Fort Worth DWI Lawyer
Aggressive Defense for DWI Charges in Tarrant County, TX
In Tarrant County and around the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area in the great state of Texas, driving while under the influence (DWI) of drugs or alcohol is considered a criminal offense with serious ramifications. You can be accused of a DWI after having only a couple of drinks, and you may be arrested for a DWI even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is below the legal limit.
If you are charged with a DWI, contact our Fort Worth DWI lawyer at the Law Office of Mark M. Childress today. We serve the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metropolitan area and are prepared to go the distance in defense of your rights.
DWI Penalties for Adults in Texas
The criminal factors that Texas takes into consideration when determining a DWI penalty include the number of previous criminal offenses and the individual’s BAC level at the time of the DWI. Texas DWI criminal offense penalties are as follows:
DWI First Offense
Once you have committed your first DWI offense, you could be fined up to $2,000 and face anywhere between 3 days to 6 months in jail. Your driving license may be suspended as well. You may also need to attend a DWI educational program and install an ignition interlock device in your motor vehicle.
DWI Second Offense
Texas takes these criminal offenses very seriously, so your second offense will come with jail time. You could have to pay fines of up to $4,000 and face a jail sentence of anywhere between one month to one year. Your driving license will be suspended for up to two years and you may have to pay an annual surcharge to get it back. You might also have to attend a DWI educational program and install an ignition interlock device in your motor vehicle as well.
DWI Third Offense
A third criminal offense comes with up to a $10,000 fine and anywhere between 2 to 10 years of time in state prison. Your driving license can be suspended for up to 2 years. You could be charged a surcharge of up to $2,000 per year for three years to keep your driving license. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and participate in an DWI educational program.
Additional DWI Crimes in Texas
If you pose a threat to another individual because of DWI, especially a child, the consequences are much more severe. These criminal offenses get even more complicated if the individual you injured or harmed was a member of law enforcement, a fire fighter, first responder, or another emergency medical professional.
What Is the Legal BAC Level in Texas?
Under Texas law, an individual is considered legally intoxicated and can be arrested and charged with a DWI if he/she has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. However, the TX law states that an individual is also intoxicated if he/she is impaired due to alcohol or another drug regardless of their blood alcohol level.
What is the Implied Consent Law?
The Texas Implied Consent Law is a legal doctrine that pertains to individuals who operate motor vehicles in the state of Texas. When you obtain a driver's license and drive in Texas, you are considered to have implicitly consented to taking a chemical test if arrested for DWI. This means that if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe you are intoxicated, they can request that you submit to a BAC test.
Refusing to take a chemical test when requested by a law enforcement officer can have consequences. For instance, your driver's license can be automatically suspended, and this suspension can last for an extended period, even if you are not ultimately convicted of DWI. The length of the suspension may vary depending on previous DWI convictions and other factors.
Can You Get a DWI Dismissed in Texas?
Yes, charges against DWI can get dismissed in Texas. However, receiving a dismissal in a DWI case often challenges the reason for law enforcement making the stop and bombarding the authority in addition to providing evidence of the regulated field sobriety tests.
When Does a DWI Become a Felony?
In Texas, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) becomes a felony under certain circumstances. Texas law distinguishes between misdemeanor and felony DWI offenses based on the specific details of the case.
Here are the types of offenses and penalties for felony DWIs in Texas:
- Third DWI: As we mentioned earlier, when a person is charged with their third or subsequent DWI offense. A third DWI is punishable by a prison term of 2 to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver's license suspension.
- DWI with Minor Passenger: When a person is charged with DWI with a child passenger under 15 years old. This offense is punishable by a state jail term between 180 days and two years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver's license suspension.
- Intoxication Assault: When a person causes serious bodily injury to another while driving under the influence. This offense is punishable by a prison term of 2 to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver's license suspension.
- Intoxication Manslaughter: When a person causes the death of another while driving under the influence. This offense is punishable by a prison term of 2 to 20 years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver's license suspension.
Common Defenses Against DWI Charges
When facing a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge in Texas, it is crucial to mount a strong defense to protect your rights and potentially mitigate the consequences. While each case is unique and should be evaluated by a qualified attorney, here are some general strategies that can be employed to defend against a DWI charge in Texas.
Challenging the Traffic Stop
If law enforcement did not have a valid reason to pull you over, any evidence obtained afterward may be inadmissible in court. This could include improper or illegal use of checkpoints, lack of reasonable suspicion, or failure to follow proper protocol during the traffic stop.
