Ellis County DWI / DUI Lawyer
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Ellis County DWI Lawyer

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WARNING: Texas law only provides 15 days to request a hearing to fight your driver's license suspension upon a DWI arrest. If you do nothing, the State of Texas will assume that you consent to the suspension, and your driver's license will automatically be suspended in 40 days. We can delay, or possibly prevent, this suspension.

Do you need a DWI / DUI Lawyer in Ellis County, Texas?
DWI, DUI, Drunk Driving FAQ

Over the recent years, Texas has become harder and harder on those arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Not only do you face spending 6 months of your life in a jail, such as the Ellis County if convicted of the criminal offense of DWI. Aside from facing 180 days in a county jail for a first time DWI conviction, if arrested for DWI you face a $2,000 fine for your first offense.

However, it does not stop here if you have been arrested for a DWI in Ellis County, Texas....

You will also face $3,000 in DPS surcharges to get your driver's license active again.

Does getting a DWI conviction in Ellis County mean that you are automatically going to jail? NO!

Danny Freisner has successfully defended individuals arrested for DWI in Ellis County. Of those, the majority of his clients never spent another day in jail after they bonded out of the Ellis County Jail. A number of clients have no probation after being represented for a DWI by Danny Freisner.

And those that have taken their case to a jury trial for DWI have never been found guilty of DWI. In other words, Danny Freisner has NEVER lost a DWI jury trial, this includes both felony DWI charges and misdemeanor DWI charges.

If you are arrested for a DWI, you need to hire an experienced DWI attorney quickly due to individuals arrested for a DWI in Ellis County are not given complete access to the Ellis County District Attorney's file due to the "closed file" policy the DA's office has, and continues, to maintain. As a result, requesting an ALR hearing is normally critical in obtaining information to defend a DWI case in Ellis County, Texas.

If you would like to speak with Danny Freisner regarding your DWI arrest in Ellis County, he can be contacted directly at (972) 923-1899 or via the contact form.

Do I need a lawyer for your DWI in Ellis County, Texas?

Believe it or not, that's a question I'm often asked, and it brings me back to an old saying in the legal community, which is this..."He who represents himself has a fool for a client"

Most people realize that a DWI arrest in Ellis County is not the same as receiving a regular traffic citation. First, most DWI arrest in Waxahachie, or anywhere else in Ellis County, are normally going to result in you immediately going to jail. Second, you face up to 6 months in the Ellis County Jail for a 1st time DWI arrest in Ellis County. Third, the laws and navigation of a DWI case, especially in Ellis County where a closed file policy is still maintained, makes Driving While Intoxicated cases a highly technical area of the law in most DWI criminal defense lawyers' opinion. Finally, if you represent yourself in Ellis County for a DWI then you run the risk of being ran rough shot by the prosecutor.

So, do you need an Ellis County DWI lawyer?

Everyone has the right to represent themselves, but just because someone you know received probation for a DWI does not mean you will. And even if you receive probation for a DWI in Ellis County, there still might be some very unpleasant surprises still to come.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Attorney
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form

IMPORTANT NOTE: Texas law provides only 15 days from the date that notice of suspension was received by you (almost always at the time of the DWI arrest) for your Ellis County DWI lawyer to request your license not be automatically suspended and to help save your driver's license. This is why it is so important to consult with a DWI lawyer shortly after your arrest.

One of the first things I do as a DWI lawyer in Ellis County is file a request for an administrative judge to review the suspension of your driver's license after a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) arrest (commonly known as an ALR request).


The Ellis County DA's office maintains a closed file policy system, which means that your criminal defense lawyer is not allowed to receive a copy of vital information to help defend your case, such as the police report (yes, it's actually Texas law).

One way I circumvent the DA's closed file policy is to request what is known as an ALR hearing. This hearing provides several advantages for those arrested for a DWI.

One of the advantages is that it forces DPS to provide a sworn report from the arresting officer about the facts and circumstances surrounding the DWI arrest. This can prove beneficial to some cases.

For example, I was defending a DWI where my client came to me in time to get the ALR filed in time (remember you only have 15 days). While I was preparing for the hearing I noticed something odd. In one portion of the report it listed my client's driver's license number and name correctly. However, on the next page it listed completely different information. It was clear that the arresting officer had "cut and paste" sections of the report together. When I pointed this out to the judge, he ruled in my favor and ordered DPS to allow my client to keep the driver's license. Moreover, I was later able to get the entire DWI case dismissed based on the sworn information the arresting officer had provided.

The point is that I think many criminal defense lawyers that do not practice heavily in the area of DWI defense often dismiss the ALR hearing, and in my opinion, it is a huge mistake.

