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100+ Not Guilty Verdicts, 1000s Dismissed. We're Obsessed With Winning.

Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law
DUI Defense Lawyers Association Board Certified
National College for DUI Defense Board Certified
Super Lawyers 2013-2020
Super Lawyers Top 100 in Houston & Texas
Lawyer Scientist
Avvo 10/10 Rating
Avvo Clients' Choice Award
Board Certified Advocate in Criminal Trial Law by the NBTA Foundation
AV Preeminent
Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association
National Trail Lawyer
Super Lawyers Rising Star 2010-2013

Simply put, Mark Thiessen is a criminal defense all-star. You can feel the difference the second you step in the courtroom with Mark by your side. The time he has taken to build relationships and earn respect is clear.

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We’re Obsessed With Winning: Let Us Fight For You

If you are facing DWI charges, you need the best DWI defense Houston has to offer. On top of some fast-approaching deadlines, a DWI conviction can come with severe penalties including jail time and some seriously steep fines. Don’t risk going at it alone.

You won’t find more aggressive trial attorneys to defend your DWI case than the team at Thiessen Law Firm. Too many attorneys falsely represent themselves as having expertise in the intricacies of DWI/DUI law — not Mark Thiessen. Mark is one of only five DWI specialists in Texas. And of those, he is the only lawyer who is also certified as an ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientist by the American Chemical Society.

You’ve got 15 days to save your license. Choose a lawyer who can defend it.

Thiessen Law Firm is ready to protect your life.

At Thiessen Law Firm, we prioritize your peace of mind and fight to protect you from injustices. Here, you’re more than just a case number, and you don’t have to face the severity of the justice system alone. Contact us today to schedule an Administrative License Revocation hearing, save your license, and preserve your rights.

Get Help Now

As a triple Board Certified DWI lawyer who has fought and won over 100+ Not Guilty verdicts, and gotten thousands of charges dismissed, he is ready to take your case all the way to trial.

Thiessen Law Firm offers a free case evaluation, and we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Don’t wait to get your case off to the right start, schedule a consultation with us today.

Charged with DWI in Houston?

Were you arrested and charged with a DWI in Texas? If so, you have some prompt deadlines approaching in order to save your Texas state driver’s license.

First, if you have a loved one who has not been bailed out, call Burns Bail Bonds at 713-224-0305. Then, once you both are rested, give us a call to set up your free DWI case consultation. We will meet you anytime we are not in trial or in court, even on the weekends.

With only 15 days from the date of the arrest to request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing, you don’t have much time to secure counsel. The ALR hearing provides the only opportunity to challenge the suspension and save your driver’s license. If you do not request an ALR hearing, you risk automatic license suspension and will need to pay an annual license renewal surcharge to the DPS for 3 years at an annual fee of between $1,000 – $2,000.

And before you even ask, yes you absolutely need to hire a lawyer for DWI — especially in Texas. Our state has some of the strictest DWI penalties in the country and the judge won’t go easy on you. Without aggressive DWI defense in Houston, you or your loved one could end up facing maximum jail time, losing a lot of money, and may even end up without a license or job.

DWI Charges in Texas

So, what is a DWI in Texas? According to Texas Penal Code 49.04, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is committed when a person is “intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle while in a public place.” The state of Texas defines legal intoxication as any blood alcohol level (BAC) at or above 0.08%, although you can be charged with DWI even if your BAC is lower than 0.08% if it can be proven that your drinking affected your driving.

The range of DWI charges include:

DWI first offense

Being charged with a first offense DWI in Texas can come with a minimum jail time of 3 days, or a minimum of 6 days if the accused was found with an open container in the car, and a maximum of 180 days. Typically, a DWI first offense will be charged as a Class B Misdemeanor unless there have been prior alcohol-related convictions or you were found with a BAC over .15.

Penalties for a first DWI conviction in Texas include: 

  • Maximum Fine: $2,000
  • Possible jail time: 72 hours to 180 days in county jail
  • License Suspension: 90 to 365 days

DWI second offense

A DWI second offense in Texas is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor. Unfortunately, if you have a previous first DWI charge, it will never come off of your record and you will be charged with a 2nd DWI in Texas even if it’s been decades since your first offense. And unlike your first offense, a DWI second offense is not eligible to be sealed from your record.

Penalties for a second DWI conviction in Texas include: 

  • Maximum Fine: $4,000
  • Possible jail time: 30 to 365 days in county jail
  • License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years

Third DWI

Aside from harsher penalties, facing a third DWI in Texas is no different than preparing for and defending against a first DWI. Much more is at risk in court, but if your case is good, you’ve got the same chances (with a good attorney) of being found not guilty, despite two prior convictions.

