Having a good time with friends and family is something to look forward to, but getting arrested for a DWI on the way home is a definite downer. Driving while intoxicated is a big deal in Texas. Taking the risk of being pulled over by the police is a good way to damage your career and future. A DWI charge demands a strong and effective defense to avoid a costly conviction.
Drunk Driving in Texas
Technically, the police must have probable cause to pull a driver over for a possible DWI violation. In the real world it could be anything from an elapsed registration to not quite making it through an intersection before a stoplight turns red. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is risky business. The police are on the lookout for suspicious driving patterns. Rapidly accelerating to pass a slow moving vehicle, speeding down the interstate or swerving from side to side are only a few of the suspicious driving patterns that can attract the attention of the law enforcement community.
Even if you get pulled over, the suspicions of the police aren’t enough to get you convicted of a DWI offense. According to the Texas Penal Code, the state of Texas has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of one of the following violations:
- A blood content level that exceeds the allowable limit of .08 percent
- Physical or mental impairment caused by drugs or alcohol
An arrest for driving while intoxicated may be prompted by one or more of the following circumstances:
- The driver confesses to operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The arresting officer notices an open container of alcohol within the vehicle
- Failing a field sobriety test
A DWI conviction in Texas will result in severe penalties. A first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor. The available penalties include a maximum jail sentence of six months and a fine of no more than $2,000. Enhanced charges and penalties are available for driving while intoxicated with a minor child in the vehicle.
A DWI assault charge is a third degree felony and is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 10 years and a fine of no more than $10,000. A second DWI violation could result in a Class A misdemeanor conviction. The available penalties include a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of no more than $4,000.
A third DWI conviction will result in a third degree felony. The available punishments include a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000. Even under the best of circumstances, multiple DWI convictions will usually entail spending time in jail. Civil penalties are also available for being convicted of a DWI within 10 years of a previous DWI conviction.
A DWI Attorney Can Reduce Your Sentence
If you have already been convicted of a DWI sentence, there is a good chance you will get jail time. However, a good DWI attorney understands the legal system in Texas and can reduce your sentence. There is even a chance he can find a way to eliminate your charges altogether. But the only way to find out this information is to contact a lawyer. Schedule your free case review with Brett A. Podolsky by calling 713.227.0087.