driver’s license, which allows them to drive back and forth to work or to perform household duties during the ALR suspension.
Should Someone Be Mindful Of The DMV Hearing, Aware Of The Dates And Secure All Documents That Are Given?
Someone who is arrested for a DWI in Texas would have an ALR hearing, also called an Administrative Law Review, which would be concerning the status of their license. In Texas, a person would be looking at a 180-day license suspension if they were stopped for suspicion of DWI and refused the breath test; however if they took the breath test and failed they would be looking at a 90-day license suspension. The suspension would commence 40 days from the date of the arrest, although the person would be required to give the DPS notice within 15 days if they desired an ALR hearing.
A Timeline of a DWI Arrest in Texas
San Antonio DWI Arrest Defense Law Firm
Interviewer: What’s the typical sequence and events someone will go through from the point they’ve been arrested all the way through resolution of their case?
A DWI Charge Originates as a Police Stop, Usually for a Traffic Infraction, Which the Officer Will Use a Probable Cause for a DWI Investigation
Gary: Initially what happens is they are going to be pulled over by a law enforcement officer and the officer is going to approach the car. He’s got a suspicion right there that probably the driver’s intoxicated depending on what he’s observed.
For example, the officer may have observed a failure to lane change without signaling or speeding. I have also handled cases where the officer ran the license tags on the computer and then claimed that the tags were expired or not renewed, and used that as justification to pull them over. In those cases, the probable cause for the police stop was that their tags were expired.
The Driver Will Be Asked to Perform the Standard Field Sobriety Tests
At that point and time they’re going to pull them over. They’re going to ask them some questions, ask them for proof of insurance and a driver’s license. Then if the officer suspects that they’ve been drinking, he is going to ask them if they would step out of the vehicle and ask them to perform some field sobriety tests.
The Field Tests Include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Which Is Often Scientifically Disputed
The basic field sobriety test in the state of Texas are the walk and turn, the one leg stand, and the HDN, Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, which is basically not scientific, but the police claim it’s actually a valid scientific test. There are so many holes to validity of that particular test, half the officers who are alleged to be certified don’t have a clue about the procedures are for giving it, or what’s necessary.
Smoking can affect the results as well as cold weather and actually some people have an actual naturally occurring Nystagmus they cannot control. In other words, their eyeballs bounce for no reason whatsoever. I have a son that’s like that. Every time you know, he becomes scared his eyeballs will begin bouncing and it is a completely natural function.
As the Driver Performs the Field Sobriety Tests, the Officer Is Observing the Driver’s Coordination for Clues That Indicate Intoxication
So, for people with that condition, the police are going to have a hard time establishing that as a sole basis for the DWI arrest. That just gets them in the door. Then the officer will ask the individual to do the one leg stand and the walk and turn. Basically what they’re looking for are clues.
If Two People Are Looking at Something, Do They Both Have the Same Perception? Looking for Clues Is a Subjective, Not Objective, Action
Their idea of clues is basically every small mistake you make is considered a clue. For example, if you don’t understand directions then you are not following the directions specifically. The officer will hold that against you. After he has observed two or three clues then he will ask you to undergo a breath test. At that point, the officer is going to place you under arrest, take you downtown and administer a breath test at the station.
Failing the Field Sobriety Tests does Not Mean You Will Be Convicted of DWI
San Antonio Failed Sobriety Test Lawyer
Interviewer: Before you go onto the breath test, if people fail the field sobriety tests, does that mean they’re pretty much doomed, are they going to be convicted or are there still plenty of defenses?
Gary: No, failing the field sobriety tests means absolutely nothing except maybe you’re nervous. I have had clients that are completely sober that can’t do some of the activities on a field sobriety test. That doesn’t mean anything.
"Because the way the officer is counting doesn’t mean he failed his test but the officer will turn around and use that against him."
If you’re falling down drunk, slurring your words talking to the officer and not being able to stand, that’s an indication you are intoxicated. However, if you are following the instructions the officer had relayed to you the best you can but still have trouble with the tests that does not mean you are drunk.
