If you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI in Texas, you probably know that you won’t be able to fight the charge alone. If you’re wanting to beat a DWI charge, you’re going to need the best DWI lawyer in Texas, but how do you find them? Is there such a thing as a DWI Specialist, and can they help you any more than a normal DWI attorney?
Mark Thiessen is a Houston DWI Specialist, here to tell you what exactly a DWI Specialist is and how they can help you win your DWI case.
If you or a loved one has been arrested under suspicion of DWI, don’t wait. Texas is tough on DWI charges (even for first-timers), and the prosecution is building their case against you right now. Looking for the best DWI lawyer in Houston? Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 for a free consultation.
What is a DWI Specialist?
A lawyer calling themselves a DWI Specialist in Texas may not always have the credentials to back it up. Many DWI lawyers on the market call themselves DWI Specialists despite not having any specializations to speak of — so how do you make sure that a lawyer is really a specialist?
In order to call themselves a DWI Specialist, a DWI lawyer in Texas must have a Board Certification from the appropriate governing body for that specialization.
This Board Certification tells you that an attorney has significant trial experience in the field, peerless knowledge of the subject matter, and the respect of the judge and jury. Mark Thiessen is the only attorney in America who is Board Certified in the following areas:
- 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
- Board Certified Advocate in Criminal Trial Law by the NBTA Foundation
In addition to being a quadruple board certified Houston DWI Specialist, 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.
What is a Super Lawyer?
You’ve likely seen the term “Super Lawyer” bandied about on the web as well, but what is a Super Lawyer? Unlike DWI Specialists, Super Lawyers are lawyers who have been given the title by SuperLawyers.com, recognizing their excellence in the field and their commitment to the profession.
Although there isn’t a specific certification or achievement that one must accomplish to become a Super Lawyer, the title of “Super Lawyer” is a good sign that you’re getting one of the best possible attorneys to work on your case. Why?
In order to be crowned a Super Lawyer, an attorney must be first nominated by their peers. I don’t know if you’ve met many lawyers, but they can get pretty competitive, so the endorsement of an attorney by their peers (and competitors) speaks volumes about an attorney’s abilities and character.
Basically, when you’re looking for an attorney, you’re looking for anything that signals the credibility and past achievements of the attorneys that you have yet to meet. A Super Lawyers designation is another signal for quality, along with board certifications, notable victories, and client testimonials.
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that Mark Thiessen is a 10-time Texas Super Lawyer, 6-time Top 100 Super Lawyers in Houston, and 4-time Top 100 Super Lawyers in all of Texas. For the past three years, Mark has been the only DWI lawyer listed in the Top 100 in Houston and one of two criminal Super Lawyers listed in the Top 100 Lawyers in Texas.
Can you get a DWI dismissed in Texas?
If you’re wondering how to get a DWI dismissed in Texas, a better question would be how do you win a DWI case in Texas? You can get a DWI dismissed in Texas, although it definitely isn’t easy. The circumstances will depend entirely on each individual case and the tenacity of your DWI lawyer. Some scenarios that can lead to your DWI case being dismissed in Texas include:
- Lack of probable cause or reasonable suspicion. If the police had no reason to stop or arrest you in the first place, evidence collected in such a traffic stop might be considered inadmissible.
- Your blood or breath tests weren’t handled correctly. Calling into question the validity of breath tests is an incredibly powerful tool in the toolbox of any good DWI lawyer, but it isn’t always easy. In order to question the validity of blood and breath tests, your attorney will need to know the law and the science surrounding intoxication like the back of their hand.
- Improper procedure or break from protocol. Police protocol is very specific when it comes to stopping, arresting, testing, or collecting evidence of any kind — and police officers aren’t always sticklers about the rules.
- The evidence doesn’t add up. If you appear to be perfectly pleasant on camera, from minding your Ps and Qs to doing well on standardized sobriety tests, it becomes possible to question the credibility of the officer’s claims.
Again, each case is unique, and opportunities to get a dismissal require an experienced and aggressive DWI lawyer to take advantage of. Make sure you hire a lawyer that knows the science behind toxicology as well as they know Texas law and you’ll have a better shot at getting your DWI in Texas dismissed.
Continue reading: How to beat a DWI case in Texas
How much is a DWI in Houston?
DWI consequences are steep, and the cost is always high, but the true cost of a DWI in Texas extends far beyond just the financial implications. To start, the following are the initial criminal fines for DWI in Texas:
- Up to $2,000 for DWI first offense
- Up to $4,000 for DWI second offense
- Up to $10,000 for DWI third or fourth offense
- Up to $10,000 for DWI with a child passenger
- Up to $10,000 for intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter
The initial criminal fines are not the only fines you will be made to pay, however, because the Texas Department of Transportation levies license surcharges on those convicted of DWI. They are listed as follows:
- $1,000 a year for three years ($3,000 total) for first-offense DWIs
- $1,500 a year for three years ($4,500 total) for second and subsequent offense DWIs
- $2,000 a year for three years ($6,000 total) for DWIs with children in the car
The most lasting consequences of a DWI in Texas are often the non-financial implications, which include but are not limited to:
- More fines, surcharges, court costs, and lawyer fees
- Jail or prison time
- The cost of bail
- License suspensions and reinstatement fees
- Costs associated with SCRAM devices and ignition interlock devices
- Alcohol education classes or intervention programs
- SR-22 costs
- Auto insurance premium increases
- Damage to your work, family, and reputation
- The loss of rights for felony DWI
How much does a DWI cost in Texas? DWIs are very, very expensive, and while hiring a lawyer might be the last thing you want to spend more money on, your Houston DWI attorney may be the only thing standing between you and a conviction.
DWI case you can’t lose? Call Houston DWI Specialist Mark Thiessen!
So, what is the difference between a Houston DWI lawyer and a Houston DWI specialist? Working with a DWI Specialist can be the difference between a Not Guilty verdict and a conviction.
If you’re facing a DWI charge in Texas, then you need the best DWI lawyer in Texas to make sure you walk away with your freedom. Success means the building of a meticulous defense and the use of a deep well of knowledge and experience.
Mark Thiessen is a quadruple board certified Houston DWI Specialist that wins cases — he has even tried and won multiple intoxication manslaughter cases, a rare feat. Don’t trust the attorneys that tell you they’re the best on a billboard or a bus bench, trust the DWI attorneys who can prove that they win DWI cases.
Call the Houston DWI attorneys at Thiessen Law Firm at (713) 864-9000 or contact us online today for a free consultation.