Texas DWI Lawyer
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Why You Need a Texas DWI Lawyer
Were you recently charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and in need of a DWI lawyer? The attorneys at D. Miller and Associates are here to help extend your driving privileges and reduce your charges. It is important to begin damage control immediately in order to guarantee you the best result for the individual circumstances surrounding your particular case. In Texas, you have 15 days from the date of your arrest to save your driver’s license. By securing a Texas DWI lawyer, your driving privileges could be extended past the usual 40 days the temporary license allows you.
What is a DWI?
A DWI is an offense committed when a driver operates a vehicle after the consumption of alcohol or drugs or other intoxicants. Increased alcohol levels in the driver’s blood lead to diminished mental and motor reactions, which, in turn, reduce the driver’s ability to control the vehicle. This significantly increases the risk of the driver committing errors of judgment and often results in accidents causing severe injuries and even death. In the US, drunk driving is the single largest cause of motor vehicle related fatalities and accounts for an alarmingly high 40% to 50% of the total number of motor vehicle related deaths every year. Intoxication is currently defined as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of 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 (b) having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
Texas law splits a DWI offense into 4 different categories:
Driving Under the Influence – Minors
Section 106.041 of the Alcoholic Beverage Code makes it illegal for a minor to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while having ANY detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system. Driving under the influence is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500, an alcohol awareness course, community service, and driver’s license suspension.
Driving While Intoxicated
Section 49.04 of the Penal Code states that a person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours.
Driving While Intoxicated with an Open Container
Section 49.04 of the Penal Code also states that driving while intoxicated while the driver had an open container of alcohol in the person’s immediate possession is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of six days.
Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger
Section 49.045 of the Penal Code states that driving while intoxicated while the vehicle being is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age is a state jail felony.
Why do You Need a DWI Lawyer?
The first thing that a person must understand after having been arrested for a DWI is that there are two separate cases pending against them. The first case is the DWI civil case and the second is the DWI criminal case.
Driving While Intoxicated – Civil Case:
A person who is arrested for a DWI can face significant automatic license suspensions. The DPS will try and suspend the person’s driver’s license for a minimum 90 days to a maximum 1 year. If a person has a previous alcohol related contact, like a DWI, within ten years and they provide a specimen, DPS will attempt to suspend the person’s license for a term of not less than one year. If a person refuses to provide a specimen of breath or blood, DPS will try to suspend a person’s driver’s license for no less than 180 days and no more than 2 years. In the case of a refusal, actions as well as words can be considered refusing to provide a specimen. These license suspensions are completely independent of the criminal case. The burden on the Department is extraordinarily low and most people arrested for DWI suffer through some type of license suspension.
Driving While Intoxicated – Criminal Case:
If this is a first time arrest for DWI, it will be classified as a Class “B” misdemeanor. The punishment range for a Class “B” DWI is not less than three days in jail and a two thousand dollar ($2000) fine. Alcohol education classes, community service, probation and court costs are all possibilities when facing a DWI conviction. Because this is an enhanceable offense, the punishment for subsequent DWIs will include significant jail time, fines and community service hours.
The Texas Legislature has also recently enacted a law which requires that the Department of Public Safety collect a surcharge from any individual convicted of DWI. This surcharge is a fee entirely separate from your criminal or civil case. If a person refused to provide a specimen or provided a specimen under 0.15, then they must pay a surcharge of $1,000 a year for three (3) years after being convicted of a DWI. If a person provided a specimen of 0.16 or above, the surcharge is $2,000 a year for three (3) years. If the surcharge is not paid it can result in further license suspensions or cancellation of a person’s driver’s license altogether.
An Experienced DWI Lawyer
An experienced DWI lawyer can significantly reduce these charges and assist you with all aspects of your case. Being charged with a DWI can be an embarrassing and devastating situation but you do not have to handle it alone. Whether this is your 1st, 2nd, or 3rd DWI offense, our experienced law firm understands the right legal strategies to potentially dismiss or reduce the charges. There is a lot a DWI attorney can do for you, so submit your evaluation so we can get started immediately.
Ruling: Search Warrant Needed to Draw Blood in Most Instances
April 17, 2013- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the if a suspected drunken driver refuses a sample, police should get a search warrant before drawing blood in most instances. Exceptions to a search warrant will be decided in each unique case and will be applied
This will impact states in which blood samples currently are obtained from unwilling suspected drunk drivers without warrants. According to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 21 U.S. states already require search warrants for blood draws.