Texas law dictates that driving under the influence is considered criminal. Thus, it can bring serious charges or penalties. This isn’t something you should ever consider skirting or gambling with. DWI in Texas is a big deal.
Ignorance is not an excuse, and police will not give anyone a pass if found to be driving while intoxicated. Of course, alcohol affects people differently, which can be good or bad for you.
If the officer deems you’re too intoxicated to drive, even if your blood alcohol content is under the legal limit, they can still detain you.
You need to know your rights and know how the law can be used against you in a DWI case. This means having a professional by your side.
About 22 percent of those who hire private attorneys are able to plea bargain out for lower charges. If you’re interested in defending yourself from DWI offenses now or in the future, keep reading.
We’ll help you know your rights and know what to watch out for to avoid facing serious time.
Driving While Intoxicated Under Texas Law
The law states that if your blood alcohol level is .08 percent or higher, you’re driving illegally in Texas. Again, this doesn’t mean that if you are .07 or .06 that you cannot be considered drunk.
Reckless driving with alcohol in your system can be enough to be charged with DWI in Texas. That’s where you’re going to need a Texas lawyer who can lobby for you to get those charges dropped.
When it comes to commercial drivers, they can only have a 0.4 percent BAC limit.
Evidence of Intoxication
Your fight against DWI charges actually starts the moment when you and your car is being investigated. It is important to recognize the entire DUI court process so that your defense has the complete story.
Officers will obviously measure your BAC or urine, but they will most likely choose the breath-a-lizer test on the spot. They will likewise check the car for empty canisters to confirm the probable cause.
If they do have enough probable cause, you will be arrested and processed, where you can get your true BAC level evidence.
DWI Charges for Minors
The law states that a DWI in Texas on anyone under the age of 21 is considered a minor. Minors cannot operate any vehicles with any alcohol in their system.
Even first-time offenders carry the risk of losing their license. They’re at risk for fines, temporary suspension, community service, and AA classes. Repeated offenses increase in size of fines, length of community services, and potential jail time.
Every minor should be represented by a lawyer for a DWI in Texas. Judges find it difficult to be empathetic if the minor in-question doesn’t know how to articulate. This is an often underappreciated aspect of DWI attorneys in Austin.
DWI Charges for Adults
Over the years, DWI charges for adults have gotten increasingly tougher. Texas is a state that has pushed for harsher penalties to lower drunk-driving related deaths.
The biggest factors that will determine your case will be your criminal record and BAC test score. Driving record will also help your lawyer argue for second chances.
If this is your first time getting a DWI, the law carries a maximum of $2,000 in fines and 180 days sentence. There is also a max license suspension of up to two years. On top of this, you can be charged an additional $2,000 each year, for three years.
Other optional punishments include an ignition lock to prevent all use of your car, as well as DWI counseling. Most minor offenses only carry a fine and a month suspension of license, at most.
Expect the fines associated with a DWI in Texas for a second offense to double. That means $4,000 and a sentence of 1-12 months. Your Driver’s License can also be suspended up to two years, with the application of the $2,000 annual fine.
It is not uncommon for all of the above, plus DWI counseling to be ordered for repeat offenders. If your DWI offenses are measured at just below the legal limit, you will probably not be recommended for sentencing.
The large jump in penalties is there to discourage drunk drivers from buying their way out of taking responsibility.
Texas law will not be so forgiving when you real your third DWI. Fines go up to $10,000, prison sentences of up to 10 years, along with the license suspension of two years. The $2,000 a year fee for three years still applies, as does the ignition lock and DWI rehab program.
You definitely don’t want to mess around with a DWI in Texas. But, if you are unfortunate enough to be charged with one, there is still hope. The state is filled with talented DWI lawyers in Austin.
You’re going to need the best fighting chance you can get to avoid a major interruption to your way of life. If you think that you can’t afford a lawyer, then you haven’t been looking hard enough.
When to Call a Lawyer for DWI in Texas
As soon as you are arrested for a DWI, you need to be thinking about calling an attorney. You need to relay that information about your arrest as quickly as possible, while it is still fresh in your mind.
The more that your lawyer has to work with, the better your chances of having charges dropped or the case thrown out. It’s often hard to catch any unlawful procedures or missed information while you’re in the moment.
DWI lawyers can speed up the process and get an administrative hearing to prevent suspension of your license. The sooner they are able to start talks with court officials, the better your chance for a plea deal.
If you need more information on how these things work, contact us here. We’ll answer any questions at no charge!
Knowledge is power – don’t let one mistake leave you powerless.