When to Work With a DWI Attorney in Dallas
If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Dallas, Texas, you may be feeling scared and overwhelmed. These charges can come with severe consequences, including jail time, substantial fines, and suspension of your driver’s license.
DWI Basics in Dallas, Texas
What constitutes a DWI and the related consequences will depend on the state in which you are driving. In Texas, a DUI typically results in a small fine, some community service, mandatory alcohol awareness classes, or at worse a suspension of your drivers’ license. However, a DWI can result in very extreme results. Let’s look into some of the basics when it comes to getting a DWI in Texas:
- Blood Alcohol Concentration. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Texas is 0.08%. More stringent requirements apply to commercial drivers, and the legal limit is generally lower.
- Criminal Charge. In Texas, a first-time DWI offense can range from a Class B misdemeanor to a felony depending on the BAC, any prior DWI convictions, and whether there was an accident with serious injuries or death.
If you have been charged with a DWI, there are a number of factors to consider as you approach your defense. A DWI lawyer in Dallas with advanced knowledge in forensic science will be able to help you understand the process, analyze the evidence clearly, and develop a strategy.
Breath analysis is by far the most frequently used testing method for blood alcohol in Dallas, Texas DUI cases. While they aren't as accurate or reliable as blood tests in detecting the Dallas driver's blood alcohol content (BAC), they have typically been regarded as acceptably accurate for use in DUI investigations, as long as they are administered correctly by someone trained in using the breathalyzer. The Intoxilyzer 9000 is a widely used evidentiary breath testing device for all DUI-related breath tests across the nation. The essential principle behind "breathalyzer" technology is what is known as the "partition ratio." The partition ratio is basically the blood-to-breath conversion ratio or the ratio of the alcohol dissolved in the blood to the alcohol exhaled in the breath. The current standard for blood/breath partition ratios is 2100:1—which assumes that one milliliter of blood contains 2100 times more alcohol than one milliliter of breath. Suppose you are facing Dallas DUI charges involving the use of a breathalyzer. In that case, there's a potential that this evidence may be inadmissible in court, causing your charges to be dropped. Make it a point to speak with a well-versed Dallas DUI attorney as soon as you can.
Implied consent laws in all states require drivers who are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) to agree to submit a chemical test. The results of such tests frequently provide critical evidence for Dallas prosecutors to establish a DUI charge in court and achieve a conviction. Most of the time, the Dallas, Texas test will either be a breath or blood test. Since a blood test is a medical procedure, unlike the widely used breathalyzer test, the arresting officer will need to transport the alleged DUI driver to a medical facility or another place where a qualified phlebotomist can draw their blood. The blood test results aren't immediate as the sample has to go to a lab for analysis. Sometimes results aren't back for a week or longer. Although breathalyzer tests provide immediate results, blood tests are more accurate. However, they aren't foolproof, and their results can be challenged in Dallas courts. Anyone facing DUI charges, whether by blood test or breathalyzer, should contact a skilled Dallas DUI attorney for help as soon as possible.
How a DWI Attorney in Dallas Can Help
Working with the best Dallas DWI attorney will be essential to ensuring that you achieve the best possible result in your Texas DWI case. A DWI attorney can help navigate all aspects of the proceeding, including:
- Ensuring Proper Protocol. When arresting someone for a DWI, the police are required to follow a strict protocol. For example, a police officer must have probable cause to pull over your vehicle. An attorney can help review your specific case and determine if any protocol was violated. If so, the odds of overturning the arrest are significantly higher.
- Understand the Charge. As noted above, whether a DWI charge is a misdemeanor, felony or worse will depend on several factors. A lawyer can help you understand the severity of the charges you are facing.
- Evaluating Consequences. The consequences of a DWI offense can be numerous and varied. In addition to jail time and fines, it can include suspension of your license, an increase in your insurance fees, and also the potential loss of your job depending on your profession. Because a DWI offense is a criminal charge, it may show up on background checks run by future employers.
- Negotiating a Plea. A DWI lawyer can help you decide how to plead and can strategize whether it makes sense to accept a plea or to take the case to trial. What can be achieved with a plea bargain will depend on the jurisdiction in which you are facing charges and the strengths or weaknesses of your case. With a skilled DWI attorney, you may be able to avoid a number of the consequences associated with the charge.
Given the serious impact a DWI arrest can have on your future, securing a skilled and competent DWI attorney in Dallas can make all the difference in your case.