Are you or a loved one facing a Dallas DWI charge? You are not alone. Driving while intoxicated is one of the most common charges in Dallas, but it is also a very serious one. Our Dallas DWI lawyers have handled hundreds of intoxication-related offenses and defended people from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, elected officials, and even police officers. In our experience, most people arrested for DWI are upstanding citizens who due to unfortunate circumstances are facing a charge that anyone in Texas could face.
In this article, our attorneys will explain Texas law and answer some of your most pressing questions, including how we can help minimize disruption to your life, increase your chance of success, and work to keep your record clean.
What is DWI in Texas?
In Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Note the word “operate.” In the Texas Penal Code, there is no mention of the word “driving.” You may also be surprised to learn that intoxication is not limited to just alcohol. It also includes drugs, including illicit and prescribed. Under Texas Penal Code 49.01, intoxicated means:
- Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or
- Having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Although most Dallas DWI allegations stem from alcohol, our Dallas DWI lawyer has successfully defended cases in which a person was charged with DWI who had no alcohol in their system. Occasionally, prosecutors will allege other intoxicants, such as marijuana, prescription medications or illegal substances.
What can I expect while on bond for a first-time DWI charge?
While you are on bond for DWI, the judge is going to require that you follow certain rules or conditions. Conditions of bond likely will include, but are not limited, to:
- Refrain from drinking alcohol
- Install an Ignition Interlock Device on your vehicle
- Submit to random alcohol or drug testing
- Appear in court as ordered
- Do not commit any new offenses
In addition to following these rules, the attorneys at our firm require many of our DWI clients to complete community service and a DWI Education Course while their case is pending. This is to show the judge and the prosecutors that you are responsible and trying to put your best foot forward. We have found that 100 percent compliance on the front end of a criminal case can significantly improve your chances of a favorable case resolution.
What are the penalties for a first-time DWI?
A first-time DWI in Dallas is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by 3 to 180 days in jail and a maximum $2,000 fine.
What if I had a higher blood alcohol concentration than .08?
If your blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 or greater, the punishment for a DWI is elevated to a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine.
What if I had a child in the car when I was pulled over for DWI?
If you had a child under age 15 in the vehicle when you were stopped on suspicion of DWI, the punishment is elevated to a state jail felony punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum $10,000 fine.
How likely is jail time for a first-time DWI?
While every case is unique, we are proud to say that we have exceptional results keeping clients who follow our advice out of jail. Most of our first-time DWI cases result in a dismissal, acquittal, a reduced charge, or deferred adjudication probation.
Will I lose my driver’s license if arrested for a Dallas DWI?
What happens to your driver’s license after a first-time DWI arrest in Dallas depends on whether you voluntarily provided a breath or blood specimen. If you refused or if you have a specimen of .08 or greater, then your license is going to be suspended for 180 days. However, our law firm can help you save your license so you can legally drive.
How can your law firm help me keep my driver’s license?
Our attorneys regularly help clients obtain an occupational driver licenses so you can legally drive to work and school after your license has been suspended. We will get started on this immediately so there is as little disruption to your daily schedule as possible.
We can also help you try and regain driving privileges by requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. It’s important to point out that there are deadlines to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license. That’s why it’s imperative to contact our law office immediately and speak to a Dallas DWI lawyer if you have been notified that your license is to be revoked in connection with a DWI arrest.
How can an experienced Dallas DWI lawyer help me beat a case?
For starters, we will work tirelessly to find any and all weaknesses in your case and then leverage it to your advantage. This could include, but is not limited to:
- Attacking the validity of the traffic stop;
- Challenging the probable cause for the arrest;
- Challenging the administration of roadside tests;
- Challenging the warrant for blood or breath tests;
- Questioning the reliability of blood results and testing;
- Questioning retrograde extrapolation information;
- Attacking the admissibility of the evidence.
While some defense challenges occur through negotiations during the investigative phase of your case, other times it’s necessary to take a case to jury trial. Our highly skilled attorneys will thoroughly review all the facts and circumstances and find and discuss the best strategy for you.
Please take a minute to watch our video, “12 Ways to Beat a DWI.”
Can I get a first-time DWI off my record in Texas?
In recent years, the law has changed for the better. There are now a number of scenarios under which it is possible to receive a non-disclosure for a DWI. A nondisclosure seals a charge from public view, and it will not show up on most background checks. You are eligible for a non-disclosure if:
- Your case was dismissed by the prosecutor or judge;
- Your case was dismissed after successfully completing deferred adjudication probation;
- You successfully completed DWI probation for a first-time offense;
- You served a misdemeanor DWI jail sentence for a first-time offense.
There are some exceptions that could apply. For example, it must be a first-time arrest for DWI; the arrest cannot involve a motor vehicle accident; and your blood alcohol concentration has to be below .15. There is also a waiting period. After your case is resolved, we provide clients with additional information on how we can help them obtain a non-disclosure.
Call now for a free consultation with an experienced Dallas DWI lawyer
A DWI is not an intentional offense, but a conviction can negatively impact your professional and personal life. If you have not yet retained an experienced Dallas DWI lawyer, it’s imperative to do so as soon possible. We can help. Call 214-903-4000 now for a free consultation and find out why Varghese Summmersett is THE TEAM people turn to when facing a Dallas DWI charge.