Arrested for Drunk Driving or DWI In Texas?
Contact an Experienced DWI Lawyer As Soon As Possible!
If you’ve found yourself today facing criminal charges of driving while intoxicated, even if it’s your first time, your defense team better be aggressive and knowledgeable. When you have a great representation of you with a DWI charge in the state of Texas, the one you hire to represent you under the court of law must be sharp in knowledge with the Texas Constitution and Statutes. Thorough knowledge of the Texas legal system is expected if you want a fair trial. Whether it’s trial by jury or by a judge, you want to make sure your family is ready for the outcome, which will be in your favor. Without your life being ruined or set-back due to a charge of DWI in Travis county or the surrounding area, hire one of the best criminal lawyers for in the region.
Automatic jail time for first time DWI offenders is a real possibility. A criminal defense attorney can defend you in all facets of criminal defense law in Texas. Once you’re in handcuffs when law officers find you behind a wheel intoxicated, you should expect a rough road ahead of you if you don’t have a lawyer.
Alcohol and DWI laws in Texas
In Texas, every 20 minutes a person is injured or loses their life because of drivers driving under the influence. If you become one of those charged with DWI, unfortunately living with the consequences is what you will be faced with whether it’s a standard DWI or a DWI with a minor in the vehicle. Facing Travis County Judges or Jurors will result in how much you are liable for it, if at all.
The first offense of a DWI in Texas is a “Class B” misdemeanor according to the Texas Penal Code statutes.
Sec. 49.04. DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED
(a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
(b) Except as provided by Subsections (c) and (d) and Section 49.09, an offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours. (Texaspenalcode.com/)
For first time offenders, the consequences shouldn’t be something to proud of or ignored. Actually, DWI first time offenders should prepare themselves what is about to take place months afterward initial arrest. In the mean time, a defense attorney is who you need to call immediately. The longer you take to hire a defense lawyer to represent you in court, the more time you allow for the State of Texas to gather more evidence on you to submit to jurors or the judge when in court. You must get in the defense position, mentally and legally, because you don’t want to go to Jail!
The general DWI case is the driver who is driving intoxicated on the road, street, highway, or sometimes parked, and will need a criminal defense attorney on the offender’s side. Equally important, if you’ve been caught behind the steering wheel intoxicated, and the State Trooper or City Police Officer found “probable cause” to give you a field sobriety test, and you got arrested, then you may have had a BAC level between .08 – .15. If it’s the first time, everything changes soon afterwards that DWI arrest.
TEXAS DWI STAT
An all-offender ignition interlock law statute was passed due to cut the number of DWI’s in Texas on June 19, 2015. Consequently, Texas is now the 25th state to enforce it. In the case of those who are on probation or parole, and even first time offenders, the amount has since sparked a decline on DWI’s in Texas.
There were 43,789 interlocks which have been installed on Texas motor vehicles. In order to have your license restored after initial arrest, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety, as of August 2015, drunk driving cases which resulted in deaths decreased by 8.5%. As a result, between Dec. 1, 2006 through Dec. 1, 2016, “Locks were responsible for preventing 244,991 drunk-driving ignition starts (TxDOT, 2017).”
(Source: Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Texas Department of Transportation website. http://www.txdot.gov/driver/sober-safe/intoxication.html Accessed June 6, 2017. Retrieved on 11/18/17.)
Criminal Penalties for Alcohol and other options
Penalties, if convicted can be harsh. This is why a defense lawyer for your representation in Travis County or the surrounding area would be needed in order to avoid the harsh prosecution Texas is known to have. Prosecutors who are going to attempt to impose the toughest punishment for your offense should be matched by a moving discourse of an attorney.
Why such strict laws and harsh penalties in Texas?
DWI offenders have a high rate of repeats, they cause injuries, and loss of life every 20 minutes in the State of Texas and the Texas public are the ones in jeopardy of the offenders of DWI. What they say to these first offenses is now in fine print of the Texas Penal Code statutes. Because of the decision to drive while intoxicated, penalties are served to the accused or guilty offender. With that said, fines and jail time can be harsh. What’s more is your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 40 days after the initial offense. If you don’t have an attorney, you can even miss the opportunity to “request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing with the 15 days of the arrest.” Criminal penalties for first DWI offenses in Texas are jarring, especially when you do not have any legal representation.
For first offense DWI laws, it allows for the arrest of drunk drivers even if it’s probable cause normally discovered by the arresting officer. your first action is to contact a good lawyer who knows the Texas law. The Texas jail system is not a place you’d want to be in, especially for a first time offense. Facing the least possible conviction while helping you turn your life around from such a horrible experience the day you were arrested for your first DWI offense is the ultimate goal.
All those found guilty of one of the leading causes of accidents in the nation with teens behind the wheel will tell you, “they wish they stayed home or didn’t get behind the wheel.” First offenses for DWI’s in the Texas criminal court system are tough. In fact, drinking and driving is nothing to laugh about for those who are involved. The Texas Judicial System nor the Prosecutors particularly like these cases because of the injuries, deaths, and lives lost behind bars, but as they see it, drinking and driving do not mix. Therefore there’s huge penalties for the guilty.
Penalty and definition
Instead, if you have been charged because of an officer pulling you over for drinking and driving in Texas, there’s only one thing you should be thinking about instead, it begins with calling a criminal defense lawyer. Don’t let days go by without calling an attorney. The penalty if “found guilty of intoxication while driving a motorized vehicle,” according to Texas government statutes is a penalty you do not want. If you are charged with “a first offense of DWI in Texas,” as stated in the Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49 in the Texas Constitution and Texas Penal Code statutes you’ll have to face those consequences if found guilty (http:/www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/docs/PE/htm/PE.49).
