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DO YOU NEED HELP WITH YOUR TEXAS DWI?

More about Mimi Coffey

When people look for a Top DWI Attorney or Best DWI Attorney, they look for experience, certification, and respect in the legal community. Mimi Coffey is a nationally-renowned trial attorney, board-certified in DWI by the NCDD. She has been practicing for over 24 years and is an author of multiple DWI Defense textbooks. She is also a national and state-wide lecturer on the law.

 

The Coffey Firm handles a wide variety of cases, including Unlawful Carrying Weapon (UCW), Assault (including family violence), and Possession charges. We can also help you try to seal your record or avoid probation revocation.

 

Mimi is also listed on several “top criminal lawyer near me” directory listings such as DWI Lawyers for Wise County, DWI Lawyer Tarrant CountyDWI attorney Dallas County, DWI attorneys Collin County and DWI attorneys Parker County. Mimi is a caring DWI Lawyer in DFW, She is also involved in the Texas Tech School of Law foundation and enjoys using the skills she has developed to give back to the community.

Questions About Your Texas DWI (Mimi's Fireside Chats)

I received a DWI in Arlington. Do I need to hire a lawyer who does DWI in Arlington?
The Coffey Firm DWI attorney Dallas Fort Worth

The Coffey Firm DWI attorney Dallas Fort Worth

When you get arrested for a DWI in Texas, the case is prosecuted in the county, not the city. For example, if you get arrested in North Richland Hills, it will be prosecuted in Tarrant County. Similarly, a McKinney arrest will be prosecuted in Collin County. However, there are several cities that cross multiple county lines. For example, if you get a DWI in Carrolton, you may be prosecuted in Denton, Dallas or Collin County depending on where in the city the offense was committed. It is critical that the offense is prosecuted where it was committed. A police officer can see you driving in Dallas County and arrest you there, even though he may be a Fort Worth cop. Similarly, for DWIs, a police officer may arrest you outside of their jurisdiction. However, they will normally call a police officer to take over the investigation from that jurisdiction.

 

As for attorneys, I always recommend hiring a lawyer that is familiar with the courts in that county. This can be very beneficial in terms of the lawyer being familiar with how the Judge and county prosecutor operates. Defense lawyers are constantly being asked questions of their clients and asking for mercy from both prosecutors and judges. Credibility and an excellent reputation for integrity go a long way. I personally make it a practice to take cases in jurisdictions that are in North Texas because I live in both Tarrant and Dallas counties and also enjoy going to the adjacent counties. I think it is important for my clients that my reputation precedes me in North Texas. As a result, I will not accept cases outside of this geographical area because, although I have the technical expertise, the lack of familiarity with both the local customs and people within unfamiliar jurisdictions is not something I want my clients to be disadvantaged by.”

Can I get a copy of my police report? Can I get a copy of my Texas DWI videotape?

The short answer is yes and no. You can legally go to the police station and request a police report of your case via open records. However, what you will receive will most likely be a few pages of basic information including the police officer, location and arrest made. All the county and district attorneys’ offices in North Texas disallow the sharing of the police report or discovery. This is a direct violation of discovery rules under “open file” policies. There are law enforcement concerns about keeping sensitive information confidential, for eg. a 911 witness’ home address or contact information. Tex. Code Crim. Proc. art. 39.14(a). Article 39.14(f) prohibits defense counsel from providing a copy of such documents to the defendant (other than the defendant’s own statement). Article 39.14(f) also prohibits defense counsel from disclosing to the defendant certain personal information regarding witnesses.

 

The reality is that going over the police report and discovery in a case is best left to a joint meeting in my office. I always tell my clients, “Once you have read one DWI police report, you have read them all. They are full of ‘typical descriptors.'” Police officers receive training at both the academy and in specialized courses. For example, in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Standard Field Sobriety Course for both practitioner and instructor, participants learn typical descriptors for certain offenses. It has been my experience that much of a police report is not reflective of what actually occurred or was witnessed (eg. slurred speech when the video evidences normal speech). Truth is reality. A police report was written to refresh a police officer’s memory.