Questioning the Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs)
FSTs are subjective tests designed to assess impairment, but they are not always reliable. Factors such as pre-existing medical conditions, fatigue, or nervousness can influence the results. Challenging the administration and interpretation of these tests can help cast doubt on the accuracy of the officer's observations.
Contesting the Breathalyzer or Blood Test Results
Breathalyzer devices and blood tests are commonly used to measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, these tests can be flawed due to improper calibration, maintenance, or human error. Additionally, the chain of custody for blood samples must be properly documented and preserved to ensure accuracy.
Establishing Alternative Explanations
Your defense team may explore alternative explanations for observed signs of impairment. Medical conditions, fatigue, stress, or prescription medications could mimic the symptoms of intoxication, and expert testimony or medical records can help support these claims.
Suppressing Incriminating Statements
If your rights were violated during the arrest or questioning process, any self-incriminating statements you made may be suppressed. Ensure that law enforcement followed proper protocol and respected your Miranda rights.
Remember, the effectiveness of these defense strategies can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. It is essential to consult with a skilled attorney who specializes in DWI defense in Texas to assess the best course of action and build a robust defense tailored to your specific situation.
Driving While Your License Is Invalid (DWLI)
DWI is not the only way you can get your driving license suspended. If you drive a motor vehicle and your license has already been suspended or revoked in TX, you are driving while your license is invalid (DWLI). If a law enforcement officer in Fort Worth pulls you over on the road at this time, your driver’s license will be suspended for an additional amount of time.
Arrested for a DWI Charge? Contact Our Highly Rated DWI Lawyer in Fort Worth, TX, Today!
Reducing DWI cases or getting a DWI dismissed in Texas is possible, but you will not be able to do it alone. Contact our criminal defense law office immediately for help with your DWI case. You have only 15 days after your arrest date to save your Texas driving license. Then, let our DWI attorneys figure the rest out for you.
Here are some of the advantages of enlisting our legal services:
- Expertise and Knowledge: When you work with our firm, you benefit from our deep understanding of Texas DWI laws and legal procedures. We have the experience to guide you through the complexities of the legal system, ensuring that your rights are protected and that you receive the best possible outcome for your case.
- Customized Legal Strategy: We can develop a personalized legal strategy tailored to the specifics of your DWI case. Every case is unique, and we will analyze the evidence, assess the circumstances, and build a strong defense that best suits your situation.
- Protection of Your Rights: Our legal team is committed to safeguarding your constitutional rights throughout the legal process. We ensure that law enforcement adhered to proper procedures during your arrest and that any potential violations are addressed.
- Negotiation Skills: We have the negotiation skills required to potentially reduce charges or penalties. In some cases, we may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to secure a more favorable outcome, such as reduced charges or alternative sentencing options.
- Courtroom Experience: If your case goes to trial, our attorneys are well-versed in courtroom procedures and can effectively represent you. We will provide a strong defense, challenge evidence, and advocate on your behalf in front of a judge and jury.
- Minimization of Consequences: Our primary goal is to help you minimize the consequences of a DWI conviction, including fines, license suspension, and potential jail time. We work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
- Emotional Support: Going through a DWI charge can be emotionally taxing. We provide the support and guidance you need during this difficult time, helping you make informed decisions and alleviating some of the stress associated with legal proceedings.
- Knowledge of Local Courts: Our firm is well-acquainted with the local courts and legal professionals, which can be advantageous in understanding how cases are typically handled in your jurisdiction.
- Long-Term Impact Mitigation: A DWI conviction can have long-lasting consequences, such as higher insurance premiums and a criminal record. Our expertise can help minimize these long-term impacts and provide a path to recovery.
By hiring the Law Office Of Mark M. Childress, you can trust that we are dedicated to your best interests and will work tirelessly to provide the best possible outcome for your DWI case. We have the experience, resources, and commitment to help you navigate the legal process effectively.
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Direct Access To Your Attorney
Our Attorneys personally handle each case themselves. You will have direct access to your attorney to be able to get the answers that you need.
TransparencyHonesty and transparency are critical in building trust with your attorney. You will always know what is going on with your case every step of the way.
At our firm you're not just a case number, our staff will always know the status of your case and help to make your situation more manageable.
Personalized ApproachOur team understands that no two cases are the same. Your strategy will be tailored specifically to you and your family's goals.