I’ve had an officer testify my client didn’t comply with the request because he didn’t hold his leg up for 30 seconds. Well, he was counting one-one thousand, two-one thousand, three-one thousand, and it took him 35 seconds to count that way. Because the way the officer is counting doesn’t mean he failed his test but the officer will turn around and use that against him.
Just because you didn’t do well on a field sobriety test doesn’t mean that you can’t win the case. I always ask clients, what do people do when they see a police car if they’re speeding? They get nervous, slow down, whatever. So, can you imagine getting stopped by a policeman and how nervous you are and what condition you are in when you’re trying to perform the sobriety tests?
Should Someone Call Several Attorneys To Get A Consultation And An Estimate?
San Antonio DWI Attorney Costs
The attorney-client relationship is a special one which relies on a tremendous amount of trust. The person has to trust the attorney to handle the case and to get the best result for them, so they should talk to a number of attorneys in order to hire the one they feel the most comfortable with.
Should Someone Take Out A Loan Or Borrow Money From Family To Hire An Attorney?
Good lawyers who are experienced in handling DWI cases do not come cheap. The person would need to make sure they have the financial resources available, either through family members, loans or credit cards, to be able to hire the lawyer of their choice.
Should Someone Cooperate With Their Attorney And Disclose Information Like Past DWIs Or Something On Their Record?
The person should remember that their attorney is there to help them, so they should disclose all important information to him or her. This includes information that may be harmful to their case, such as previous DWI arrests or convictions.
Should Someone Report Their Medical Conditions To Be Taken Into Account, And Could It Help The Case?
Certain medical conditions can have an effect on the BAC, or “Blood Alcohol Content” reading through the breath test, so the person should advise their attorney about any medical conditions they are suffering from if they feel this might be an issue.
Should Someone Take This Very Seriously Even If It Was Their First Time?
San Antonio First Time DWI Attorney
DWIs are serious and they do not go away overnight.
Should Someone Maintain Regular Contact With Their Attorney After Being Arrested?
The attorney would be there to help the person, so it’s important to communicate with him on a regular basis. Then they will be sure to know what is going on with the case if there are any new developments.
Should Someone Attend Any Functions, Information Sessions And / Or Classes Recommended By The Attorney?
It would be recommended for someone who was charged with numerous DWIs to seek help through AA or another organization for their alcohol problems.
Should Someone Start Noting Important Dates Like Arraignments And Court Hearings So They Can Ask For The Day Off From Work?
The person would usually have court on a work day, so it would be important for them to arrange their work schedule to accommodate court dates. They will have been advised of the court date well in advance.
Should Someone Refrain From Any Discussion On Social Media Sites Like Facebook Or Twitter?
I would not recommend going on any social media sites to discuss the case. Making posts about the case would make the information available not only to the person’s friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, but also to the prosecuting authorities.
Should Someone Refrain From Alcohol Or Drug Related Activity That Might Get Them Arrested Again?
The person should remember that if they were caught once for a DWI, chances are they could possibly be caught again. For this reason it would not be a good idea to drink and drive while they had a DWI case pending or, for that matter, if they had a prior DWI.
Should Someone Consult Their Support System To Keep A Positive Outlook?
Getting arrested for a DWI is not the end of the world. A person should get treatment if they feel they have a problem with alcohol or drugs, but if someone just had a few drinks that night and was unlucky enough to get caught, then they should just move on with their life.
For more information on Taking A DWI Case Seriously, a free initial consultation is your best next step.
Is There One Segment of the Population That Is Likely to Be Charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)?
San Antonio Driving While Intoxicated Defense Lawyer
Interviewer: Today we’re going to talk about DWI, driving while intoxicated. So, would you say, is there a typical person that gets arrested for DWI, or is it kind of run across all walks of life?
Drivers from All Walks of Life Can Be Subject to a DWI Charge
Gary: You know, I think it runs all across, all walks of life. I agree with the saying, bad things happen to good people, and that’s what happens with DWIs. Somebody goes out and in my time as a criminal defense attorney, I’ve represented the gamut of all aspects of society when it comes to DWIs. From decorated Army veteran officers to nurses, to doctors; so, it could happen to anybody.
Interviewer: Do you hear a typical back story from clients that come into your office on why they were arrested?
