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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)

What Do People Think Now That I Have Been Arrested For DWI?

What Do People Think Now That I Have A DWI Arrest?

You are probably feeling extremely ashamed after an arrest for DWI. If you are like many of our clients, you do not want anyone to know. On top of worrying about your job finding out, you are terrorized about what your family and friends will think if they find out you have been arrested for DWI. Well, know that you are not alone. Most people arrested for DWI do not tell people outside of the person you were with in the car, or the person you called once you got your jail phone call. Many do not even let their children know.

I’m sure it seems like time has stopped. You probably can’t stop beating yourself up because you thought the only people who got arrested and taken to jail were criminals. Please stop and look at the big picture.  There are a few important things you must know. In Texas, there are close to 90k DWI arrests in Texas every year (https://www.dps.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/administration/crime_records/docs/dwireport/2022-01summary.pdf). That is close to the statistic of how many people in Texas get diagnosed with cancer (.41% versus .30%). So, bottom line, DWI arrests are a very common occurrence in Texas.

You Likely Know Someone Arrested for DWI

Chances are high you know someone who has been arrested for DWI in Texas. They just haven’t shared that information with you. We, at the Coffey Firm, are here to help. Social drinkers get arrested for DWI. Social drinkers are generally more personable, affable and resourceful. President George W. Bush got a DWI, so did his Vice President Dick Cheney. Whereas most crimes are offenses with intent, social drinkers generally do not set out to get arrested. The ingestion of alcohol affects your judgment. Before you know it, you find yourself with keys or fob in hand, operating a motor vehicle. Although you can’t change the fact you were arrested currently, what you do from here is critical. Do not leave it to just any lawyer. Not all lawyers practice DWI defense. Just because you know someone who knows a lawyer, does not mean you are in good hands.

Much like fixing a car, there are mechanics who specialize in different types of cars. Having a lawyer that is specialized in DWI defense is critical. Mimi is the only board certified DWI lawyer in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area (through the NCDD, the only DWI Board Certification recognized by the American Bar Association). She brings 27 years of experience and over 300 trials (all as a defense lawyer) to your defense.

DWIs Are Not Insurmountable. We CAN Beat This.

What may seem like an insurmountable case to you,  may actually involve an illegal stop or inadmissible blood result. Don’t take a chance, YOU are worth investing in. In a worst case scenario of facts and law, Mimi and her team will do everything they can to mitigate the damages and get you back to your life. Mimi evaluates every single case at the firm. There are different price ranges of representation but Mimi is strategizing every single case and handling many.

We are all human and make mistakes. As to the effect of a DWI on your record, let us do everything we can to prevent this from happening. The Texas legislature passed a law that allows for a fake dismissal. We aim for a real avoidance of the charges where possible. We will explain the difference to you. Law enforcement, and many government agencies will know of your DWI as soon as they run your license plate or your name. Yes, you are at risk of police stopping you. Certainly not all DWIs can result in a complete dismissal of charges, but your reputation is worth every effort at protecting.

So take a deep breath, follow Mimi’s damage control plan (that may also help with your job, licensing, or family) and start on the road to reclaiming your life. We all make mistakes, don’t let this one define you.

So police arrested you for DWI, now what??

So police arrested you for DWI, now what??

  1. We are prepared to handle your case. Let us worry about the legal issues of DWI. That is our forte and is what we do.  You just focus on getting back to normal, taking care of your family, job and mental health. Let us do the worrying.
  2. Legal issues aside, now is a good time to take stock of your personal life. Many people end up coming to The Coffey Firm because of the following reasons:
    1. Overworked, burning the candle at both ends, mentally and physically exhausted (hence the chance to relax ended in a DWI)
    2. Going through a divorce, separation or breakup
    3. Grieving a loss of a loved one or friend
    4. In depression over unresolved issues (like bad or absent parenting, trauma, being the victim of a crime, violence, and abuse)

It is critical to invest in yourself so that you can function optimally and hopefully avoid any type of DWI or criminal arrest.

Please take the following to heart:

  1. Substance abuse issues are real.  Seek help.  AA meetings are free and offer much support.
  2. Take a vacation before you get burned out. Most Europeans take three weeks off consecutively to enjoy their life and recharge.
  3. Start an exercise program. When you challenge your body, the brain releases dopamine which helps your mental health.
  4. Find or rediscover a hobby that can totally separate you from your stresses. Make sure that you engage in this regularly.

It is important to take time out for yourself. On an airplane before the flight takes off, stewards demonstrate safety exit plans. They instruct that any passenger traveling with a small child put the oxygen mask on first on themselves before the child.  You can’t save others until you save yourself.

Know that much like an open wound, the only thing that really heals is time.  Just take some deep breaths. Focus on you and know that we got you.

Mimi Coffey

Why Are DWIs Treated So Harshly in Texas?

Why are DWIs Treated so Harshly?

My 26 years of experience defending north Texas DWI cases in counties stretching from Denton, Johnson, Colin, Dallas, Parker and Tarrant (for starters) as well as board certification in DWI by the NCDD (National College of DUI Defense) qualifies me to answer why misdemeanor DWIs can be treated so harshly by so many prosecutors.

