Being stopped by law enforcement, arrested, and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be a life-changing experience. If this is your first offense, you may be uncertain about your future and not have any knowledge about how the legal system works when it comes to this type of arrest. Call the legal team at Eddington Worley Attorneys at (855) 600-6695 for a no-cost and no-obligation case consultation with a Galena Park DWI lawyer. They will know what to do and how to help.
Texas Takes DWI Charges Seriously
If you are charged with a DWI in Texas, you will be prosecuted as a criminal even if this is your first offense. If this has never happened to you before, it can be an overwhelming experience. The fines and penalties that can be levied against you can be severe depending on the circumstances of your arrest.
If this is your first offense, you may be charged with a class B misdemeanor. If you are convicted, you may have to pay a fine of up to $2,000, spend three to 180 days in jail, have your driver’s license suspended for up to one year, and have an annual fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 every year for three years. The charges can be enhanced if you were driving with a minor below the age of 15 in your car, your DWI resulted in injuries to another person, or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over 0.15 percent.
The state of Texas takes driving while intoxicated very seriously. The Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that someone is injured or killed in a crash involving alcohol every 20 minutes. If you were charged with DWI and there were injuries to another person, you may be charged with intoxication assault, and if you killed another person because you were driving while intoxicated, you can be charged with intoxication manslaughter. Penalties and fines for intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter will increase, and you could face incarceration in a prison for up to 20 years.
Your First Offense
You may receive a probated sentence for a first offense in Galena Park, TX. Since judges have wide discretion to impose sentences, you could spend three days in the county jail or have to perform community service. You may also be required to attend a DWI education program, be an inpatient or an outpatient at a rehab facility, and have a breathalyzer ignition interlock device installed in your car to prevent the car from starting if you are under the influence.
Your License May Be Suspended
Your license may be suspended, even without a conviction, for up to 180 days, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or BAC test after you are stopped. If the results of the test are 0.08 or above, your license can be suspended for three months. This is due to Texas’ implied consent law, which states that by driving on Texas roads, you automatically consent to the breathalyzer and BAC tests.
Administrative License Revocation Hearings
An administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing is mandatory for anyone stopped for suspicion of DWI. You will receive a notice of suspension when you are arrested. You have 15 days from that day to request a hearing. This is a civil hearing and not a criminal proceeding. If you want to get your license renewed, you will pay a reinstatement fee of $125. If you are convicted of the DWI, you will pay an annual fee of $1,000 for three years.
Defenses to DWI Charges
Do not assume that your DWI charge is indefensible. There are several ways to challenge your DWI and the Galena Park DWI lawyers at Eddington Worley Attorneys, (855) 600-6695, can help you determine the best way to fight for your rights. Your attorney can dispute the findings in your case by:
- Suppressing the evidence if it is inadmissible because law enforcement did not have a legal right to stop you
- Challenging the manner in which the police questioned you
- Questioning whether law enforcement read you the Miranda warning. If not, any evidence they obtained can be inadmissible
- Challenging whether the field sobriety tests were administered correctly
- Questioning whether the Breathalyzer machine was calibrated properly
- Challenging whether the blood sample or urine sample was properly taken and handled appropriately
- Questioning whether law enforcement followed the appropriate procedures before, during, and after the arrest
- Challenging witness testimony
- Questioning the accuracy of the arresting officer’s report
Giving Yourself the Best Chance
Because the consequences of a DWI conviction can alter the way you live and work in Galena, TX well into the future, attempting to handle this charge by yourself may be difficult. Your attorney is able to employ different types of defenses to get your charges reduced or dismissed. He or she may attack the prosecution’s evidence by using scientific theory, as well as technological, biological, toxicological, anatomical, and physiological based defenses. An attorney will look at your case from every angle to find the best way of presenting your case. The stakes are high when you are charged with a DUI. Having a lawyer by your side is probably a good idea.
Know Your Rights
You have rights that are guaranteed to you by the US Constitution, including the right to defend yourself. You are also considered innocent unless you are proven to be guilty.
If you have been arrested and charged with DWI, you may wish to contact a Galena Park DWI lawyer who is familiar with handling DWI cases. The legal team at Eddington Worley Attorneys at (855) 600-6695 will know what to do and how to help. Call for a free case review and consultation.