In the San Antonio Area, the Police Are on the Lookout for Intoxicated Drivers during Certain Times, Especially after Midnight
Gary: In San Antonio the police profile. If you’re on the street after midnight you stand a really good chance of getting a DWI. At that time of night, the police officers are just cruising looking for a reason to stop someone. They’ve gotten to the point now where they just actually sit outside the bars and wait for the cars to leave the parking lot and enter the roadway.
The current climate is all about enforcement right now and they’re doing anything they can to get people driving DWI.
Interviewer: The large majority of police stops takes place mostly at night and is it people leaving bars or is other circumstances?
Gary: Most of the time people are leaving bars, or people are pulled over in areas where a number of bars are located. There’s really no set formula for when a DWI is going to occur, where it’s going to occur, it’s just a matter of where the officer is at the right time for him or her at the wrong place for my client.
DWI and Cage Discrimination: Because the Intoxication Thresholds Are Low, Almost Anyone Is Subject to a DWI
Interviewer: Is there any particular type of person that receives a DWI, for example, do you encounter more men or women, older, younger individuals?
Gary: In my experience, there’s no age discrimination when it comes to DWI. Basically anybody who’s out there driving and having a cocktail or two after work or whatever, stands a chance of getting pulled over for DWI. The thresholds right now are so low that having only a couple of drinks after work and getting pulled over at the wrong time will result in a DWI case.
Common Misconceptions about a DWI Arrest
Interviewer: When people come to see you, what are the top misconceptions they have about the whole process and their arrest?
Many People Are Concerned about the Effect on Their Life Following a DWI
Gary: I think the main one is that people are concerned about how a DWI is going to affect the rest of their life. What ramifications are going to be involved if they have a DWI conviction? Will they be able to drive? Will they lose their job? Among different clients I do encounter different questions but the most common is what happens to their everyday life following a DWI.
Are Most People Aware of the Consequences of a DWI?
San Antonio DWI Conviction Defense Attorney
Interviewer: Do you find your clients are pretty aware of the consequences and what’s going to happen or do the consequences surprise them?
Gary: You know, it’s been publicized so much out here in billboards, and newspaper ads and TV ads, that most people are aware of what could happen to them. What most people are not aware of is the cost. You know, DWI costs you $20,000 if you’re arrested.
In Texas, You Can Face a Mandatory Minimum Jail Sentence for a DWI Conviction
So, I think people have a general clue that if they’re convicted, they have good cause to worry about going to jail because there’s a minimum jail sentence that DWIs carry. That really doesn’t mean they always go to jail, that just means that that’s the minimum sentence they can have for a particular sentence that’s probated.
Attorney Churak Has Handled Cases for Clients with Extremely High Breath Tests Results
Interviewer: Among your DWI clients, where most of them over the legal limit or were they close to the limit but not actually “drunk”? What kind of circumstances do they have?
Gary: Realistically, most of the cases I’ve had lately have been DWI with enhanced intoxication. I’ve seen very few close calls on DWIs where my clients tested at .08 or something that’s relatively close.
I have also had cases where my clients tested very far over the limit. Their test results were 2.3s, 2.4s those kinds of numbers. So, lately, I have seen quite a few people with really high breath test results.
The Majority of DWI Offenders Are First-Time Offenders
Interviewer: What about first-time offenders versus repeat offenders, what’s the mix there?
Gary: I’d say 75% first-time offenders and then 25% repeat and/or felony type situations. Most of the clients I see are first time offenders.
What If Your Driver’s License Is Suspended?
The Texas Department of Public Safety has taken an aggressive approach to enforce violations that can cause your driver’s license to be suspended.
From getting arrested for DWI to failing to appear in court on a traffic ticket Texas DPS is suspending driver’s license by the thousands.
To make matters worse often you do not know that your license is suspended and if you are pulled over you can be arrested for driving with a suspended license, a class B misdemeanor with potential jail time up to 180 days. Further, even if they choose not to arrest you for a DWLS the police can issue you a ticket for an invalid license. If you are convicted for driving with an invalid license your license could be suspended for an additional one year period. Do not let this happen to you. Contact the Law Offices of Gary F. Churak P.C. and let our 31 years of experience in handling driver’s license suspensions work for you.
