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James Richard Butler
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James Butler’s Answers

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  • In the state of Texas, is an offense considered an arrest or conviction? Two DWI arrest, first lowered.

    Hello, just doing research and a lot seems vague (hence why we have attorneys). I was recently arrested for my second DWI after 9 years and the first one was dropped to obs hwy/deferred. It seems that I am being prosecuted as a second offense bu...

    James’s Answer

    Let's begin with the .18 allegation. In Texas if your test came back .15 or higher, they will file the case as a Class A misdemeanor. You will be required to get an interlock device installed on your vehicle as a condition of bond. If you end up getting probation, you will be required to have an interlock device installed in your car as a condition of probation. It sounds like one of your prior DWI cases did not result in a DWI conviction, therefore you only have one prior DWI conviction for enhancement purposes. If a class B misdemeanor DWI is enhanced with a prior DWI conviction, then it enhances it to a class A misdemeanor - which it sounds like it was already going to be enhanced to. In either case, if it went to trial, the state would have to prove the prior DWI conviction as well as the .15 enhancement allegation. For administrative license revocation purposes, a prior alcohol related contact, such as the DWI arrest that ended without a DWI conviction, can be used to enhance the penalty for either failing or refusing the chemical test. You're looking at up to a two-year license suspension for "failing" or refusing the chemical test. You have a 15 day period from the date of your arrest to contest the ALR suspension. You better get on that quickly. If the prior DWI conviction was within five years of this allegation, then you are looking at up to a two-year drivers license suspension with a one year "hard" suspension, where you will not be able to drive at all. The way the occupational license statute is written, even if you were to get an occupational license from the court, it would not take effect until the first anniversary of the two year suspension - assuming that's what you get. Bottom line – get the best DWI lawyer you can afford. Hope this helps.

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  • How much time will a person do on a 2 year tdc prison term if non violent on a 3rd DWI conviction

    3rd DWI

    James’s Answer

    I will never forget when I first began practicing law in Houston, Texas.. I was in a Harris County felony District Court, and a client asked how much time he would do on a sentence in the Texas Department of Corrections. I not knowing the answer,asked an experienced district clerk who worked in that court. She excused herself, went back into the holdover cell, and asked the inmates who gave her an answer. That spoke volumes to me. As one lawyer mentioned,there is a formula which is subject to variables which one cannot control. I suggest you seek out a parole attorney. They do this every day, and can
    give you the best answer. Hope this helps.

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  • How long until you find something out about a dwi?

    I was arrested on the 26th of September. I still haven't heard anything yet. What am I supposed to do? Will they mail me anything?

    James’s Answer

    Yes, you should receive something from the District Attorney's Office. Some counties like Galveston County, file their cases this way. If I were you, I would go ahead and retain a local attorney, who could look into this for you. If a blood test was done, then they may have been waiting on the results, before filing the case. Retain a local attorney, and they can look into all of that for you. Again, I hope this helps.

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  • Why do I have a class a misdemeanor and not b for a first time offense dwi?

    I was looking at my charges and it said I received a Class A misdemeanor. My friend had a dwi and hers was Class b... This is my first dwi. I've had a minor in consumption but it was expunged from my record and 5 years ago..

    James’s Answer

    My guess is that you gave a breath test or a blood test, and the result was over .15. That would cause the class B misdemeanor to be filed as a class A misdemeanor. Hope this answer helps.

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  • Why do attorney's want to subpoena video/audio/91l at the police station and inside the cop car due to my DWI arrest?

    what could the attorney's be looking for in the audios and videos?

    James’s Answer

    Your attorney is doing their job by reviewing all of the evidence.

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  • I got arrested for a DWI BAC 0.15. can you please explain what I can expect? Am in houston TX

    I am set to appear in court on OCT 17

    James’s Answer

    The first thing you can expect is that the court will require you to get an interlock device on your car. You need to contact an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible, There is a fifteen (15) day time limit to request the ALR hearing - this is the hearing where the lawyer tries to save your license. Sometimes people go to court without a lawyer there first setting, and the case is reset for them to hire a lawyer, and they forget about the hearing request. So please be mindful of that deadline. Most DWI lawyers will give you a free consultation, so I suggest you begin the process of interviewing lawyers now. Make time to meet a couple of them to see which lawyer you feel comfortable with. I hope this information helps.

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  • What are some outcome of a dwi with an open container pre-trial? Is there anyway to avoid jail time

    Trying to keep my 2 jobs

    James’s Answer

    Pre-trial means you want a resolution before trial. That means plea bargain. You are concerned about the 6 days in jail if it's found you were DWI and had an open container of alcohol in your possession. That can be negotiated away if you do a straight plea. If you do probation, the 6 days is probated- that means you don't actually serve the days. Hope this helps.

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  • Plead guilty to DWI and have an occupational license for 1 year and Interlock for 6 months, but not on probation.

    what happens when I fail the Interlock?

    James’s Answer

    Sounds to me like your lawyer foresaw the potential for problems and steered you toward a straight plea instead of probation. Now, instead of facing jail time, modification of your probation, or extension of the term of probation, you are only looking at the revocation of your occupational license. I know that is still a serious penalty, but it's not jail time. Of course, this all assumes that you actually were in violation of the interlock agreement by having a detectable amount of alcohol in your system. As you well know,there are numerous substances which contain alcohol and will cause a violation. It is imperative that you follow all the directions the interlock company gave you. Good luck.

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  • Okay I was arrested six months ago for dwi 3 rd. just last week the case was filed I know it was suppose to grand jury. I assu

    Assume it did but the charge reduced to dwi 2nd. Can they refile and change to 3 again ? Court date not set yet

    James’s Answer

    The short answer is yes they can. I would need to know more about your prior DWI convictions including whether those cases were probated and what year they were in. Were they prior to 1983? And if so were they probated? Also, of those prior convictions, were you informed that you had the right to a jury trial and did you knowingly wave that right? These are some of the things we look at when there are prior DWI convictions on a person's record, especially when those cases were prior to 1983. A probation for DWI in 1983, was not considered a final conviction for purposes of enhancement. It is not uncommon for the state to file the case as a DWI 2nd and dismiss at a later point in time when they are sure that they can refile as a felony. You need to hire the best DWI defense lawyer you can find right now, and have them go in and attack this case while it is still a misdemeanor. The sooner the better. I wish you the best.

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  • Do i need to hire a lawyer to get my smart start home unit dismissed?

    Ive been in a smart start home unit for 10 months now. I just started a new job with crazy hours being thrown at me, so its impossible to keep up with the unit. They gave me 20 months of probation for a first time DWI plus classes and community se...

    James’s Answer

    Let me first say that I practice DWI defense in Harris County Texas, so my answer will be limited to my knowledge of what they would do in Houston Texas. SmartStart should have a portable device available to you. Perhaps the judge would substitute that in place of the in-home unit. When they do this,they usually put you on what is called a blow schedule. What that means is they have you blow into the portable device morning afternoon and evening. I also know there is a device called sober link, I'm not sure if that is the SmartStart device, but it could be. I know that the Sober Link device is about the size of a large cell phone, which makes it attractive for those who work in an office environment. As far as needing a lawyer -you might be able to just have your probation officer email the court and ask if you can switch devices. That would be the first thing I would do. Good luck.

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