 

Texas DWI Video

Going over discovery also includes going over 911 tapes, witness statements, and videos. The most important aspect of going over discovery is to go over both sides, not just the State’s. The law allows a citizen accused a copy of their Texas DWI videotape specifically. However, this was not always the case. I worked with State Representative Charlie Geren of District 99 and we were able to successfully pass legislation through both the State House and Senate which changed this. That is correct, the Coffey Firm specifically wrote this law.

I find that most of my clients do not ask for a copy of the video, but distributing it is very helpful when getting ready for trial which requires studying every aspect of the video for hours. In short, I have seen medical professionals go over hundreds of pages of medical records in minutes to find what is key and critical. I particularly do this when scanning blood records for an initial assessment. Further, I have spent 24 years studying police reports and forensic evidence. I know what is important, or what will matter. Thus, my advice is to wait and go over all the evidence with me in my office.

I have never had to hire a lawyer before for a Texas DWI. Can’t I just use the lawyer I used for my divorce? Or, can’t I just use the lawyer my dad calls for his business? Or, can’t I just use the lawyer my friend recommends because “he is good?” Why does it have to be a criminal defense lawyer? Don’t all lawyers receive the same training?

The biggest and most common mistake a person can make when they hire a lawyer for their Texas DWI or criminal case is to assume that all lawyers are equally competent to handle their case.

 

1. Common sense, practical advice:

Criminal law is largely hands-on. Therefore, it is critical that the lawyer know the Judge’s policies, propensities, rules and preferences for trial and philosophies. In many counties, the criminal Judges handle nothing but criminal cases. It is a mistake to think that your civil lawyer will know much about the Judge in your case unless they have extensive experience practicing under that Judge. Judges also change over the years, along with their policies. It is important to know their hot button issues and requirements when handling both pleas and trials.

The same goes with the prosecutors. It is critical to know the prosecutor’s experience level, trial tactics, and personal philosophies when it comes to both trials and plea negotiations. Like the Judges, there is a natural progression in the learning curve that comes with winning and losing trials. Prosecutors also change and develop with time. However, prosecutors do not handle family law cases because civil and criminal law are two different arenas. Thus, it is not advisable to hire a lawyer inexperienced with your case or type of case.

 

2. Training and Knowledge base.

All lawyers must complete a certain amount of continuing legal education hours to maintain their professional license. For years, due to my vast amount of hours every year, I maintain a “Fellow” membership to the State Bar College. The State Bar College recognizes those lawyers who do at least double the minimum amount of continued legal education hours every year. It is possible to go to law school and only take a single three hour course in criminal law. However, this in no way prepares a lawyer to handle a criminal case. What matters is a lawyer’s dedication to learning their trade.

Most lawyers choose to do their continuing legal education in the field they practice in. For example, most divorce lawyers will attend family law conferences to keep up to date on the latest legal developments in matrimonial law. The same with criminal defense lawyers. It goes a step further with criminal defense lawyers who focus on DWI. (I not only focus my continued legal education hours in criminal and DWI law, I teach it at seminars both in Texas and out of state, some attended not only by criminal defense lawyers, but by prosecutors and Judges.) The law is constantly changing. It is critical to stay up to date with these changes.

3. Knowing the Specific Issues in a DWI Case

Texas DWI is far more complex than general criminal defense. It is impractical to expect that a general criminal defense lawyer can mathematically calculate the calibration curve of a defendant’s gas chromatograms to do a quality control check on their blood result without extreme practice and specialized training. Similarly, it is far fetched to expect it of a practicing civil attorney. It is critical to know how a breath test result can vary and to what degree by the blood breath partition ratio and temperature. I understand all of this and more. This type of in depth specialization is often reflected by a lawyer’s board certification in DWI. The only DWI board certification recognized by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization is the DWI board certification through the National College of DUI Defense which I possess.

