Montgomery County, TX lies in a corridor of southeastern Texas known as the “DWI capital of the United States.” This is not a statistic of which Texas is proud, and there is intense pressure on law enforcement to do everything possible to shed this distinction. Montgomery County attorneys work hard to protect the rights of individuals who get arrested on DWI charges.
As of the 2010 census, the county had a population of 455,000 and a population density of 422 per square mile. This compares with a population density of 2,545 per square mile in Harris County, which contains the metropolitan area of Houston.
The role of Montgomery County DWI attorneys is to not only make sure suspects are aware of their rights and that they are not violated in the prosecution’s zeal to secure a conviction, but to try and keep DWI convictions of peoples records while keeping their driving privileges intact. One piece of advice that a Montgomery County Texas lawyer might give to a person stopped on suspicion of DWI is to not answer any questions at the time of the arrest without their DWI lawyer in Montgomery County present. In practice, it is only the self-incriminating statements that a suspect makes that are documented in police reports, as many Montgomery County attorneys will agree.
Another piece of advice commonly given by Montgomery County Texas lawyers is to politely decline to take any field sobriety tests or preliminary breath tests. These are administered by the stopping or arresting officer, who may have already made his decision to take you in and is only seeking to bolster his case.
Much of Texas has adopted the practice of designating all holiday weekends as “No Refusal” weekends. This means if you do not voluntarily give up a blood sample, the police officer may seek a search warrant to take a sample involuntarily, using force if necessary. For example, if you have one or two drinks at a party and are later stopped for a minor traffic offense, you may be arrested and a sample taken from you voluntarily or involuntarily. (You can ALWAYS refuse and force the police to get a search warrant.) This makes the role of the Montgomery County DWI attorney that much more important.
One of several defenses to a blood draw obtained by a police search warrant, is for the lawyer to challenge the validity of the warrant. A Montgomery County Texas lawyer specializing in DWI is likely to be familiar with the intricacies of search warrants and the Texas and federal constitutions..
DWI Cases in Montgomery County
In March 2013, a 28-year-old mother was convicted of First Degree Murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $5,000 for a DWI car crash in April 2010 that killed her infant daughter. She had been indicted on three separate charges of murder, intoxication manslaughter and injury to a child. In the state of Texas, felony murder is sometimes known as “accidental murder” because the prosecution is not required to prove that the defendant intended to cause the death.
The accident occurred on FM1484 at a bend in the road that is recognized as an accident black spot. Her SUV was allegedly going 65 miles per hour in a 40 mph zone when it became airborne and slammed into a tree. Analysis showed that her blood-alcohol content was 0.18 percent, more than twice the legal limit of .08. Speaking to a Texas Department of Safety trooper at the hospital, she admitted that she had been drinking. Her DWI lawyer in Montgomery County did not seek a reduction in her $250,000 bond because, apparently, she was “not interested in being released.”
Brett Ligon, Montgomery County District Attorney, raised eyebrows in 2010 when he began tweeting the names of people arrested for DWI. While the details of arrests are already a matter of public information, there were those, including Montgomery County Texas lawyers, who thought this was taking the public’s right to know too far. There have not been any recent tweets from the D.A.’s desk giving the names of drivers who have been arrested for DWI in some time, although the numbers of arrests during “No Refusal” weeks are tweeted from time to time. The names of DWI victims are also mentioned in remembrance.
Another high profile DWI fatality was the death of a 45-year-old mother who was killed by a drunk driver on her birthday in 2012. She was driving northbound on I-45 when she stopped to give assistance to a motorist with a flat tire. Moments later, her car was rear-ended by a truck being driven at 65 miles per hour. A 21-year-old man was arrested and held on $50,000 bail after registering .162 on a field breath test.
Charged with intoxication manslaughter, the defendant was facing 20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. At the request of the family, he was sentenced to ten years’ probation. This was a remarkable display of compassion. Absent the help of the victims family and the cooperation of the prosecution, a lawyer will have to rely on his skill and knowledge of the law in order to achieve the best, possible result.
Not every DWI arrest has this kind of outcome. Individuals arrested for DWI or Boating while Intoxicated on Lake Conroe (BWI) are at their most vulnerable. Some people are scared and confused and this is when it is most important to call your lawyer in Montgomery County, Texas. For peace of mind and to maximize your chances of keeping a DWI off your record, it is often recommended that an accused find a lawyer who is board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and who focuses a significant percentage of his practice in DWI defense.