Age and Experience

This is a Quorum Digest entry on age and experience. I have posted them because they speak a well-known truth. Most all twenty somethings are incapable of factoring in a true life perspective when sizing up the big picture. Asking a 25 year old to understand what it is like losing a 35 year commercial truck driving job when they have just started their first professional job is unrealistic. Asking a twenty something to understand how arthritis may affect one’s ability to make simple movements is hard for them to understand. Most twenty something prosecutors have no idea how exhausting a Friday night after a long work week is, when they themselves are still capable of staying up days on end with no sleep and partying at the same time.

This is the first problem, though no fault of their own. It is unrealistic to give a young 25-year-old district attorney the power to radically alter a person’s life on a misdemeanor DWI. Not all DWIs are cut from the same cloth. Office policies that encourage minimum thresholds fail to factor in the myriad of relevant issues that must be considered for there to be justice. Too many young prosecutors view trial as a game of winning or losing, one in which they can gain valuable trial experience as opposed to considering the true consequences of a conviction to an individual. I have witnessed many times a prosecutor make a trial calculation to satisfy a Judge (“but the Judge wants a trial a week and we have not had trial in 3 weeks…”) while I am pleading for my client’s livelihood and alternative options.

Generally speaking, a young prosecutor makes decisions with the following pressures:

1. Concern about their trial stats (have they had enough trials for the year, even if that means trying cases that should not be tried)

2. Can they win the case (Not Guilty) versus whether or not they should bother with trying the case. A prime example of this is parking lot cases. When people are sleeping it off or are waiting for a ride or Uber, why prosecute someone who is trying to do the right thing?

3. Experience. Prosecutors think they are giving me a compliment when they tell me that they can’t wait to go to trial against me. They are missing the ethics of their job. Their job is to seek justice and what is fair in each and every case, not to try to gain experience. If I am trying a case, there is a good reason. People’s lives are not commodities for experience.

A young twenty something with the power to destroy a person’s life is often not old enough to know:

1. Not everyone can just find another job. There are jobs like airline pilots and commercial truck drivers where a DWI conviction is a permanent deal breaker.

2. Money does not grow on trees. For some defendants a fine could be the difference between paying the courts or feeding their children. Minimum thresholds on fines defy any sense of decency for mankind where the person’s ability to pay is not evaluated.

3. Often times convictions have intangible effects, drastic repercussions a young prosecutor most likely would not understand. Sometimes a conviction can result in the dissolution of a long-term marriage and affect custody decisions. The whole big picture is essential to justice, it is not something that a typical young district attorney is trained to consider.

4. Health issues. I have encountered numerous occasions where a young prosecutor incorrectly assesses a person’s physical and mental abilities simply due to a lack of aging. For example, it is hard to understand the ramifications of a bad back if you have never had any issues because you are young and healthy.


As we age, just like the Quorum Digest piece articulates, we gain firsthand life experiences that better equip us to relate to other people across the age continuum. The old adage “Age is the price of wisdom” is exactly on the mark. Most DWIs are misdemeanors. Many are first time offenders. Many stand a lot more to lose than a court punishment. Most first time DWI folks are never in the system again. It is the duty of society and government to make sure that prosecutions factor in all relevant issues. The same holds true for felony charges as well. Life experience is critical in being able to properly evaluate and handle a case.
Kudos to elected Parker County Attorney John Forrest, who started out as a criminal defense lawyer aside me in Tarrant County, for recognizing this most important truth. Most of the assistant attorneys he has hired over decades of being in office have been people with life experience. Age is considered an asset to the job qualification, not a hindrance.
It is hard for me to explain to my clients the ugly truth that the prosecutor in many cases is incapable of understanding the bigger picture. I do the best I can in humanizing my client and their circumstances alongside their legal situation. Unfortunately, it sometimes does not matter to a district attorney and often it simply comes down to their age.
We need laws that mandate outside considerations before sentencing. After all, our legislature has recognized this for Veterans and First Responders, the facts of their cases aside. In the meantime, we at the Coffey Firm are firmly vested as gospel in understanding the bigger picture of our clients’ cases, not just the legalities.

I received a DWI in Arlington. Do I need to hire a lawyer who does DWI in Arlington?

Mimi Coffey DWI Lawyer

How Texas DWIs Work

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.

How to Select an Attorney

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?

Can I Get of Copy of my Police Report? My DWI Video?

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. In fact, 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, expecting this of a practicing civil attorney goes beyond reason. It is critical to know how a breath test result can vary and to what degree by the blood breath partition ratio and temperature. Fortunately, I understand all of this breath an blood science and more. A lawyer’s board certification in DWI often reflects this type of in depth specialization. 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 as a licensed attorney, I have come across many clients who regretted their hasty decision to handle their previous DWI case by 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, I analyze and direct all cases, including the associate level of representation.

DWI Lawyer Mimi Coffey

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


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 feel scared to death. Take a deep breath, I am here for you. I have practiced DWI and criminal defense for 26 years. Of that legal career, I deticated every day to defending your rights. I have NEVER been, and will never be on the side of putting people in jail.

What you may be thinking

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 arrests happen to very good people too. 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.

Get Back to You or Better

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. More so, 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 received a death sentence. 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.

DWI Process

The DWI 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 feel 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.

Touch Base Email

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. Remember, your family and friends need you. Most of all, you need you. I am here to help get you back to you.


Mimi Coffey