fort worth dwi lawyer

Fort Worth DWI Lawyer - Get Your DUI Dismissed in Tarrant County

Defense attorney Justin Sparks and his team help fight DWI charges, including 2nd and 3rd offenses. Get your DUI expunged from your record.

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Drunken driving may seem like a minor offense. However, a DWI conviction can have serious repercussions. A first-time DWI conviction in Fort Worth can result in serious consequences and a hefty fine. Those convicted of DWI for the first time in Texas can expect their driver's license to be suspended.

They can also expect a hefty fine, court expenses, and a jail sentence. However, drivers can fight these charges or enroll in a rehabilitation program to reduce the severity of the penalty, based on the circumstances surrounding the DWI arrest. With the help of a Fort Worth DWI lawyer, drivers can defend their legal rights and ensure that they are aware of the options available to them.

Those facing DWI charges in Tarrant County and surrounding areas in Fort Worth are advised to consult an experienced DWI lawyer from Sparks Law Firm to discuss a way forward. Contact a criminal defense attorney today to book a free consultation!

WHAT IS A DWI IN FORT WORTH?

DWI is an acronym for driving while intoxicated. A DWI is a violation of state laws committed by someone who drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

DWI Convictions

However, DWI convictions do not require proof of total intoxication. State laws specify the blood-alcohol level at which a person is considered to be under the influence of alcohol. Drivers are considered to be practicing intoxicated driving when their blood alcohol levels are 0.08 percent or above and are breaking the law if they drive a motor vehicle in this condition.

In Texas, the first time a driver is caught driving while intoxicated the offense is considered a Class B misdemeanor.

The consequences are a sentence of a maximum of 180 days in imprisonment, and the truth is that the word "driving" is never used in Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, which indicates that offenders need not have been driving to be penalized. 

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DUI & DWI?

DUI

DUI refers to either driving while intoxicated or driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The medicines may be over-the-counter, prescribed, or illicit.

DWI

DWI refers to driving while drunk, impaired, or intoxicated. The specific definitions of these terms and the consequences that offenders face vary by state.

A DUI or DWI charge applies when a police officer believes that a driver was too inebriated to drive. Alcohol, narcotics, tiredness, and other conditions could contribute to such impairment.

DWI LAWS IN FORT WORTH, TEXAS

Texas is a conservative state when it comes to drunken driving rules and the penalties for breaking them. The basic components of a DWI charge under 49.04 are rather clear under these statutes. Here is what people in Tarrant County and other Fort Worth areas need to know after being charged with driving while intoxicated.

First Offense

A first-time offense in Fort Worth, Texas, warrants serious consequences and a permanent addition to the offender's criminal record. It is considered a class B misdemeanor. Additionally, drivers driving while intoxicated may face fines of up to $2,000, a maximum of 180 days in prison, and driver's license suspension for up to one year following the offense.


If an offender is driving a vehicle with an open container in Tarrant County and other parts of Fort Worth, it is still considered a class B misdemeanor. However, it still involves 6 to 180 days of jail time and a fine of up to $2,000. A first-time offender with a blood alcohol level of 0.15 percent or more is charged with a class A misdemeanor. This involves up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $4,000.

Second Offense

Second-time offenders in Fort Worth may have a harder time challenging their guilty verdict and may face fines of up to $4,000, one month to a year in prison, and a driver's license suspension for a maximum of two years. To ensure that a DWI felony repetition does not earn the maximum sentence, offenders are advised to contact a Fort Worth DWI lawyer.

Third Offense

A third-time offense in Fort Worth is taken very seriously. The accused may be looking at fines of up to $10,000, 2 to 10 years imprisonment, and losing their driver's license for up to two years. Third-time offenders should contact Sparks Law Offices to talk to a DWI lawyer, as a DWI felony repetition can have long-term consequences.

DWI Charge With A Child Passenger

Driving while intoxicated can put a child passenger in serious danger. Consequences for such an offense include 180 days of jail time and a hefty fine of up to $10,000.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE OFFENDERS DRIVER'S LICENSE FOLLOWING A DWI ARREST?

The criminal aspects of a DWI charge are handled independently from the driver's license suspension process, and the Texas Department of Public Safety will immediately suspend an offender's driver's license unless they meet a strict deadline to oppose suspension.

