Drunk Driving Attorney Serving Odessa, Midland, TX & the Surrounding Area
Under Texas law, driving while intoxicated is a criminal offense that can have very serious legal consequences. Authorities are actively looking for people who violate the law, and many drivers are surprised to learn that they can be accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI) even after only a few drinks. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is an extremely dangerous act that not only significantly increases the risk of accidents – putting both the driver and others at risk of injury – but can also have an extremely negative effect on a person’s life and future opportunities. Call our law office today to speak with a knowledgeable drunk driving attorney.
What are the DWI Laws in Texas?
In Texas, the general drunk driving law is found in the Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49. The statute defines the term “intoxicated” in two ways: not having the normal use of your mental and physical faculties due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol and/or having a BAC of 0.08 percent or more.
If a chemical screening test shows a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, no other evidence (field tests) needs to be presented to the court in order to obtain a DWI conviction. A driver testing 0.15 percent or more faces more severe penalties for enhanced BAC.
DWI Convictions In Texas Can Have Severe Penalties
A DWI charge is a big deal in the Lone Star State. A person convicted of such a charge can face the following consequences.
First DWI Offense
- A fine of up to $2,000
- 3 to 180 days in jail
- Loss of driver’s license for up to a year
- Annual fee of $1,000-$2,000 for three years to retain driver’s license
Second DWI Offense
- A fine of up to $4,000
- 30 days to 1 year in jail
- Driver’s license revocation for up to two years
- Annual fee (surcharge) in order to reinstate lost driver’s license for three years
Third DWI Offense
- A fine of $10,000
- 2 to 10 years in prison (probation is also possible)
- Revocation of driver’s license for up to two years
- Annual fee for three years in order to retain driver’s license
- A felony conviction
How a DWI Attorney Can Defend You Against a DWI Charge
DWI defense is a specialized legal area that requires specific understanding of the laws, the tests used as evidence, the policies and practices of law enforcement, and the legal system. An experienced DWI attorney knows how these things intersect, how they work, and how to use this knowledge for your benefit.
Each DWI case is unique and will require unique strategies; these strategies can include obtaining evidence; challenging field sobriety tests, blood tests, and/or breath tests; moving to suppress evidence or witness testimony; using police reports to ensure that legal procedure was followed in its entirety; challenging witness testimony, including the testimony of police officers; or, if an accident occurred, proving it was not your fault.
Because DWI defense entails knowing the laws and using them strategically, hiring an experienced DWI defense attorney is your best option as you fight your conviction.
How a DWI Conviction Can Impact Your Life
Receiving a DWI conviction can have serious and long-lasting impacts on your life. These consequences increase in severity in proportion to the severity of the offense or the number of arrests you receive. Your license can be suspended, you can face fines and fees, you can serve jail time, and face additional penalties; however, the consequences don't end there. There are plenty of collateral consequences that you might face over the course of the rest of your life.
A DWI conviction can impact your ability to:
- Find and maintain a good job, including careers that require security clearance or a professional license. This can impact your ability to provide for your family or pursue a career that interests you.
- Maintain custody of your children; a DWI conviction can impact a judge's decision when determining which parent should be the primary caregiver.
- Obtain loans for mortgages, education, or for other purposes
- Vote - a felony DWI conviction strips you of your right to vote for your representatives
- Own or obtain firearms - like the right to vote, this right can be reinstated in Texas, but it is time-consuming, expensive, and does not come with guarantees.