You never want to get behind the wheel of your car when you are drunk, but we all know that it happens sometimes. When it does happen, there is at least a decent chance you will be stopped by the police or get into an accident. If you get ticketed for Driving While Intoxicated, there are a few things that you should know about drunk driving laws and the penalties for breaking them.
What Qualifies as a DWI in Texas?
When someone has a .08 blood or breath alcohol concentration or higher, they are considered legally drunk. You do not have to be an alcoholic to get arrested for DWI in Texas. If you behave as though you do not have the normal use of your mental and physical faculties due to alcohol consumption, you can be arrested for DWI even if your BAC does not exceed the legal limit.
First DWI Offense
A first time DWI charge is a Class B misdemeanor in the state of Texas. You can be fined up to $2000, receive up to a year in prison, and a license suspension of up to a year. The same holds true for anyone caught boating while under the influence.
Second DWI Offense
The punishment for a second DWI is significantly harsher. It is a Class A misdemeanor, you can be fined up to $4000, and you can go to jail for a year. You can also lose your license for up to two years.
Third DWI Offense
A third DWI offense is a third-degree felony. You can be fined up to $10,000, you can get up to ten years in jail, and your license can be suspended for up to two years. Additionally, you can carry a felony conviction on your criminal record for life.
If you have a minor in the car with you at the time of a DWI arrest, you will be charged with child endangerment, no matter how many offenses you have.
How to Build Your Defense
When you are arrested for a DWI, you will have the option of using a court-appointed attorney, but retaining the services the public defender may be a bad idea. Lawyers working in the public defender’s office are overwhelmed with cases and will probably not have time to give your case the same level of attention as a good Fort Worth criminal defense attorney who has years of experience.
A competent attorney, like the ones at Cole Paschall Law, will examine your entire case for prosecutorial errors, from the stop, the DWI investigation, to processing, and discovery procedures. In other words, your Texas DWI attorney will make sure that the arresting officer and the prosecutors have done everything by the book. If you were in a DWI-related accident, hey will review the accident report and talk to all witnesses. Experienced attorneys in Fort Worth, TX understand the law and know the best legal strategy to beat your charges. They will have a reputation to uphold and an acquaintanceship with local judges and prosecutors. Your DWI lawyer will know how to use the facts they find to defend you and get you back on the road.