Penalties for a third DWI conviction in Texas include: 

  • Maximum Fine: $10,000
  • Possible jail time: 2 – 10 years in state prison
  • License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years

DWI with Child Passenger

If you’re caught driving while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 15, you risk being arrested for a felony DWI with a Child Passenger and may face separate child endangerment charges.

Penalties for DWI with a child passenger in Texas include: 

  • Maximum Fine: $10,000
  • Possible jail time: Six months to two years in state prison
  • License Suspension: 90 days to 2 years

How to get a DWI dismissed in Texas

It is very possible to get a DWI dismissed in Texas if you hire the best DWI attorney in Houston who knows how to fight a DWI at trial. At Thiessen Law Firm, we’ve done it before and we can do it for you.

The following strategies may be used to fight your charge:

1. The officer made an illegal stop

After the first court date, we will sit down with you and review the Offense Report to look at its content, checking to ensure that the arresting officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over in the first place. If there were no noticeable signs of drunk driving or they did not have a legal reason to conduct a traffic stop, this could be your key to obtaining a DWI dismissal.

2. DWI chemical tests were inaccurate

As a lawyer-scientist, Mark Thiessen is one of the few Houston DWI lawyers who can effectively challenge the results of DWI chemical tests. More specifically, he can educate the jury on all of the problems with the breathalyzer machine and the acceptable ranges of error, potentially getting your breath test score thrown out.

If you had a blood test, Mark can explain the science of gas chromatography — the method used to test blood samples in a DWI case — to illustrate the unreliability of the machine and the process to the jury.

3. Errors in the DWI report and/or arrest

Outside of reviewing the initial Offense Report to review whether the officer’s initial reason for making the traffic stop was legal and assess what Standard Field Sobriety Tests were performed, as your DWI defense lawyer, we may request a video of the arrest.

Unfortunately, it is up to the officer to turn in the videotape if there is one. Although the entire video generally cannot be suppressed, any portions that violate the law can and will be removed as evidence. If there is not a video, we can subpoena the arresting officer’s patrol vehicle’s maintenance records and figure out why there was not.

Together, we will discuss the pros and cons of using the evidence in the video and Offense Report to weigh out possible defense options.

4. The field sobriety test was inaccurate or invalid

There is a lot that can go wrong when it comes to following the protocols for field sobriety tests and our DWI defense lawyers know just what to look for. Field sobriety tests are easy to fail, even when you are sober, and are not a scientifically proven method for proving intoxication. The one-leg stand test, for instance, is only accurate 65% of the time. With the understanding of all the nuances and problem areas of these tests, our lawyers can use this knowledge to create reasonable doubt around the evidence being used to prove a DWI charge.

Not Guilty

DWI 2nd / Texas v. M.F.

Harris County No. 9


.146 BREATH TEST NOT GUILTY!!! Client was leaving his girlfriends house and on his way home when he was pulled over for no head lights. They had been using his truck to listen to music in the driveway and forgot he turned off the automatic lights. Client was 6’2” 300 pounds. The Trooper tried to get client to do these tests and client performed as best as he could. The Trooper told the jury that he gave him credit for being a big guy, but in the end they saw that the client never stood a chance. This was a very arrogant Trooper that told mutual friends he could beat Mark on the Jiu jitsu mat and in the court house. However, probably not the best thing to leak back to Mark. The Trooper and his tests were slowly explained to show how unfair they were graded and in the end the Trooper admitted he couldn’t rule out Client’s size as the cause of any mistakes. The Trooper swore that he watched client for the required 15 minute observation period before the test, but when the timing was all lined up with the cameras, it became very clear that the Trooper cut corners and didn’t think defense would line it up. The breath test was properly suppressed by the Judge. With the DA refusing to dismiss it, the jury was given the case to decide and returned a quick Not Guilty verdict. Thank you to that Judge for following the law and the evidence. And thank you to that jury for remaining true to your doubts and not jumping to conclusions the way the Trooper did. And thanks to the Trooper for talking trash and letting it back to me, it made me be my best.

What are the penalties for DWI in Texas?

The severity of DWI penalties and punishments will depend on the facts of your case and how well your DWI lawyer fights against those facts. Keep in mind that the penalties can include both criminal and administrative penalties.

