DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional story partially based on past clients’ experiences going through a DWI case in Harris County, Texas.

Last time we talked I was getting my car out of impound for over $200. Even though I drove it out of the lot, I wasn’t ”supposed” to be driving until I got something called an ignition interlock device installed on my vehicle to make sure I couldn’t operate it with alcohol on my breath. Either way, it felt good to get my car out of impound. My life seemed like such a mess but this was a tiny glimmer of normalcy.

A friend of mine told me about a Houston DWI attorney that was known for working for hard for his clients and getting good results. My friend knew a couple bartenders and waiters that had used him and got their cases dismissed. This caught my attention. Surely if this attorney could help a younger industry crowd, he could help an older married guy such as myself. I was persistent on getting his information and called the next day.

His assistant answered the phone and had several questions for me. I was kind of hoping to reach the attorney right away, but he was busy in court. She said she would pass on the information, and have him get back to me as soon as possible. This return phone call couldn’t happen soon enough. While I waited for what seemed like the most important phone call of my life, I had to go visit an officer with Pretrial Services to go over my bond conditions.  What I didn’t know was that I was about to be on what seemed like probation before I was found guilty of anything.

The officer was laid back and didn’t treat me like a criminal. I guess he figured I wasn’t a complete idiot but just someone who made a mistake. He emphasized the importance of the ignition interlock device. If I somehow managed to screw that up, and have alcohol on my breath while trying to start my car, he would find out about it. That could lead to the judge revoking my bond. He also mentioned I would be paying him $40 a month to monitor the device, and the company providing the device would be charging me approximately $80 a month on top of the $125 to get it installed. More money wasted.

The fact that he treated me like he knew I wouldn’t screw something up again, had me leaving the office feeling strangely positive. Like I could beat what lie ahead of me. Now all I needed was a call back from that attorney. It had only been a few hours but it seemed like days. I wouldn’t be able to relax until I spoke to an attorney and had representation. Next up, the attorney and the interlock, my reason to never want to drive again.