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Ellis County, Texas it may serve you well to pick up the phone to speak with our office. You can also send an me an email through our Contact Page.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Lawyer
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form


What can a knowledgeable DWI lawyer do for you after being arrested for DWI in Ellis County, Texas?

The short answer is a lot!

For example, a knowledgeable DWI attorney in Ellis County can assist a person arrested and taken to the Ellis County Jail in Waxahachie, Texas in posting bail or seeking a bond reduction.

Also, a DWI defense lawyer can deter the police from violating your rights either intentionally or negligently.

Another common benefit to hiring a DWI lawyer for an Ellis County arrest is to fight against the automatic driver's license suspension that occurs after being arrested for a DWI. However, this must be done quickly or DPS will assume you consent to the forfeiture of your driver's license. Regardless of whether you wish to fight the driver's license suspension resulting from the DWI arrest (not from a conviction...just from the arrest), contesting the driver's license suspension can provide valuable insight and discovery into your DWI case that you might over wise not be entitled to.

For example, if you were arrested for a DWI in Waxahachie, Texas. The Ellis County District Attorney's office will not provide your criminal defense attorney with a copy the offense report, because the Ellis County DA has what is called a "closed file" policy. This essentially means that the attorney prosecuting your DWI for the State of Texas does not have to turn over the report. HOWEVER, by challenging the driver's license suspension timely and making a proper request for the discovery, the State of Texas is forced to turn over vital documents, such as the police report. In short, it is one of the view times a criminal defense attorney can bypass the Ellis County DA's closed file policy.

The DWI report will often yield valuable information in helping defend your DWI case in Ellis County.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Lawyer
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form

If you are arrested for a DWI in Ellis County, Texas it can be a confusing time in your life. One of the best things you can do is get advice from an experienced DWI attorney in Ellis County, Texas.

The first thing you need to consider after being arrested for a DWI in Ellis County is to seek a lawyer experienced in DWI representing persons on that charge that practices often in Ellis County, Texas.

Why retain a DWI lawyer in Ellis County?

Local attorneys tend to be more familiar with what lawyers call the "local rules." In some areas, these rules are written; however, in some courts local rules are only known through practicing in a particular DWI court. In Ellis County, Texas the local rules tend to be a mix with the majority of rules being contained in Standing Pretrial Orders.

Second, if you are arrested for a DWI you want the best DWI lawyer in Ellis County. To say someone is the "best" lawyer is always subjective. However, there are ways you can find out if a lawyer is right for you and your particular case.

- Ask about the lawyers experience in DWI cases;
- Ask about the experience of the DWI lawyer in jury trials (do you want someone that has never won a DWI case?);
- Are you comfortable with the attorney?

Often the best DWI attorney for you is going to be the lawyer that has experience, plus you are comfortable with when speaking about your arrest and case.

If you are arrested for a DWI, the best practice is to call an experienced DWI attorney and ask questions.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Attorney
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form

The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) are a series of tests used by law enforcement officers to attempt to establish probable cause for arresting a person for DWI.

The tests include three parts and are often done on the side of the road, which are the:

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) – this is a test where the officer uses an object (i.e. a pen or pencil) and has the person follow it with their eyes. The officer is basically looking for certain movements of the eyes, such as jerking, which are marked as “clues” of intoxication;

Walk-And-Turn (WAT) – this is a test where the officer instructs the person suspected of being intoxicated to walk a certain number of steps down then take three small steps in turning, and then walk back. As the person does the test the officer tries to observe “clues;”

One-Leg-Stand (OLS) – this is a test where the officer instructs the person to stand on one leg in a certain manner and is told to start counting. The officer administering the test does not tell the person taking the test how long he will have to count (hint: the officer is counting to 30 seconds).

These tests are said to be reliable to a certain degree when they are administered in a “standardized” manner, which means they must be done a certain way each and every time to even be considered valid.

The problem is that it appears there is nothing “standard” in the way SFSTs are administered.

In my entire practice of defending persons accused of DWI (or drunk driving), I have seen only one officer perform these tests correctly in Ellis County, Texas. It was a Waxahachie Police Officer, and he conducted the tests without a flaw. Now, consider that I have defended hundreds, if not thousands, of people in DWI cases and you can see how big of a problem exists.

I see Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers incorrectly give these tests all the time. This is alarming when considering the vast majority of SFST appear to be performed by State Troopers.

The problem is compounded even more when the arresting officer will not acknowledge he made a mistake. I once had to spend about 4 ½ hours in cross-examination with a DPS Trooper until he would admit that he did one of the tests incorrectly and the results of his conclusion were invalid.