An arrest for drunk driving results in the confiscation of a driver's license and the issue of a two-week temporary driver's permit. The Department of Public Safety will revoke a license regardless of the outcome of the criminal case until the accused requests an Administrative License Revocation hearing within 15 days.

Testing Whether a Driver Has Been Driving While Intoxicated in Fort Worth - Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests are methods used by police officers to look for clues of drunkenness when evaluating the loss of the mental or physical faculties of a driver. The walk and turn test, the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, and the one-leg stand test are all used on the field to determine whether a driver is under the influence.

While these assessments may be helpful to law enforcement, they are voluntary, and a police officer may not force a driver to perform these tests. It is important to remember that the fifth amendment gives offenders the right to remain silent. The things that a driver says in these circumstances can be used against them in court by assistant district attorneys in Fort Worth.

DWI lawyers from Sparks Law Firm know how to challenge these tests in court. Contact a Fort Worth DWI lawyer today to book a free consultation! 

1. The Walk & Turn Test

This test, much like the one-leg stand test, is intended to assess a person's ability to focus on two things at once. The term used to describe a person's ability to use their body and mind in unison to achieve a particular objective is divided attention. 

  • How the Test Is Conducted

The test requires that a person stand heel-to-toe with their arms at their sides and the stance is highly awkward and difficult to maintain. While attempting to maintain this stance, the police officer will issue instructions that individuals must hear and obey. 

 

These instructions advise the person to take nine heel-to-toe steps in a line and then make a turn with a sequence of smaller steps before returning to the starting point with nine heel-to-toe steps. There are several things that a police officer will look for, including whether the individual can keep his balance, whether he starts too soon, or moves away from the imaginary line. 

  • A Fort Worth DWI Lawyer Can Disprove These Results

Driving demands that a driver multitask, so the purpose of these tests is to assess divided attention capability. However, these tests have come under much scrutiny because they do not accurately depict an individual's ability to operate a motor vehicle. 

2. The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test

This test is typically the first test that a law enforcement officer would give. According to certain studies, horizontal gaze nystagmus can be triggered by the ingestion of alcohol or certain medicines. The HGN test is intended to show the police whether a person suspected of driving while intoxicated has the reflexive twitching of the eyeballs that happens when intoxicated.

  • How the Test Is Conducted

The investigator advises the accused to follow a stimulus with his or her eyes and notes the point at which the pupils begin to show "nystagmus," or involuntary eye jerking. Nystagmus that appears before or at a 45-degree angle is a sign of intoxication.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), this test is 77 percent accurate in diagnosing whether a motorist has a blood alcohol content greater than 0.10.

  • Disproving This Test

However, there have been DWI cases where the horizontal gaze nystagmus test proved to be incorrect for a number of reasons. Firstly, law enforcement agents may not be able to estimate a 45-degree angle accurately. Contact lenses can also render results inaccurate, and flashing lights can cause nystagmus, producing a false-positive result.

Those who have been accused based on a horizontal gaze nystagmus test result in Tarrant County, and surrounding areas should contact Sparks Law criminal defense attorneys to challenge these results.

3. The One-Leg Stand Test

Like the walk and turn test, the one-leg stand tests a person's ability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

  • How the Test Is Conducted

During this test, the person must balance on one leg while raising the other, keeping the foot about six inches above the ground. In addition, the person is told to extend his toe outwards. This is a strange stance to hold and requires that an individual be sober.

While attempting to maintain this posture, the law enforcement officer then gives the order to count out loud from 1 to 20. Officers then assess the accused's ability to maintain this posture while counting, checking to see whether they put one foot down, sway from side to side, or use their arms to balance.

  • DWI Attorneys Can Disprove the One-leg Stand Test

The results of this test can be disproved because some people struggle ordinarily to maintain their balance on one foot, whether or not they have been drinking. Individuals should contact Sparks Law Offices to book a free consultation with a Fort Worth DWI attorney to discuss challenging DWI accusations.

Testing Blood Alcohol Concentration

After the motorist has been apprehended, the police will request that the offender undergo a breathalyzer or blood test to determine their blood alcohol concentration. To do so, the person's statutory warning, known as the DIC-24, must always be presented to them.

Most Individuals Do Not Understand the Statutory Warning

The police officer then asks the DWI accused person accused of driving while inebriated to simply acknowledge whether they have understood the warning.