Throughout my twenty-four years of being licensed, I have come across many clients who regretted their hasty decision to be done with their previous DWI case utilizing a lawyer not trained or equipped to handle their case. As a result, they have to live with the consequences of that decision. Your life, liberty and reputation are worthy of the highest level of qualified legal training. At the Coffey Firm, we pride ourselves in delivering this under both my supervision and direct involvement. As a result, all cases are analyzed and directed by me, including the associate level of representation.

Bottom line, I certainly would not recommend a person go to a pediatrician for a brain tumor. The same applies to law.

My life will never be the same after my DWI! Will I ever get back to my normal, everyday life?
Mimi Coffey DWI Lawyer

Take a moment to breathe and focus on the simple things that bring you joy

MY GOAL IS TO GET YOU BACK TO YOU, OR EVEN BETTER!!

Bottom line, if you are reading this then you are most likely feeling a terrible pit in your stomach, angry at yourself, and don’t want to face the world any more than you absolutely must. You are probably scouring the internet, reading as much about DWI as you possibly can, because at this point you are scared to death. Take a deep breath, I am here for you. I have practiced DWI and criminal defense for 26 years. Every day of my legal career has been dedicated to defending your rights. I have NEVER been, and will never be on the side of putting people in jail.

 

I bet many of you are thinking, “I never thought this would happen to me!” Once again, take a deep breath and focus on the positive. Now you know the reality that very good people get arrested. You will never look at the world the same. You most likely will grow a lot more compassionate, tolerant, and understanding in your life because of your experience. See? There is good that can come from this! My clients are my favorite people in the world. I love social drinkers. I love people that need and yearn for other peoples’ company. The world would be a very sad and lonely place without “people who need people.” As the Barbara Streisand song goes, “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” So, pat yourself on the back for enjoying the company of others and remember that ALL of us make mistakes.

 

My job is to get you back to the best version of you or even better. The world needs you at your best. Your family, friends, coworkers and networks need to see your unique smile and hear your voice. They need your ideas, work, laughter, and instruction. The world needs you. Please do not let a DWI arrest stop you from being you. You now know better than anyone the importance of encouragement.

 

Now you can really understand why sometimes giving someone a break makes a lot more sense. You just help pick them up so they can get back on their own two feet. One of the quotes that I live by is from Abraham Lincoln. He said “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” Even George Washington pardoned the ten ringleaders of the Whiskey Rebellion (started over a whiskey tax) after they were sentenced to death. He understood their sufferings, knew their potential for this country and granted mercy. Imagine how many wonderful generations of Americans have come from those then early colonists who just exercised a lapse in judgment.

 

The process is a scary one. Just know that your fears, questions and concerns are all my job. Everyone at my firm takes these very seriously. We know at the end of the day; we can’t always control the outcome, but we certainly can make the process a bearable one as we do the best we can with your situations. One day, most of you will make it through this situation and you will look back and be proud you made it through. I want to make sure that you do more than make it through. On top of doing the best we can for you legally, I want to make sure you remember all the good that you are and that you do.

 

So please, know that in these dark, lonely moments I am asking you to share yourself with me. We ask our clients to write out a biography about themselves (it is so important for the Judge and the prosecutor to know the great you too!), send pictures, and (where you feel comfortable) send us character letters. This is just as much for you personally as it is us to help you. If you forget who you are, what good is the legal situation? We can’t let a mistake destroy you.

 

So, in case you are already a Coffey Firm client, I am asking you to email me just let me know how you are feeling and doing. At the same time, please send me your top 5 goals for this year and let us stay focused on those. There is so much more to life than what happens at the courthouse. Your family and friends need you. Most of all, you need you. I am here to help get you back to you.

 

Mimi Coffey