Texas Attorney, Gary F. Churak handles driver license suspension cases throughout the State and can assist you in keeping your license.
If your license is suspended, we can obtain for you an Occupational or Hardship license to allow you to legally drive during your suspension period. An Occupational License can be good for up to a two year period and can be obtained within 24 hours after contacting our office.
Contact the Law Offices of Gary Churak today to legally drive without the fear of going to jail.
How Much Is The Cost Of An Attorney Versus The Total Cost Of My DWI Charge?
San Antonio DWI Arrest Case Lawyer
Signs all over state that a DWI can cost you something steep, like $25,000.
However, the attorney’s fees are related to the ability and the experience of the attorney. If you hire a good-quality attorney, an experienced attorney who gets the case dismissed, you’ve earned a great deal. You’ve saved a good deal of money. The attorney has come through for you.
If you hire an attorney who is able to get the DWI knocked down to obstruction of highway or reckless driving, you have another great deal. Alternately, he might be able to get a pretrial diversion in some counties.
You must look at the overall effect upon you. A DWI conviction, although not a case of expenses, forces you into a world of surcharges.
For example, you’ll see increased insurance premiums. You’ll see a potential interlock installation to your vehicle for a period of time.
It’s important to hire an attorney who is experienced at handling DWI law. The possibility of beating the charge does exist.
When Hiring a Lawyer, Should I Go with the Low-Price Lawyer? Are there Any Other Questions I Should Ask Him at this Point?
You should hire the attorney you feel the most comfortable with, the one you trust the most.
If I Have a Family Friend or Family Attorney Who Will Give Me a Good Rate, What Should I Ask Him?
Ask him: Is he experienced handling the DWI’s? Has he handled a DWI before? Does he know what he is doing?
Note that you cannot go to an attorney who handles wills to represent your DWI case.
What Will a Good Attorney Ask Me During My Initial Consultation with Him?
A good attorney will ask you the following: do you have any questions? What can I help you with?
A good attorney should explain the procedure to you. He should explain the consequences, the trial process, and how the system will work.
How Would You Gauge Importance of Website Testimonials?
Testimonials simply show the satisfaction of the customers. Therefore, you can consider this satisfaction. However, choosing an attorney is very personal. Thus, meeting with the attorney should give you all the information you require to make your choice.
If I Hire an Expensive Attorney, Will This Help Me Win A DWI Case?
Not necessarily. This just means you hired an attorney who charges a lot of money.
What is the Biggest Mistake People Make When Hiring a DWI Attorney?
The biggest mistake people make is hiring an attorney they don’t trust.
Is it Always Good to Hire an Aggressive Attorney?
It’s hard to say. Each case is different.
Every case presents different facts. Some cases do require attorneys to take their gloves off; some cases require full frontal attack.
The aggression level just depends on the case, the facts are, who you’re dealing with, who the judge is, and who the prosecutor is. Each case must be evaluated individually.
Should an Attorney Be Versatile, Depending on the Situation?
An attorney should know the courthouse, the courthouse personnel, the judges, the prosecutors, and how to approach each of them with the case.
Are Attorneys Who Focus Solely on DWI Cases Better than Other Attorneys Who Handle DWI Cases?
This just means that the attorney chooses to practice DWI only. This could be a marketing ploy or simply the element of law that is the most comfortable for him.
Therefore, It doesn’t necessarily mean this attorney is any better than another criminal defense attorney who handles murders, assaults, and drug offenses on top of DWI cases.
A criminal attorney is a criminal attorney. Granted, the DWI has specialized issues with its blood testing and scientific knowledge. However, a good, confident criminal defense attorney can handle a DWI.
What Is the Best Method to Combat a Feeling of Hopelessness after Being Charged with DWI?
San Antonio DWI Charges Attorney
Interviewer: Do you ever hear your clients declare, “You know, I can’t take it anymore, I just want to give up and plead guilty, I just want to get this over with?”
