DWI and DUI arrests seem to be on the increase in Houston, Galveston and the surrounding areas of Texas. The police utilize a number of increased enforcement procedures including saturation patrols and DWI sobriety checkpoints. Many people that have never been arrested may find that they are facing DWI charges following a DUI arrest at or near spring break, New Year's Eve, or other holidays. Most people are aware of the immediate adverse consequences of a DWI conviction in Harris or Galveston counties including incarceration in county jail or state prison, fines and assessments, loss of driving privileges or installation of ignition interlock, alcohol classes, counseling, probation and other penalties.
However, some people do not realize that long after the impact of these immediate consequences of a DWI conviction, there are many long-term consequences. A DWI conviction can have a serious impact on one's future. For example, a DWI conviction can have negative consequences on one's career by creating barriers to educational an occupational opportunities. Even a first time DWI offense by someone with no other criminal record can have an enormous impact on one's future ability to obtain certain jobs and limit one's earning potential.
A DUI conviction can limit educational opportunities in a number of ways. Texas DWI convictions can be a complete bar to certain types of educational opportunities. Some graduate schools, including law schools, may deny access to students with DWI convictions. Most college and university applications require disclosure of any criminal convictions. A DWI conviction can hurt one's chances of being accepted for admission. Financial aid may also be negatively impacted by a DUI conviction particularly a DUI involving the use of unlawful narcotics.
A DWI conviction may also limit your career options beyond its impact on educational opportunities. Many occupations that involve professional or state licensing or certification may disqualify a potential job applicant. A DWI conviction is a misdemeanor or felony depending on the specific circumstances of your situation and history so it becomes part of your criminal record. Employers are increasingly conducting criminal background checks before hiring an employee so prospective employers may discover your DUI. This can be embarrassing and may play a factor in a potential employer's hiring decision.
Of course, the negative consequences of a DWI conviction go beyond educational and career opportunities. Anyone convicted of DWI may also face deportation, barriers to eligibility for citizenship and other adverse immigration effects. Because your DWI conviction is a matter of public record, anyone that runs a criminal background or public records check may discover your Texas DWI conviction including potential landlords, volunteer organizations or someone you enter into a dating relationship with.
The enormous long-term adverse consequences of a DWI conviction can haunt you for years. Fortunately, there is a vast difference between a DWI arrest and a DWI conviction. Experienced Houston/Galveston DWI lawyer Lori Laird is a former police officer with intimate knowledge of mistakes made by police officers and weaknesses in a prosecutor's DWI case. Ms. Laird analyzes your entire DWI case beginning from the initial stop to identify the strongest potential Houston or Galveston DWI defense strategy. Ms. Laird's goal is to obtain a dismissal of charges or acquittal after trial. If this is not an option, she often is able to obtain a reduction in charges to avoid the harsh and lingering consequences of a DWI conviction.