The punishments for a DWI conviction in Texas include:

OffenseChargeJail Term RangeLicense SuspensionFines
DWI First OffenseClass B Misdemeanor3 days – 180 days90 days – 1 yearUp to $2,000
DWI First Offense with a BAC of greater than .15Class A Misdemeanor30 days – 1 year180 days – 2 yearsUp to ​​$4,000
DWI 2nd offenseClass A Misdemeanor30 days – 1 year180 days – 2 yearsUp to ​​$4,000
DWI 3rd offense3rd Degree Felony2 – 10 years180 days – 2 yearsUp to $10,000
DWI w/ a Child in the CarState Jail Felony180 days – 2 yearsUp to 180 daysUp to $10,000
Intoxication Assault3rd Degree Felony2 – 10 years180 days – 2 yearsUp to $10,000
Intoxication Manslaughter2nd Degree Felony2 – 20 years180 days – 2 yearsUp to $10,000

Additional punishments for all charges can include:

  • Probation
  • DWI intervention or education programs
  • Possible ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Community service hours
  • Annual license renewal surcharge for 3 years at an annual fee of between $1,000 – $2,000
  • Increased auto insurance premiums

With so much at stake, you can’t afford to face these charges on your own. Hiring an aggressive lawyer like Mark Thiessen to fight against your’s or your loved one’s DWI charge is your best chance at lessening the penalties that come with a conviction or getting the charge dismissed altogether.

Why should I hire Thiessen Law Firm for my DWI case?

Thiessen Law Firm is led by Mark Thiessen, a triple Board Certified DWI defense specialist. As of 2022, Mark is a 10 time Texas Super Lawyer, 6 time Top 100 Super Lawyers in Houston, and 3 time Top 100 Super Lawyers in all of Texas. For the past two years, Mark has been the only DWI lawyer listed in the Top 100 in Houston and the only criminal Super Lawyer listed in the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas.

Mark has a winning track record and is one of the only DWI defense in Houston who possess the following designations:

1. Triple board certified

Mark is the only lawyer in America who is triple board certified in:

  • Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense as approved through the American Bar Association
  • DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association.

What does this mean for your case? In a driving while intoxicated (DWI) trial, Mark will dissect DWIs with scientific precision because he is trained in and specifically emphasizes driving while intoxicated (DWI) defense.

2. Lawyer-scientist

Anyone can win a trial with the blood evidence suppressed. You need an attorney who can win with the blood coming in, and that attorney is Mark Thiessen. Mark has earned the American Chemical Society-Chemistry and the Law’s (ACS-CHAL) Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designation — the highest form of scientific recognition available for lawyers — meaning he knows just as much about the science behind the laws as he does about the laws themselves.

Blood is more difficult to defend than breath, and few DWI defense attorneys understand the science required to defend a case with blood evidence. It is absolutely crucial that you hire a blood or breath lawyer scientist such as Mark Thiessen. Mark has won three blood test trials where the blood comes into evidence and the jury returns a verdict of Not Guilty (.022, 0.19 and 0.09).

3. Trial-tested and proven

Few lawyers have learned how to win DWI trials on a regular basis but Thiessen Law Firm has.

What separates us from the other Houston DWI trial lawyers is that we care about our clients. We get to know who you are so that we can present the real you to the jury for their consideration.

When Thiessen Law Firm is representing you, very rarely can or does a jury decide guilt beyond a reasonable doubt based on an officer’s opinion or a chemical test alone. We’ve fought and won 100+ Not Guilty verdicts for our clients. Let us do the same for you.

Call Thiessen Law Firm for aggressive DWI defense in Houston

DWI charges in Texas can change your life, and not for the better. Depending on the severity of the charge, penalties can include jail time, steep fines, and license suspension on top of the natural consequences on your financial and professional life if you are convicted.

A lot of DWI defense lawyers promise to fight on your behalf, but few truly know how to win. With the experience and credentials to back him up, Mark Thiessen is a DWI attorney in Houston who truly knows how to win your case.

Schedule your free consultation today and let Thiessen Law Firm fight the charges for you.

DWI Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between DUI and DWI in Texas?

Texas is unique in that it separates drunk driving charges out by age. DUIs are only charged to minors who are caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while DWIs are a more serious crime charged to adults over the legal drinking age of 21.

Despite being a violation of your personal rights, the Texas Supreme Court allows police officers to draw blood without your consent. On “no refusal” weekends, if an officer has probable cause to believe you are intoxicated and you are hiding evidence, then a judge can author a search warrant for your blood.

According to the US Supreme Court, the police must always have a search warrant to draw blood if the client refuses. It’s either consent to the test, or the police have to get a warrant. Plain and simple. This is why in most cases we recommend taking the breathalyzer.

Can I be arrested for DWI if I blow 0.0%?

A person may be intoxicated by a variety of substances including: alcohol, prescription medication, illegal drugs, over-the-counter medication, or any combination thereof. So, if you look intoxicated and blow a 0.000, you are still not going home.

Blowing a 0.000 is the first step of the 12-step Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE) where the officer tries to allege that you are intoxicated by something other than alcohol. You are going to need a skilled attorney who is familiar and comfortable with all aspects of a DRE.

Additional DWI Resources:

NOTE: This information is not legal advice. It is provided for educational use only. If you need legal advice regarding a DWI offense in the State of Texas, please contact Mark Thiessen at 713-864-9000, or request a free case evaluation.

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