It was a huge waste of time, and at the end of the day he looked at the jury and told them to disregard the test, which is what I had asked him to do within my first couple of questions in the cross-examination.

Not only had the officer’s credibility been severely damaged before the jury, but the basis of what he formed his opinion of “intoxication” was more or less thrown out the window.

Point being, just because the officer said you failed the Field Sobriety Tests does not make it so.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Lawyer
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form

Texas drivers need to remember if they have any open containers of alcohol (beer, liquor, wine, etc) in the car or truck with them. Why?

I know a lot of people in Ellis County that bring their own beer or alcohol for weekend trips.

Just remember….

When you get ready to leave it’s probably a good idea to throw that open bottle of whisky that was sipped on at the ranch into the bed of the truck out of plain view site (for example, put it in a bag or cooler).

It is probably going to make for a bad day if you get pulled over by a Trooper, or the local police, with that open bottle of whisky.

A lot of the major interstates in Texas run through Ellis County. For example, Interstate (I-35) runs through Milford, Italy, Waxahachie, and Red Oak, and Interstate 45 (I-45) runs through Ennis, Palmer, and Ferris. Also, Ellis County has Hwy 67, which runs through Midlothian, Texas. These roads seem to be full of Texas State Troopers and local police (mainly DPS Troopers).

As of now, a ticket for an Open Container (any type of alcohol) should get you a Class C misdemeanor ticket.

The fine for a Class C cannot exceed $500 in Texas.

However, that open beer bottle sitting out in the open will most likely give the officer reason to start asking questions about drinking and driving. This may result in an investigation for drunk driving (i.e. Field Sobriety Tests), which could lead to an arrest for DWI.

In Texas, a first time Driving While Intoxicated Charge could land you in jail for up to 6 months, plus a maximum fine of $2,000.00.

So, play it safe! And don’t have an open container of any type of alcohol inside the vehicle with you.

If you find yourself with a DWI resulting from having an open container then you need to contact an attorney as quickly as possible, because the 15 day ALR hearing clock usually starts to tick in Texas at the time you were arrested.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Lawyer
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form

It appears to me that felony DWI arrest in Ellis County are on the rise lately, especially in the area of DWI and Endangering a Child (hence, a special brand of felony DWI).

I normally encounter two types of felony DWI charges. The first being where someone has been convicted of two (2) prior DWIs, and the second type is a DWI with a child passenger charge.

Maybe it's just me, but within the last month, I have seen what appears to be a sharp increase in the number of people charged with felony DWI on their first charge by virtue of having a child in the car with them.

Now, I understand there will be some that say, if you drink and drive period you should go to jail. Granted, you can think that if you wish. However, that's not the law in Texas, because a person is not guilty of a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) unless it is proved beyond a reasonable doubt that they were "intoxicated."

And the officer arresting for DWI cannot make the legal finding that ANY PERSON was intoxicated. So, I think we can agree that the officer is arresting on opinion only that he has probable cause for a DWI arrest.

So, here's how this can turn really bad for the average person:

Let's say you are out having dinner with some friends, and everyone brings their kids. You have a beer or two with your dinner. After a good dinner with your friends you leave.

As you are getting into your car (SUV for most of my friends), you load the kid(s) into the car and head home. While you're having a talk about how important junior's grades are in respect to getting accepted into a solid college, you get pulled over. The DPS Trooper, or police officer, thinks he has probable cause to arrest you for DWI (doesn't mean you were intoxicated...it does mean that you just got arrested and will be fighting this out later).

However, when you get to the jail you get an unpleasant surprise... which is,"you are being charged with a felony!"

How did it happen?

Well, the officer is most likely using the fact that you had your child in the car to bump you up to felony status. Now, you have moved out of the normal, "I got a DWI" category and found yourself with a whole new crowd in my opinion.

With the felony comes a whole host of problems, which include losing your right to vote, your right to have a gun, etc. Not to mention now your lawyer is going to have to fight a felony DWI, which brings its own challenges.

So, here's my point.

Given what I believe to be a recent rise in this area of DWI arrests, I think the it may be on law enforcement's "radar screen" (it seems some criminal charges go in and out of favor...that may not be the case, but it seems this way by looking at how the cases come into my office). Considering this....

If you have a kid with you (your kid or someone else's) just don't drink and drive.

It's easier to avoid the arrest than to fight it felony court.

If you do find yourself in this position, then you need to contact an attorney ASAP. The reason being is that you normally have 15 days in Texas to request an Administrative Law Review (ALR) Hearing, which is the government's first attempt at suspending your license. If you miss the ALR deadline then you lose it.

