DWI Defense Lawyer in Denton, TX

A DWI arrest can be very stressful.  You must deal with jail time, fines, and the loss of your license.  Fortunately, there are ways an experienced criminal defense attorney can deal with such a case.

Penalties for DWI in Texas

Here are the penalties for a DWI charge, and other intoxication offenses:

DWI 1st Offense

  • Probation
  • 3 – 180 days in jail
  • Up to a $2000 fine
  • Possible drivers license suspension of 90 to 365 days

DWI 2nd Offense

  • Probation
  • 30 – 365 days in jail
  • Up to a $4000 fine
  • Drivers license suspension of 180 days – 2 years

DWI 3rd Offense

  • Probation;
  • 2 – 10 years in prison
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Drivers license suspension from 180 days – 2 years

DWI Child Passenger

  • Probation
  • 6 months – 2 years in state jail
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Drivers license suspension from 180 days – 2 years

Intoxication Assault

  • Probation
  • 2 – 10 years in prison
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possible drivers license suspension of 90 – 365 days

Intoxication Manslaughter

  • Probation
  • 2 – 20 years in prison
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Possible drivers license suspension from 180 days – 2 years

With a DWI conviction, the DPS can charge you a surcharge of $1000 – $2000 a year for 3 years to keep your driver’s license.

If you have been charged with a DWI, please contact our criminal law attorneys for a free consultation, to discuss the details of your case.

Understanding the Law on DWI in Denton

The core D.W.I. law can be found here: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm (section 49.04) and reads:

“A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”

This definition requires us to define “intoxicated.”

“Intoxicated” is defined in Penal Code Section 49.01 and can be proved by the state in two ways:

The state can prove that you didn’t have the “normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to the effects of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.

Or, the state can prove you were intoxicated because your blood alcohol was over the legal limit of .08.

So, the state can prove their case against you by showing one of three things:

You drove a vehicle in a public place and did not have the normal use of your mental abilities because of alcohol or drugs.

You drove a vehicle in a public place and did not have the normal use of your physical faculties because of alcohol or drugs.

While driving a vehicle in a public place, your blood alcohol level was over the legal limit as measured by a breath or blood test.

A DWI charge is often found with an association to a DWLI (Driving While License Invalid) charge.

DWI Defense in Denton County

Each stage of the incident is carefully examined by the attorney, in order to find any discrepancies which may aid in lessening the charge:

The Stop

Your defense starts with the way the officer made contact with you. As an example, if the officer pulled you over in your car, they must have had a legal reason to do so.

If your attorney can prove that the officer did not have a legal reason to make the stop, then there is a chance that the case can be dismissed.

Field Sobriety Test

Your defense will also include debating the field sobriety tests and their administration by the officer.  The standard field sobriety tests are known as horizontal gaze, one legged stand and walk and turn.

The officer who gave you the tests must have followed the proper protocol, as developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Police officers often fail to administer the tests properly.  Thus, we can challenge that the tests do not accurately reflect your mental state, and/or if your driving was impaired by a substance.

Breath or Blood Test

Cases are generally easier to win if there is not a breath or blood test. However, there are ways for your lawyer to challenge the accuracy of such tests. For example, the breath test machine may not have been working properly.  Or, with a blood test, drawn blood must be immediately refrigerated – otherwise, the accuracy of the test can be challenged.

Video

Usually, the police officer’s patrol car is equipped with video, and the field sobriety tests are recorded.  If you appear sober in the video, then you have a high chance of getting your DWI dismissed.

A DWI and Your Drivers License

As noted above in the penalties section, your driver’s license can be suspended upon conviction of DWI.  This suspension occurs at the conclusion of your case, as a part of the punishment.

Also, the State can also suspend your license if during your arrest you refused to take a breath or blood test or if you failed the breath or blood test. If you are arrested for DWI in Denton, you will be contending with two cases:

  • Your criminal prosecution
  • And a driver’s license suspension case

The driver’s license case is known as the A.L.R. (administrative license revocation proceeding).

For someone over 21 years old, the driver’s license suspension based on a refusal to take a breath or blood test is 180 days.  The suspension for someone who took the breath or blood test and failed the test is 90 days.

Close Menu