Texas DWI Law
Driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are considered crimes in the state of Texas. This means that if you operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, you can face penalties that include fines, jail time, and other punishments that have the power to negatively impact your life for a long time. If you want to avoid these penalties, it is wise to contact a Texas DUI attorney immediately after you have been arrested for a DUI offense. Having a skilled Texas DUI lawyer represent you is the best chance you will have for being able to successfully defend yourself against DUI charges so you can move on with your life and avoid the harsh consequences of such a conviction.
Texas DWI Laws and Definitions
When you are arrested for a DWI offense in Texas, two cases are triggered against you. One is the criminal case where you will face criminal charges and steep penalties. In this case, a prosecutor will try to show that you are guilty of a DWI offense. If you are convicted, you may be sentenced to jail time, fines, and other penalties. The second case is an administrative case where Texas’s licensing agency will attempt to suspend your license for refusing to submit to chemical testing or for taking a chemical test and failing. The administrative penalties will depend on whether you have any prior DWI offenses and any factors that may make the penalties more severe. When it is time for you to face your administrative hearing, having a Texas DUI lawyer to handle your case can be an important factor in whether or not you can save your driving privileges. A skilled Texas DUI attorney is experienced with both the criminal and administrative aspects of a DUI case and will be able to come up with a strategy that gives you the best chance of keeping your driver’s license.
If you have operated a motor vehicle in a public place in the state of Texas while intoxicated, you will be arrested for DWI and you will face all of the criminal penalties associated with such an offense. This offense is classified as a Class B misdemeanor and carries criminal penalties based on the number of prior offenses and any special circumstances in your case. Because this offense is a crime, the prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, the prosecutor must prove several elements in your case. It must be proven that you were operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Texas law defines intoxication in two different ways. One is not having the mental or physical capacity you normally do as a result of consuming alcohol or drugs. The other is having a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08% or more due to the consumption of an intoxicating substance. Even if the substance is legal, such as a prescription drug, it does not excuse you from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Texas DWI Criminal Penalties
The penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas increase with the number of offenses you’ve been convicted of and any special circumstances. For a first offense, the penalties are a fine of not more than $2,000, not less than 72 hours and not more than 6 months of jail time, and not less than 24 hours and not more than 100 hours of community service. If you had an open alcohol container in your vehicle, the jail time increases to 6 days. Unless you have aggravating circumstances involved in your case, you will most likely receive a sentence of community supervision for a first offense. Second and subsequent offenses carry penalties that include steeper fines, more jail time, and more punishments designed to prevent repeat offenses. The court must also require an offender to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle they own for a required period of time. Enhanced penalties are available if you have an extremely high level of blood alcohol content or if there are other aggravating factors present.
Texas Driver’s License Penalties
You will also face administrative driver license penalties if you are arrested for a DWI offense in the state of Texas. An ALR suspension will take effect if you are arrest for DWI. Many drivers do not realize that their arrest triggers not only a criminal case but an administrative case when arrested for DWI. This ALR suspension takes place when you have refused a chemical test or you have taken a chemical test and failed with a result of more than the legal limit for blood alcohol concentration. Texas is one of the many states with implied consent laws. The concept of implied consent means that, just by using any roadway in Texas, you are implying your consent to chemical testing if arrested for DUI. If you refuse to submit to chemical testing, you will face additional penalties and the loss of your driving privileges.