Attorney Churak Advises That Fighting the Charge Is the Best Recourse
Gary: My philosophy on dealing with DWIs is that unless you want an obstruction of highway charge and don’t want to end up paying the three year surcharge, it’s best to just attempt to prolong the process as long as possible.
In Texas, If the Subpoenaed Police Officer Does Not Appear Two Times to Testify at Trail, the Charge Is Dismissed
This is because I’ve had numerous DWI cases dismissed because the officer doesn’t show up. If it’s set for trial and they don’t have an officer to testify, the prosecutor does not have a case. So, if the subpoenaed officer doesn’t show up to testify, the DA they’ll move for continuance the first time but the second time they’ll be forced to dismiss the case and I’ve had that happen.
Interviewer: Why do you think the officers did not appear for the trial?
Gary: Many police officers work late nights. There’s a gung-ho DWI task enforcement who are proud of it and they’ll show up for court, but there’s a lot of officer’s that work the graveyard shift and get off of work at 6:00 AM and don’t want to be in the courtroom for trial at 9:00 AM.
You know, so it happens. Not regularly, but it does happen that witnesses will not show up and we win. That’s always been my philosophy. We will prolong the case to the very end and if we’re lucky the officer doesn’t show up. However, if he shows up, well, when it comes time, we’ll just take a plea bargain agreement because it’s going to be the same plea bargain agreement or even better now than it was at day one.
The Best Decision Is an Informed Decision: Your Attorney Should Advise You about What Your Options Are Whether You Want to Go to Trial or Accept a Plea Bargain
Interviewer: For people that really want to give up, do you advise them to persevere?
Gary: I leave it to the client because it’s not my decision to make. I just tell them what all the options are and what can happen. I don’t tell the client one way or another because it’s up to the client. The possibility exists that if we stretch the case out over a couple of years, the officer won’t show up, the officer could be fired or the officer could have had disciplinary problems or even retired.
So, you should stand a chance of having this case dismissed, and I find that many people like that idea. We just ride along with it and if it happens it happens.
If His Client Is Anxious to Have the Experience over with, Attorney Churak Has Had Success in Negotiating a Sentence of Only One Day in Jail
Some clients do say I just want to get it over with and I want to get my probation over with and move on. I’ve had people basically tell me they don’t want to do probation. I have been able to negotiate deals where they are sentenced to time served in jail. One day of jail time served, they walk out, and do not have to pay a fine and they move on with their lives.
What to Avoid If You Have Been Arrested for DWI
San Antonio DWI Charges Lawyer
Interviewer: What mistakes do you see people make that can harm their case? What unintentional errors do people commit after they’ve been arrested?
Incriminating Statements: Avoid Saying Too Much to the Arresting Officer; You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Gary: The foremost is talking too much. In an effort to clear themselves, many people begin carrying on conversations with the officers, saying they haven’t had anything to drink and the next thing you know the officer starts questioning them and then they admit they have had three or four drinks, as well as where they’ve been.
If the Officer Has Evidence You Are Intoxicated, You Will Be Arrested, No Matter What You Say
The officer may ask, “Do you have anything in the car I need to know about?” Because they are nervous, people talk too much. Once an officer pulls you over for suspicion of DWI, if he smells alcohol on you or on your breath, you’re going to jail regardless what you do, what you say or how you handle the testing.
Attorney Gary Churak Is an Experienced Trial Attorney
San Antonio DWI Trial Attorney
Interviewer: Why do your clients choose you versus every other attorney that’s out there in San Antonio?
Gary: I do a great deal of trial work. I have attained very good trial experience. I do a good job of picking a jury. I am able to relate with jurors and I am able to get my point across. I think those are the primary reasons I have been practicing all these years.
Attorney Churak Has Built an Excellent Reputation as a Trial Attorney and Has Fostered Good Working Relationships with the Prosecutors
My experience in trying cases has led to developing a relationship with the prosecutors and building a reputation. This reputation is important because I do find that the prosecutors offer more favorable plea bargains.
If the prosecutor knows you can try that case because he or she has offered an unfavorable plea bargain and you are going to do a good job and you have a chance at beating them, then they have to go back to their boss and say why they lost a case. It doesn’t look good for them, so sometimes they offer better deals because they know I’m a good trial lawyer.
