James R. Makin Law Firm

May 5, 2009
Client had wreck; DPS administered field sobriety test; Client failed and was arrested.
Jury Verdict - NOT GUILTY

May 7, 2009
Late night stop after following good distance; field sobriety test administered in bar parking lot; client arrested; testimony showed client incapable of doing field sobriety test.
Jury Verdict - NOT GUILTY

May 29, 2009
Typical DWI; bad driving, smell of alcohol, slurred speech, unsteady; failed field sobriety test; client arrested; client testimony very believable.
Jury Verdict - NOT GUILTY

July 15, 2009
Client drove/slid into ditch in front of his home; DPS administered field sobriety test 1 hour after accident; client failed field sobriety test; okay on video; blood sample taken 2 hours after accident showed intoxication. Questioned if the client was intoxicated at time of driving. Marijuana and pills found on client when arrested; testimony addressed all issues.
Jury Verdict - NOT GUILTY

State of Texas vs. R. Pinchback
DWI
There was no video taken of the traffic stop and the client consented to the breath test and blew a .277 and .276. Client faced loss of a 24-year career as well as six months in jail. At trial, jurors felt that the intoxilyzer results were questionable, due to the assumptions the machine makes in its calculations. Client was found NOT GUILTY.

#182274; State of Texas vs. J. Bankston
DWI
Client consented to the breath test and blew a .14 and .15. Client faced prohibitive increases in his companys insurance premiums besides the criminal penalties. The case was tried before a jury, who heard expert testimony regarding the inaccuracies of the machine. Client was found NOT GUILTY.

    The presence of minors in your vehicle during the alleged commission of a DWI offense elevates the charge to a State Jail Felony, punishable as a felony, with a range of 180 days to two years in the state jail.

    DWI is an opinion crime. At first it is the opinion of the officer, but, ultimately, it is the opinion of the jury. This is the reason everything is important and cannot be taken for granted. To assume that the breathalyzer machine is accurate and infallible is to surrender to the government and subject yourself to needless sanctions that could be avoidable with hard work, preparation and a good attorney.

    I've been a member of the National College of Driving Under Influence Defense since 2005 and graduated from Harvard University. This organization is dedicated to educating attorneys so that they may better represent citizens accused of DWI. The seminars, materials and networking are invaluable tools in representing my clients. This knowledge has been a major factor in numerous not guilty verdicts.

DWI Timetable
    A DWI must be handled by an attorney on two fronts; 1) the criminal court action against you; and 2) your license to drive.

CRIMINAL COURT

Arraignment - First time to appear in court after being arrested. In Jefferson County, you only need to appear if you do not have an attorney to appear in your place. In other counties, you must appear with or without an attorney. Depending on when your case is filed or when you are indicted, this is normally a month to six weeks after indictment.

Announcement - You must have an attorney to appear in your place. At this hearing it is decided whether your case will be handled with a plea bargain or a trial. This normally is 60-90 days after the arraignment. In most cases, you will have to appear at this setting.

LICENSE TO DRIVE

At the time of your arrest, you were given a temporary license by the officer. That is your license to drive. We recommend you go to the DPS office and obtain a photo ID ($10) for identification purposes. Your license is still valid for 40 days from the date of your arrest, unless you request an ALR hearing.

Administrative License Review - An ALR hearing must be requested within 15 days from the date of your arrest. If no hearing is requested, your license is automatically suspended 40 days after your arrest. If a hearing is requested, the 40 days no longer applies and you may continue driving with the temporary license until you receive the decision of the ALR. If you are not able to hire an attorney within that 15 days, you may request the hearing yourself.

Download the ALR Request Form

The ALR hearing process also allows an attorney to request copies of various records and reports to be used against you at the hearing and to subpoena the arresting officer to appear and testify at the hearing. In Jefferson County, ALR hearings are always held on Monday at the Office of the Justice of the Peace PCT 1-1. The hearing will be 30-45 days after your arrest, or as soon as it can be scheduled. If you hire an attorney, he will handle that hearing and you do not have to attend.

In 95% of the cases, the officer will show up and your license will be suspended. You need to be prepared for this eventuality.

After the decision of the ALR has been received and your license is suspended, you may qualify for an Occupational License. This is done through the courts and must have a Judges approval. It also requires the purchase of a special insurance policy called a SR-22.

If you have a CDL (commercial drivers license) a DWI affects your license differently and must be handled appropriately. If you have a CDL you are not eligible for an CDL-Occupational Drivers License. However, you may be eligible for an Operators-Occupational Drivers License.

With an accident there are many problems that need to be considered and addressed immediately. (insurance adjusters, statements, etc.)

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James R. Makin is a member of the, Greater Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, and an Accredited Member of The Better Business Bureau.