Mistakes Defendants Make

The 10 biggest mistakes most people make after being arrested for a DWI in Texas, and how to avoid them:

1. **Not taking the matter seriously.** This is a charge that will follow you for the rest of your life, if you are convicted. The additional insurance charges alone could cost you thousands of dollars.

2. **Not hiring an attorney.** The law is complex and you need competent representation. You must raise the right defenses at the right time or you will lose them. Facts will disappear, memories fade and witnesses vanish. A winable case can quickly become a loser.

3. **Hiring an attorney based on the amount of the fee alone.** The State of Texas has almost unlimited resources when it comes to your case. You need to hire an attorney and pay a fee which will allow him to put time and effort into your case to counter the prosecution. Attorneys must earn enough in the time they spend on your case in order to keep their doors open and make a living wage. If you go too low, your attorney will not be able to put in the time necessary to protect you. Look for a reasonable, predictable fee, not the lowest.

4. **Not complying with driver’s license laws.** You could lose your right to drive.

5. **Driving after your license has been taken away.**

6. **Not taking full advantage of your constitutional rights.**

7. **Taking the prosecutor’s first offer.** The first offer is not a bargain, it’s just to get rid of your case with the least amount of work. Very few cases are dismissed or reduced to a non-alcohol charge at this stage. You do not give the judge an opportunity to rule on constitutional challenges. You give up your right to raise these issues and make the State prove it’s case.

8. **Fail to appear in Court.** The Court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and revoke any bond. The next time you are stopped for a traffic infraction, you will be spending some time in jail and posting a bond for your future appearances.

9. **Talk to anyone but an attorney about your case.** Anything you say to them can be used against you.

10. **Think that talking to numerous attorneys will help you handle it on your own.** You need to have an attorney go to Court with you.