DISCLAIMER: This is a fictional story partially based on past clientsâ€™ experiences going through a DWI case in Harris County, Texas.
The last time we were here I was seeing a pretrial officer about my supervision, which included getting a monitoring device installed on my vehicle, and waiting for that important phone call from the attorney.
The call finally came. I answered it and it was the receptionist from the attorney’s office. My eyes lit up. She asked if I could come in to the office the next day. Nothing could have kept me from making that appointment, so without any hesitation or thought about other plans, I said yes.
The next day I was up bright and early, looking forward to meeting my attorney. I say “my attorney,” but there was a chance that it wouldn’t work out. What if I didn’t like him? What if he was too expensive? My only hope was the personal reference I received from my good friend. Regardless, I had a good feeling about the upcoming meeting.
I showed up to the office and filled out some paperwork. Soon after, the attorney called me into his office. He had read what I put down on paper and looked over the court documents, but he wanted to hear from me. I explained what happened that night, and how I felt that it all came down to me refusing to blow and the stupid mistake of me not turning on my headlights. I mentioned I didn’t blow into a breathalyzer or give blood, and he quickly noted that the cop was a rookie, which could help our case. He also told me about his background working for former prosecutors before he started his own practice, and about how proud he was for always fighting against the government.
Everything he said came out with pure confidence, which made me feel even more comfortable about putting my future in his hands. Eventually we discussed price, and it was certainly reasonable considering his experience. Of course, he followed that by asking one final question, “Would you like to hire me? If not, I can help you find an attorney that is right for…” I stopped him right there. â€œI want to hire you. I’m 100% sure,â€ I said.
After I signed the contract and made my payment, he gave me his personal cell phone number. He also told me not to worry about any of the first few court dates that would be coming up. He would be there for every setting representing me in court. He emphasized the importance of not drinking and driving, or doing anything else to give the judge a reason to flag my case.
Even though I had an attorney, there was no guarantee that I would win. He was honest with me about that, but he did guarantee to do his best and work hard for me. Despite not knowing what would happen, after I left his office, I felt like I finally had someone on my side. For the time being, I could go back to living my life with a some adjustments to my normal routine.
The ignition interlock device was the bane of my existence. Every time I got in my car I had to blow into that stupid machine. I had to be extremely careful about what I did before driving. One time I ate some pizza and used mouthwash before starting the car, and it said I had a violation! I couldnâ€™t believe it, but I remembered what my lawyer told meâ€”rinse your mouth out with water and wait 15 minutes. Thankfully, it cleared the next time I blew, but you can imagine how scared I was thinking I was going back to jail for a slice of pepperoni and mushrooms. The worst part of having the ignition interlock was the embarrassment of doing it in front of friends.
As bad as it seemed dealing with the machine in my car, at least I could drive, and I wouldnâ€™t have been able to do that without my lawyer. You see I completely misunderstood the officer when he read that paper before I refused to give a breath test. I thought that my license was suspended right away. Luckily, I met with the lawyer before it was too late to save it. He explained that as long as we requested a hearing within 15 days of my arrest there was no suspension unless the judge ruled against us down the road.
On the day of the hearing I got a call from my lawyer. He was able to find problems with the rookie copâ€™s paperwork and we won! I was able to keep my license and not have to spend more money to get an occupational driverâ€™s license. That wouldâ€™ve never happened if I hadnâ€™t picked up the phone and set up the appointment with my attorney.
Although I had to dish out a lot of money on the monitoring device, I was able to avoid one of the consequences of getting arrested for DWI, thanks to my lawyer. However, the criminal case was still looming over my head. Stay tuned for more about going to courtâ€¦.