In fact, in the State of Texas, the state government defines the term “intoxicated” by two specific identifiers.
- If you do not have your normal mental and physical abilities to function due to the consumption of alcohol and/or drugs.
- If your blood alcohol level (or BAC) is .08 percent or more.
Which ever DWI charge you are accountable for, there’s going to be a pre-trial which is the only one you want. You do not want to go further on to a trial, but if circumstances prevail, then you want to be ready for a strong defense to avoid jail time and other set backs to learn from it and move on quick.
The penalties for the accused of a first time DWI besides jail time are below. Law enforcement in Texas, especially in Travis County, are stiff when drivers drive under the influence. With the enforcement of Texas-sized penalties comes Texas-sized fines and charges to drunk drivers. Facing potential license suspension or revocation with those fines is overwhelming; you don’t have to go through a DWI in a Texas Court alone. There’s always two sides to the story, especially when it’s your first offense. Therefore hiring an experienced and skilled criminal lawyer to represent you in a Travis County Courthouse is critical for your future.
Here’s four common penalties besides jail time for a first time DWI in Texas.
- Mandatory program in DWI education or intervention program completion
- License suspension – 2 years
- To retain your license, annual surcharge for 3 years of up to $2,000
- Possible mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device
Aside from jail, you can get probation but you’ll still have a criminal record. It will never go away that you have a DWI. For first time offenders, take it seriously because of a DWI record.
Consequently, if you don’t mind spending $2000 in fines and spend up to half a year in county jail or more in state prison, then you can shrug your shoulders. For those who care about their defense, you don’t want to keep your license revoked. You can pay reinstatement fees to have your license, plus have an ignition device uninstalled at your cost.
This is a big reason why you need a lawyer in your defense because there are some serious penalties for first DWI cases in Texas. Without a lawyer, your life can spin out of control from a simple misdemeanor in the Texas court system. Knowledge in the law of Texas is crucial today for first time offender to avoid further prosecution as well.
Here are the penalties for first offense DWI in Texas. Spending 3 to 180 days in county jail is possible.
Penalties for 1st Time DWI
and additional enhancements
There are many cases first time offenders of DWI that deal with more than driving while intoxicated and that’s those special conditions on top of the standard DWI first offense misdemeanor.
Three of the most common “special condition” DWI cases results in an increase of fines, jail time, and other conditions which drivers of this crime must meet as a result of being convicted of DWI. Here are three most common ones.
DWI with a minor – If an officer arrests you because of DWI, plus you had a child under 15 years old with you in the vehicle, this is now a State Jail Felony. In fact, it’s punishable by 6 months to 2 years in a State Prison and/or a $10,000+ fine.
DWI assault – If an officer arrests you because of DWI, plus you injure a person, it’s now a “third-degree Felony” which is punishable by 2 to 10 years in a State Prison and/or a $10,000+.
DWI manslaughter – When you take someone’s life or to be blunt, KILL another person because of DWI, it’s now a “second-degree” FELONY, punishable by 2 to 20 years in a State Prison, and/or a fine of $10,000+.
The option: A plea deal to the State by a knowledgeable lawyer.
Potential Defenses and your rights
It’s imperative to know you have rights as an offender who faces DWI criminal charges in Texas. In order to be convicted, first, they need to have evidence against you and to convict you. They’ll use field sobriety tests in various ways against you. The common one is the physical ‘walk on the line’ field test.
This is to see you walk a straight line without you stumbling or falling. Another popular field sobriety test is the ABC’s and if you’re innocent you should have been able to do this easily. Additionally, there’s the breathalyzer. Hopefully yours was below .08, otherwise this is proof of your intoxication for the police officer that arrested you that faithful night, per se. The more evidence they have on you, the more guilty you will seem to a judge and jury panel.
Compassionate is what you want, everyone has a different case and a knowledgeable lawyer will see you through the ordeal. Representation in Travis County Court can take months before seeing a judge or you can ask for a “speedy trial” with the right legal documents and representation in the Texas Court System. Remember you potential defense and your rights are what will pull you through the DWI ordeal.
Based on the U.S. Constitution is what gives you your rights. A criminal case is what is built around your DWI charge. Therefore, leveling the field that you will be playing on in the Travis County courthouse will give you the potential defense you’ll need. It’s what will be the substance of your pretrial or trial court defense argument in front of the judge or juror panel.
Consequently, you’ll be guaranteed the rights and protection with the legal proceedings. Those involved in court will see that you are going to get through this because every phase of the legal process will be carefully looked at. Any violation of your right could actually end up in a dismissal of your case. If you’ve been arrested, the subject of the criminal investigation of Texas
Defense of DWI charges in Texas
If you face a DWI charge in Texas, you’ll be a subject of a criminal investigation in Texas or Harris County or the surrounding Houston area. It’s best you contact a knowledgeable Texas Attorney. An accomplished criminal defense attorney is all you need. One who cares about your rights, your case, and your protection according to the Constitutional rights. There are various misdemeanors to federal charges which are up for review in various cases in the Texas court system. Make sure you are well represented. Reviewing a case like yours is the best interest of those who know the criminal law in Texas.
Finally, if you need a lawyer in Houston, or the surrounding area, and if you happened to get a DWI during a time in your life where you don’t hurt anyone, yet you were in fact arrested, call immediately. By Texas statutes, and in Harris County, our office will do everything we can to obtain a recognizable bond for your release with the right paperwork needed on your behalf. More options are available. The main benefit of having a lawyer will save you time, money, and help you get out of the Harris County jail or more importantly, the Texas State Prison.