How Exactly Is DWI Defined In The State Of Texas?
DWI is operating a motor vehicle in the state of Texas on a public street or highway while intoxicated by alcohol or some other substance to the degree that you do not have the normal use of your mental or physical faculties, or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above.
There are more serious versions of DWI. For instance, if you have a child in the car, it is bumped up to a felony. If you have an open container, it is bumped up one level. If you are at 0.15 or above, it goes up a level. If you injure or kill someone or it is your second or third DWI or more, the penalties are also different and higher.
Once Someone is Arrested And Booked Into Custody For A DWI Charge, What Happens At The Station?
At the station, you have already been through a range of procedures. The police will either do a breath test or a blood draw. Most times, they will get a warrant for a blood draw. The warrant for a blood draw is a lot more common now because the law has changed in the last few years to allow them to do that on every case.
Am I Allowed To Refuse A Blood Or Breath Test? What Are The Consequences, If So?
You can refuse any of the tests but you are deemed by the signature on your driver’s license to have consented to the taking of the specimen of your blood or breath when you are pulled over and suspected of DWI. As such, there are penalties for refusing to provide a sample or providing a sample and having a result that is above the legal limit. Those penalties start with a suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days and up, depending on the reason for the suspension and whether you had suspensions before. You can end up with a hard suspension, where you cannot drive at all, even on an occupational driver’s license.
What Are The Potential Penalties For Someone Convicted Of DWI In Texas?
The range of punishment on a first time DWI is up to a year in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. Typically, the prosecutor will make a standard offer of a year-and-a-half to two years of probation. It varies according to the county and the seriousness of the circumstances. Most people want to take probation on a DWI but there are other less conventional ways to handle them, such as just sitting them out in jail. Many times, a short jail sentence can be completed with time already served during the initial arrest. Of course having a trial is a great option, too as there are many ways to win at trial and walk away with a “Not Guilty” verdict.
On a DWI probation, standard terms and conditions are always given. The fines tend to be in the $1,000 range and there is a battery of requirements, such as a Victim Impact Panel where you listen to people who have been tragically affected by DWIs. There is a DWI education course and an alcohol evaluation to see if you are in need of treatment.
Is It Possible To Have A Non-Disclosure For My DWI Conviction? How Does That Differ From An Expungement?
There has been a trend recently in the law that once a person has completed their sentence of any kind on a criminal case, they should no longer have negative consequences following them for that case. Recently, the legislature enacted a law that allows a person, in certain circumstances, get a case sealed after a period of time, so that it doesn’t continue to follow them for the rest of their lives. That is different than an expungement, in which the case gets totally erased as if it never happened. The sealing of a record makes it so that a non law enforcement background check would not show it.
Who Is Eligible For An Occupational Driver License In Texas?
Anyone who does not have a hard driver’s license suspension is eligible for an Occupational Driver’s License. A hard suspension means you are absolutely prohibited from driving, even on an Occupational License. Otherwise, with an Occupational License, you can drive for up to 12 hours a day for educational duties, household duties, and work duties, and you can select counties that you need to drive within. The courts will have some input on how many counties you can select.
For more information on DWI, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (214) 382-0900 today.
Call your Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer today at 214-382-0900.