Not Just a Case Number: When You Retain Attorney Churak, He Will Be the Sole Attorney Handling Your Case
Interviewer: When a client hire you, are they dealing only with you, or do you have other attorneys in the firm that handle the case?
Gary: I have a receptionist, secretary, but it’s basically, my clients deal with me. I meet them at court, I handle their cases, I talk to them on the phone when I’m here and I am the one to answer almost all of their questions about their case.
Should You Consider a Public Defender or Self-Representation to Defend Your DWI Charge?
Interviewer: When someone’s arrested, I’m sure there are a lot of times that they’re nervous about speaking to an attorney. Should they try to get a public defender or defend themselves? What are the pros and cons of those options?
Gary: I would never recommend defending yourself on anything. If you can’t afford an attorney, they usually appoint one for you. In Bear County we have a unique system where I believe they appoint an attorney for everybody whether you can afford it or not. You will be asked if you want to hire an attorney or do you want one appointed.
Many times people do opt for the court-appointed attorneys. In most cases, you are represented by a young attorney. They generally have a few years of experience and are paid 100 dollars to handle a DWI case, so can imagine what the results are going to be.
Why Is Hiring An Attorney Crucial For A DWI Case?
San Antonio DWI Arrest Case Attorney
Within the first forty days after you’ve been pulled over for DWI and placed under arrest, you’re at risk for a driver’s license suspension. An attorney can represent you in the ALR hearing to help you keep your license; he can further help you obtain an occupational license to drive legally.
Additionally, many questions exist with regards to your guilt or your innocence. This case is not just about fines. Rather, it’s about representing the individual who’s charged with a crime.
Will the Court Think of Me as Arrogant for Hiring an Attorney to Represent Me in a DWI Case?
Most courts prefer that the defendant have an attorney. In fact, it is a requirement that you either waive your right to counsel in open court or you have an attorney.
Therefore, it’s very important that you retain counsel to represent you.
What are Some Qualifications in an Attorney I Should Look For?
You need to look at the experience of the attorney, how long the attorney has been practicing, and how many DWI’s he has handled.
What’s this attorney’s record? What can he do for you? What are the options that he can present to you?
How Can an Attorney Afford to do Low-Cost DWI Cases? Is it Worth Hiring a Low-Cost Attorney?
Low-cost mill attorneys have a great volume of cases. Because of this, they do not create quality representation.
Their game plan is to get a little bit of money from you and head immediately to court to plead you guilty.
Would You Say it’s Important to Shop Around as a General Rule of Thumb?
Picking out an attorney is much like buying an automobile. You can get a Chevy, a Ford, or a Toyota. Different attorneys have different qualifications and different skills.
How Does an Attorney Use His Time for a DWI Case?
Time is part of the payment equation. However, you’re further paying for the attorney’s skills, knowledge, and experience. An attorney, like myself, who has been practicing for 33 years knows a great deal more than someone who has been practicing for only one year.
Note that it may take a less-experienced attorney a lot more time to figure something out than me. This is due to my experience.
Would You Agree that Hiring an Attorney for My DWI Case is a Matter of Quality?
It’s incredibly important to have a qualified attorney to represent you.
Can An Attorney Guarantee a Victory in a DWI Case?
Any attorney who makes a victory guarantee is questionable. In this situation, I would ask the attorney to put the guarantee in writing and to agree to a full refund if, in fact, this victory does not happen.
I Have Some Friends Who Have Gone Through this DWI Dilemma Before. They Were Successful. If I Did the Same Things, Would I Achieve the Same Result?
The result of your case depends on the facts of the case. It depends on what the DEAC alcohol content tests reveals. It depends on who the judge is, who the prosecutors are, and which county you’re in.
Many factors are involved that create the final determination of the DWI case.
What Are Some Things To Ask an Attorney? What Should an Attorney be Upfront With Me About With Regards to My DWI Case?
You should ask an attorney about his experience handling DWI cases.
For example: is he familiar with handling particular types of BAC breath content tests, like blood and breath tests? Does he have available experts to challenge a blood and breath test? Has he tried DWI cases? Has he been successful?
These are factors you must talk to an attorney about.