However, the truth is that this document can be confusing and perplexing, leaving the individual confused about their legal rights and the police are not allowed to provide legal counsel to the individual. As a result, the person is afforded limited discretion and must respond quickly.

However, a Tarrant County criminal defense attorney can help the accused to understand their rights after they have been arrested for a DWI.

What Is Considered an Acceptable Blood Alcohol Level?

When it comes to driving while inebriated, most states may make it unlawful to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or more, with the exception of Utah, where this limit is 0.05 percent. Driving drunk is a misdemeanor in many places, but repeat offenders may suffer felony or criminal charges.

Severe Consequences for Higher Alcohol Levels

In several places, fines can be increased if the blood alcohol concentration is 0.15 percent or more. A urine, breath, or blood test is usually used to determine the amount of alcohol in a driver's bloodstream.

Remember that in many jurisdictions, if a person is seated in the driver's seat, but the vehicle isn't moving, they can still face a DWI charge. 

Can a Person Be Forced to Have Their Blood Alcohol Content Tested?

There is no way to make someone take a breath test in Fort Worth, TX. However, there are often repercussions if a person refuses to give a breath sample. One of these implications is the suspension of the accused's driver's license.

The other possibility is that the policeman will attempt to secure a warrant for a blood test. To do this, a  police officer must prove reasonable cause. He or she may take the person to a phlebotomist for a forced blood sample if he can prove probable cause in an affidavit and get a judge to grant the warrant.

Law enforcement will use any amount of force required to acquire the blood sample for testing once the warrant has been granted. The sample is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis of alcohol levels, drug usage, or a combination of the two.

Laboratory Accuracy 

There is no way to make someone take a breath test in Fort Worth, TX. However, there are often repercussions if a person refuses to give a breath sample. One of these implications is the suspension of the accused's driver's license.

The other possibility is that the policeman will attempt to secure a warrant for a blood test. To do this, a  police officer must prove reasonable cause. He or she may take the person to a phlebotomist for a forced blood sample if he can prove probable cause in an affidavit and get a judge to grant the warrant.

Law enforcement will use any amount of force required to acquire the blood sample for testing once the warrant has been granted. The sample is taken and sent to a laboratory for analysis of alcohol levels, drug usage, or a combination of the two.

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What Can Offenders Do Following a DWI Arrest in Fort Worth, TX?

The first thing that offenders should do following a DWI charge is contact DWI or DUI attorneys who can help determine the best way forward. Fort Worth DWI attorneys can make an appeal for probation instead of jail time.

Contact A Fort Worth DWI Attorney For Probation Violations

If a driver is suspected of violating their probation for a Fort Worth DWI, seeking the advice of an experienced DWI lawyer from Sparks Law Offices will be extremely advantageous. Even in the case of a probation violation, early intervention could prevent the issuing of revocation warrants or the eventual termination of the probation agreement.

Skilled DWI attorneys may be able to assist offenders not only in avoiding the maximum penalty requested by the prosecution but also in minimizing the repercussions of probation violations.

Fort Worth DWI Probation

In Fort Worth, DWI probation is essentially an agreement between the offender and the judge. The agreement's core principle is that the judge will "probate" or "delay" a prison term if the accused agrees to observe a tight set of restrictions for the duration of the probation.

Probation for a first-time DWI offense in Fort Worth is known as "probation," and it can continue for up to two years. If the offender breaks the agreement, the judge may choose not to "suspend" the sentence any longer but instead compel them to serve the prison sentence agreed upon during the initial hearing.

Take A DWI Education Program Course In Fort Worth, TX

Another suggestion that a DWI lawyer in Fort Worth may make is taking a DWI education program course. If an offender applies for probation, the judge may require him or her to take one of these courses. There are several places in Tarrant County and other counties in Fort Worth where offenders can take these courses. DWI attorneys can advise offenders on where to find these program centers. 

How Fort Worth DWI Lawyers Defend DWI Cases

It isn't always easy, but a Fort Worth DWI lawyer can have the case thrown out or have the sentence reduced in some DWI cases. Below are some of the arguments that DWI attorneys often use to defend DWI cases.

Proving the Absence of Reasonable Doubt

To stop someone, an officer must have a reason to suspect that he or she was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reasonable suspicion implies that the policeman has "particular and articulable facts" that a crime has occurred.

