Is a Lawyer Necessary When Arrested for a DWI in Texas?

Is a Lawyer Necessary When Arrested for a DWI in Texas
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The answer to the question above is YES. Having a lawyer is very necessary when you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas. Having a lawyer at every step of the process will absolutely change the outcome of your charge. Without a lawyer, your rights are more at risk and a lot of confusion will come. The criminal justice system is complicated and having an expert on your team is imperative.


What is a Texas DWI?

A Texas DWI is either a class B misdemeanor, a class A misdemeanor, or a felony if it’s your third or more. A DWI is defined when “a person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” Texas Penal Code § 49.04. The State has three ways of proving intoxication: the loss of your mental faculties, the loss of your physical faculties, or that your blood alcohol concentration is a 0.08 or higher. In plain terms, they will try and prove intoxication by showing you were not acting “normal” mentally or physically.

The punishment range depends on what level your DWI is. A first offense is a class B misdemeanor, which can be punished anywhere up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2,000 fine. If your blood alcohol level is above a 0.15, the DWI becomes a class A misdemeanor. A class A misdemeanor can be punished by jail time up to one year and up to a $4,000 fine. A DWI can be a third-degree felony if it is your third or more. The punishment range on a third-degree felony is a minimum of two years in prison and up to 10 years in prison. Your license may be suspended as well, so having a lawyer can potentially stop that from happening.

Scenario 1: Not Having a Lawyer When Arrested for a DWI in Texas

Let’s say you were arrested for a DWI last month, your blood alcohol concentration is alleged to be 0.10 and you decide not to hire an attorney. Your driver’s license will eventually be suspended for a time period of either 90 days or 180 days. You might not have the opportunity to sit with the district attorney and negotiate a better plea deal than what they’re offering. If you have a good case and want to go to trial, how will you know what to do? What if the police obtained a search warrant to draw your blood but the warrant is defective? The law is complicated. It’s confusing at times and without a knowledgeable attorney, you may end up wrongfully convicted. You might not know how to best protect your rights and ensure jail time is not on the table.

Furthermore, without an attorney, you will have a harder time getting all of the evidence on your case. There are technical aspects to defending DWI. Without a lawyer, it’s up to you to analyze the lab results and know what every piece of evidence means. A DWI charge is complicated. There is a lot of evidence to review and a lot of questions left unanswered.

Scenario 2: Having an Experienced Texas DWI Attorney on Your Side

Now let’s change the scenario a little bit. You were arrested for a DWI last week and you call and hire us. We will be able to request a hearing to try and stop your driver’s license from being suspended. From day one, we are on your team. Once your case is filed, we will begin negotiating with the district attorney and looking at your case as if we are going to trial. The attorneys at Hamilton Grant write their own DWI case evaluation for every DWI case. We watch all of the videos involved, read all of the police reports, conduct background checks on the police officers, and analyze the blood report. We make sure we have all of the evidence and from there, create a report that you will be able to review. From here, you will have all of the information to make a decision that helps put this behind you. Hamilton Grant is a trial firm, so we are in trial mode from the day you hire us.

There is a vastly different outcome from the first scenario. Having a lawyer take charge on your DWI will help you in the short run and the long run. Hamilton Grant will fight for you and be on your side. Deandra Grant is an expert in blood analysis and will have the most experience when analyzing your blood alcohol result and attacking it in trial. You can relax as much as possible when you have Hamilton Grant on your team.

Deandra Grant

Deandra M. Grant, JD, GC, MS is a 27-year criminal defense attorney and forensic consultant. She is the Managing Partner of Hamilton Grant PC’s five offices in DFW and Austin. A national speaker on DWI law, science and trial skills, as well as the co-author of the annually updated The Texas DWI Manual, Deandra is known as “The Lawyer Lawyers Call”. She’s also VP of Living the Doxie Dream Rescue and Sanctuary in Royse City. When not “lawyering”, Deandra is a wife, mom, painter, wine collector and dog rescuer.

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