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Dallas DWI Lawyer

DWI Charges in Texas

In Texas, a DWI charge carries serious consequences, including:

  • License suspension
  • Hefty fines
  • Jail time

If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, protect yourself from harsh penalties by hiring an experienced Dallas DWI defense attorney who has the skill and knowledge to form an effective case on your behalf.

Arrested for DWI? Don't face your charges alone. Act now and schedule a consultation with a Dallas DWI lawyer.

What Is Considered Driving While Intoxicated?

A driving while intoxicated charge is a criminal offense that prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is important to note that intoxicated does not necessarily mean drunk, and is defined as having lost the use of normal brain and physical function. Intoxication is most commonly gauged by your blood alcohol content or BAC. If that level is at or above 0.08% while you are driving a vehicle, you could be arrested and charged with a DWI.

DWI differs from DUI in Texas, as DUI applies only to minors who have a detectable amount of alcohol in their body. For minors, the BAC amount is much stricter. Any amount of alcohol found in an underage driver’s blood can result in a DUI charge.

What Are the Penalties for DWI in Texas?

For a first DWI offense, you face the following penalties:

  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to $2,000 fines
  • 90 to 365-day license suspension

Many sentences result in probation, which means that the charged individual must meet a number of requirements in order to avoid going to jail, avoid paying the maximum fine and avoid a license suspension. However, sentences can vary greatly from case to case depending on the circumstances.

If you have been charged, your best course of action is to contact a skilled DWI attorney in Dallas as soon as possible. Because our DWI lawyer has the knowledge to effectively understand your situation, retaining our counsel greatly increases your chances for avoiding the maximum penalties.

Probable Cause and DWIs

The crux of any DWI case is determining whether the officer who pulled you over had probable cause. Legally, an officer must have enough evidence to have a reasonable suspicion that an individual is committing or about to commit a crime. In order for an officer to legally pull you over to arrest and charge you with a DWI, he or she must have probable cause.

Examples of probable cause can include but are not limited to:

  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Weaving in and out of traffic
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign
  • Drugs or alcohol in plain view

Bad Behavior Can Count as Probable Cause

An officer’s observations don’t end once you’re pulled over. Your driving behavior was a preliminary trigger in establishing probable cause, but your behavior in the interactions you have with the officer will be observed, usually in an attempt to continue gathering evidence for additional offenses. For example, a traffic stop for running a stop sign can turn into a DWI arrest if the officer smells alcohol coming out of your car – that’s enough probable cause to arrest and charge you.

However, a police officer cannot use a routine traffic stop to launch into investigations for a bigger offense. For example, if you are pulled over for running a red light, an officer cannot search your trunk unless he or she can prove that there is probable cause and reason to believe that you are hiding weapons in your car.

No Probable Cause? You Can File a Motion to Suppress

If you have reason to believe that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest and charge you with a DWI, you and your Dallas DWI attorney can file a motion to suppress, which can result in the entire case being thrown out. In these types of cases, your choice in representation is extremely crucial – it’ll be your word against the officer’s word, which can be very difficult to argue and prove.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DWI a misdemeanor?

Most DWIs are misdemeanors in Texas; however, a DWI can be prosecuted as a felony if: 1) someone was seriously injured as a result of the intoxicated driving, 2) someone was killed, or 3) the defendant was previously convicted of DWI on two occasions. Unless it’s your third or subsequent DWI, or someone was seriously injured or killed, it should be a misdemeanor offense.

What are the penalties for a first DWI?

The penalties for a simple, first DWI include up to a $2,000 fine, up to six months in jail, up to a one-year driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 to retain one’s driver license.

Can I get deported for DWI?

Green Card holders are not typically deported for DWI, unless it was a drug-related DWI, a felony DWI, or the immigrant has a lengthy criminal history. Immigration judges examine a Green Card holder’s criminal record and the facts of the case before initiating removal proceedings. A DWI does not usually trigger removal proceedings, but it is possible.

Where is Texas’ DWI law?

In Texas, the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can be found under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. You can also visit the Texas Department of Transportation’s website to read more about the penalties for DWI.

Can I get a DWI with a low BAC?

Under Section 49.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code it says, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” To be “intoxicated” means to not have “normal use of mental or physical faculties” because of alcohol, a drug, or a controlled substance. In other words, yes, you can get a DWI, even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below .08%. All that matters is that the police can prove that your ability to drive was impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Do I Need a Lawyer for My DWI?

Attorney Peter Barrett offers his services to clients in the surrounding areas. With 25+ years of experience and a history of success, our firm has what it takes to guide you through the legal process with aggressive legal representation.

If you've been arrested for a DWI, you should take swift and immediate action to put a trusted legal professional on your side. Should you retain legal counsel from Attorney Peter Barrett, you can trust that he will work tirelessly to ensure that your rights and liberties are protected.

Contact our firm at (214) 307-8667 to make an appointment for a case review with our Dallas DWI lawyer.

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