This is something that officers occasionally get incorrect. There are a number of cases where video footage refutes the officer's stated reason for the stop.

Discrepancies In Lab Results

Sometimes, laboratory equipment malfunctions due to poor maintenance, tests are conducted by poorly trained or unqualified laboratory staff members, or testing procedures are not followed. In such cases, Fort Worth DWI attorneys will find these discrepancies and use them to obtain a favorable outcome.

No Probable Cause for a DWI Arrest

To make an arrest, an investigator must have what is known as probable cause. Most Fort Worth DWI lawyers are solely concerned with their client's results in field sobriety tests. However, the findings of field sobriety tests are often thrown out because the policeman conducted the test incorrectly.

If a court of law is to rely on the results of these tests, it's vital to obtain them properly. Furthermore, one person's "normal" can vary from another's depending on a variety of circumstances such as the time of day, their quality of sleep, and previous or current medical issues — none of which the policeman considers in the field.

No Breath or Blood Specimen

While this is not a common occurrence in Fort Worth, a police officer may fail to obtain a warrant if a suspect refuses to produce a breath or blood sample now and again. The results can be thrown out in such cases, which works in favor of the offender. 

The Time of Intoxication

If the authorities can establish that a person was operating a motor vehicle, they will look into whether they were inebriated while driving. In this case, the passing of time is the most crucial component. The longer the period between alcohol testing and vehicle driving, the more difficult it is to establish drunkenness at the time of operation. The body begins to break down alcohol as soon as it is consumed.

Fort Worth DWI Attorneys Can Help Determine Whether a Driver Was Intoxicated While Driving

A knowledgeable DWI lawyer will consult with professionals in the field to see if and how this argument can be used. It could be that the accused submitted a sample with a high blood alcohol level even though they were not intoxicated while operating a car. 

Blood Alcohol Levels Vary Based on Several Factors

The alcohol content in a person's blood or breath can vary depending on when they last had a drink, the other contents of the stomach, the amount of alcohol consumed, and the amount of time between the last drink and the time the person drove.

Justin was my lawyer for a case I had with Tarrant County. He was very responsive, professional, and helped us sooo much! I ended up having everything dismissed. Definitely highly recommend!

- Payton R.

I cannot say enough good things about this law firm! They took care of me and immediately started working my case. They knew exactly what to do as soon as I told them my story.

- Alana B.

Sparks Law Firm - Criminal Defense Attorneys With Years of Experience

Those facing DWI charges in Tarrant County and other Fort Worth counties can have their punishment terms reduced or have their case thrown out with the right legal representation. A DWI lawyer can conduct the necessary investigation into the events that led to the DWI arrest and disprove the prosecution's claims.

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Texas DWI and DUI regulations are some of the strictest in the country, which is why offenders need quality legal representation. However, with so many DUI attorneys to choose from in Tarrant County and surrounding areas, they may be wondering why they should choose Sparks Law Offices. Here are a few reasons:

  • Clients get a free consultation to discuss the specifics of their case

  • A Fort Worth DWI attorney can provide the necessary guidance to help offenders prevent a repeat offense and honor their probation contract

  • Sparks Law Firm has helped hundreds of people in Tarrant County and surrounding areas and is situated conveniently near the Tarrant County court

  • Clients have provided more than 100 five-star reviews

Breathalyzer Tests in Fort Worth, TX

Breath analyzers, also known as "Intoxilyzers," are also not without flaws. "Intoxilyzer Supervisors," who generally work for the state of Texas, are responsible for the maintenance of this equipment. As one might imagine, their views and expertise are frequently biased in favor of the state.

They must, however, follow the procedures set in place. If the devices' regular maintenance is called into question, the results generated by such devices can be thrown out in court. 

Fort Worth DWI Lawyers Advise Against Providing a Breath Sample

Many DWI lawyers in Tarrant Country and other regions in Fort Worth have advised them not to do agree to do this test during a DWI stop because the device is often unreliable. When this type of out-of-date equipment is used, there is a risk of inaccuracy.

If a person provides a breath sample over the legal limit of 0.08, the state gains access to supporting information that they otherwise would not have had. There are times when a breath sample shows a result that is less than 0.08. Depending on their investigations and the proof they've obtained, the police officer or the assistant district attorneys can still proceed with the DWI prosecution.

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