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TX DWI lawyerThe dangers of drunk driving have been well-established. The use of alcohol or drugs can significantly impact a person's ability to operate a vehicle safely, and a person who is intoxicated is much more likely to be involved in an accident that could result in serious injuries or fatalities. Because of these risks, anyone who is accused of operating a vehicle after using drugs or alcohol may face criminal charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI). In most cases, a first-time DWI will be charged as a misdemeanor, and while a variety of penalties will apply, a person usually will not face a lengthy prison sentence if they are convicted. However, there are some situations where a DWI arrest may result in felony charges, and a person may be sentenced to one year or more in prison.

What Constitutes a Felony DWI?

In Texas, the basic charge for driving while intoxicated is a Class B misdemeanor, although a charge may be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor if a person had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or more. A second DWI may also be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of six months in prison, and Class A misdemeanors have a maximum sentence of one year.

A DWI charge may be elevated to a felony in the following situations:


TX DWI lawyerDrunk driving suspects are often asked to blow into a breath-testing device during traffic stops. The device measures the alcohol in the person’s breath which can be used to assess their intoxication level. According to Texas law, a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more is considered to be intoxicated and subject to prosecution for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Therefore, the results of breath tests heavily influence most DWI cases.

Many people are unaware that there are two different types of breath tests used by police officers in most states, including Texas. It is important to know how these breath tests can affect a DWI case and what to do if you were charged with drunk driving based on a breath test result.

Portable Breath Tests Are Preliminary Tests

When police suspect a person of driving under the influence of alcohol, they may require the person to complete field sobriety tests or a breath alcohol test—commonly referred to as a “breathalyzer.” Police must have “probable cause” to arrest someone, which means that the officer must be able to cite an objective reason why they believe the person committed a crime. The small, easily transported breathalyzers that most people are familiar with are preliminary breath tests. These tests have only one purpose: establishing probable cause.


TX defense lawyerMany people have heard the term “plea bargain” but do not know exactly what it means in the context of a Texas criminal case. Whether you or a loved one are facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI), intoxication assault, or another offense, it is important to understand what a plea bargain is and the advantages and disadvantages associated with plea bargains. There is no one-size-fits-all strategy that works for dealing with DWI charges. The best way to explore your legal options after a DWI arrest is to speak with an experienced, knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer.

What Exactly is a Plea Bargain?

When someone is charged, or formally accused, of a crime, they have the option to plead guilty or “no contest” or plead not guilty. If they plead not guilty, the case typically advances to trial where the defendant and prosecution are each given an opportunity to present evidence and arguments. The jury evaluates both sides, deliberates, and reaches a verdict.

Before the trial starts, the prosecution may offer reduced charges or a lighter sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Essentially, the defendant agrees to plead guilty to an offense in exchange for some type of benefit. In many cases, taking a plea bargain or plea deal is in the defendant’s best interest.


TX DUI lawyerIf you have been arrested for drunk driving in Texas, you may be wondering about how your driver's license will be affected and whether you will face any restrictions on your ability to drive, as well as any other consequences. In some cases, you may be required to use an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. By understanding the issues that you may need to address following a DWI arrest, you can take steps to defend against criminal charges, protect your driving privileges, and determine how to minimize any disruptions to your life.

DWI License Suspensions in Texas

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer device that is installed in your vehicle. This device will require you to provide a breath sample before driving. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, the vehicle will not start. IIDs are monitored by the Texas Department of Public Safety, and you may be required to provide periodic breath samples while driving. If the IID detects alcohol, the device will log the event, and you may face penalties.

An IID will be required if your driver's license is suspended following a DWI conviction. For a first-time DWI, a license suspension of up to two years may be imposed. During this period of suspension, you can apply for a restricted driver's license that will allow you to drive with an IID. A restricted driver's license will usually also be available if your license was suspended for other reasons, such as the automatic license suspension that applies if you fail a blood alcohol test after being arrested for DWI or refused to submit to chemical testing.


Denton County DWI defense lawyerIn Texas, the charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI) are considered very seriously by the courts, and penalties for a conviction are significant. One of the most common ways drivers are arrested for DWI is being stopped by some other traffic violation when the officer suspects they have been drinking. The officer will then proceed with a breathalyzer test and field sobriety tests, which the driver will fail.

While the state of Texas does require drivers to submit to a breathalyzer test (or face serious consequences for refusing), the law does not require drivers to submit to field sobriety tests.

Field Sobriety Tests

There are several types of field sobriety tests that law enforcement use when they suspect a driver has been drinking:

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