Given that Ellis County has a "closed file" policy (which means your criminal defense attorney can't walk into the Ellis County District Attorney's office and review documents in your file, such as the police officer's report...yes, this is crazy and makes no sense), the information from the ALR hearing can give your lawyer valuable insight into the case.

Danny Freisner,
Ellis County DWI Lawyer
(972) 923-1899
Contact Form

By Danny Freisner, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Published in Living Magazine September-October 2006 Edition

Picture this....

Your day started at 5:00AM this morning, so that you could finish that important project at work. And hey, you did it…congratulations on a job well done! But wait, your schedule still shows that you have a dinner meeting with a potential client at 7:30PM, so you head for the restaurant. You talk business and enjoy a glass of white wine with your meal. As the waiter starts to fill your water glass, he knocks your wine glass into your lap, which was half-full. The waiter quickly gets you another glass of wine and a towel. You’re not happy, but at least it was white wine. Your meeting ends around 10:00PM, and you get into your car heading towards home. You are exhausted from a full day.

Suddenly, your cell phone rings and you start fumbling around for it in your pocket (or purse). While you’re trying to fish out the phone, you swerve into the next lane a couple of times, and then a flash in your rearview mirror catches your eye. It’s a police officer pulling you over. As he walks up to the car, he notices your eyes are red and says he smells a strong odor of alcohol. He then asks if you have been drinking and to please step out of your car. You’re not drunk, so you have nothing to worry about…right? You try explaining what happened. As you are talking the officer is looking for signs of “intoxication,” which are often things people just do sometimes (i.e. have a hard time getting a driver’s license out of your wallet). The officer asks you to take a few tests after giving you a quick set of instructions. You want to seem agreeable, so you say you understand what you are supposed to do. Afterward doing some field tests, the officer says he believes you are intoxicated, and places you under arrest while you watch your car being towed.

What? No problem, because the officer tells you that when you get to the jail you will be offered a breath test to prove you’re not intoxicated. You take the breath test, and you are told you are under arrest for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Did you pass the breath test? Well, you might have passed the breath test and still you are arrested for DWI.

Don’t think it could happen to you? Think again! The scene described above happens in various forms everyday across Texas. I am not saying all DWI arrests are bogus, but I am saying that based under our current system it is possible for a person to be charged with a DWI despite not being intoxicated, even after the person passed the breath test taken at the jail.

So, how did you pass the breath test and still find yourself arrested for DWI?

Well, the officer probably did not tell you that he can arrest you for one of two reasons. The first would be if you blew above the legal limit. The second is if, in his opinion, you did not have the normal use of your mental or physical faculties by introduction of alcohol into your body while you were driving. Notice what I said, “in his opinion.”

In Texas, a first time DWI conviction carries up to six (6) months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000.00 dollars. In addition, you face two driver’s license suspensions. The first is an administrative suspension and the second is upon a conviction for DWI. In addition to the above, you will pay $3,000.00 dollars in Department of Public Safety “surcharges” if convicted. You also will have attorney fees, bond fees, and court costs.

Okay, so what is a person to do?

The answer is not always easy. First, as I suggest on my website at www.txcriminaldefense.com always be polite to the officer. Second, remember everything you say, and do, is most likely being filmed. Third, you are going to have to make a tough decision…do you take the tests or respectfully refuse all or part of the tests you are offered? Although the officer might let you go if you pass the field sobriety test, you still run the risk of being arrested for DWI.

Is it true that you may lose your license if you don’t take the breath test?

Yes, but you are going to risk losing your license anyway if the officer believes you did not have control of your mental or physical faculties by reason of alcohol or the breath test results come back above the limit, plus you have just given evidence that will be used against you.

If you refuse to take the breath test then you can still request a hearing be held on the administrative driver’s license suspension within 15 days from the date of suspension. If you fail to request the hearing then your license is automatically suspended. You also maintain all your constitutional rights to a jury trial. If you are arrested for DWI then you have nothing to lose by requesting the administrative hearing and valuable insight into the case is often gained. Plus, you just might win the hearing and keep your driver’s license.

Danny Freisner is an attorney practicing criminal defense throughout the State of Texas with his principle office located in downtown Waxahachie, Texas. He is a member of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Ellis County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and has a broad range of education beyond law school, including the “Top Gun DWI” seminar held by TCDLA.

You can reach him at (972) 923-1899 or his Contact Form.

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If you would like to speak with our law firm regarding a legal matter you have, we encourage you to contact us by phone at (972) 923-1899 or send us a message.