The Best Arlington TX DWI Lawyer for You
Texas is one of the strictest states in the country when it comes to drunk driving penalties. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions in the state can result in jail time, fines, and the loss of a driver's license. Even after a driver has served their sentence, their conviction may follow them around, making it difficult to find certain jobs or get car insurance.
If someone has been charged with a DWI in Arlington, TX, having the correct legal representation can be the difference between them going on with their lives and spending the next few months or years paying the price. The Law Offices of Sparks Law Firm can assist a victim in overcoming a DWI charge in Arlington with a free consultation.
The Fundamentals of Texas DWI Law
Texas, like other states, has a 0.08 percent BAC limit. However, with regard to Texas law, a person does not have to blow this amount or higher to be charged (and convicted) of a DWI.
Regardless of their DWI test results, a police officer can charge them for a DWI if they believe there are signs of intoxication. In Texas, a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor at the very least, with any number of aggravating factors elevating it to a Class A misdemeanor or even a felony.
The following circumstances may result in a more serious DWI charge:
Having a prior DWI conviction;
Driving while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 15;
Causing physical damage or death while driving under the influence;
Refusing to get blood tests for alcohol
Drunk Driving Laws for People Under the Age of 21
If a driver under the legal drinking age of 21 is caught with even trace levels of alcohol in their system, they can be prosecuted with DWI or DUI. In Texas, a BAC of 0.01 percent is enough to accuse and convict a minor motorist of drunk driving.
DWI Conviction Penalties in Arlington, TX
Texas imposes some of the heaviest penalties in the country on those convicted of a DWI. Even if this is an individual's first offense, they may face the following consequences:
A six-month jail sentence;
a $2,000 fine;
driver's license suspension;
and a $2,000 yearly cost for three years after their license is reinstated.
They may also be ordered to attend alcohol education programs or Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, serve parole, perform community service, and have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle by a judge.
If someone is charged with a DWI and others were involved in the accident, they may face civil claims for personal injuries sustained during the accident in addition to the criminal penalties. This can raise the severity of the penalties that the driver faces, as well as the amount of money that they must pay in fines.
Non-Criminal Penalties of DWI Arrest and Conviction
A DWI conviction can ruin a young person's life and cost them their freedom, but it can also cost them money if they are arrested without being convicted. The loss of an individual's driver's license for a short period of time can limit their work prospects and harm their reputation. Finding a law firm with experienced DWI attorneys in Tarrant County is important when faced with such charged.
They may also be required to pay higher auto insurance premiums and put future background checks at risk. Loss of the capacity to vote, the inability to carry a firearm, and the inability to apply for certain forms of government assistance are all possible post-conviction and release implications. Many of these costly societal consequences can be avoided with a criminal defense strategy.
Charging a Driver with a DWI
When the police monitor a driver on the road, they will check for a range of signs indicating he or she is intoxicated. These are some of the signs that indicate someone is driving while intoxicated:
The driver was unable to stay in their lane.
The driver was driving above the legal limit.
The motorist caused a motor vehicle accident.
The driver appeared to be driving in a way that could harm others on the road.
Police will charge the driver with a DWI if they find that the driver was intoxicated. In many circumstances, this will result in the driver's arrest and, in some cases, jail time.
What's the Difference Between a DUI and a DWI?
DUI stands for 'Driving While Intoxicated.' This includes not only driving while under the influence of alcohol but also driving while under the influence of any prescriptions or substances.
It's crucial for a driver to remember that even if they don't appear to be intoxicated, they can still be charged with a DUI if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. Drivers can be charged with DUI in some places even if they are sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle with the keys in the ignition but the vehicle is stationary.
DWI is a state-specific offense. In many places, DWI and DUI are interchangeable terms. In these states, DWI stands for 'Driving While Intoxicated.' DWI can also stand for 'Driving While Impaired' in states where it is not synonymous with DUI.
Impaired driving can refer to falling asleep behind the wheel or driving when physically unable to control the vehicle safely. The elements are the same as for a DUI but a person can be charged criminally even if they are not affected by drugs or alcohol.
If a person has been charged with a criminal DWI or DUI, they should speak with a criminal defense lawyer who is familiar with these offenses to discuss the case and how they can assist them.
We Can Help You Keep Your License After a DWI in Arlington, TX
Even if the driver has not been convicted of a DWI by a former prosecutor, they may lose their driver's license. If their driver's license is suspended as a result of the arrest, they only have 15 days to file an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. During this time, their attorney can argue for their license to be reinstated.
The Advantages of Hiring a DWI Attorney in Arlington, TX
There are numerous advantages to hiring DWI lawyers in Arlington, TX. The following services are available from Sparks Law Firm:
A legal professional with experience and knowledge of motor vehicle laws and viable legal defenses.
A probable reduction of penalties, such as the length of time spent in prison and fines.
When a police officer pulled someone over, it might have been for any reason, not just because they suspected the person to be driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They can, however, legally test the person's blood alcohol content if they have any reason to believe that they were intoxicated (BAC). This can be done by using a:
A breathalyzer test
The findings of a driver's BAC test can be used against them in court. If the level of intoxication is excessively high, more serious penalties may be imposed. A DWI lawyer in Arlington, TX can look over the driver's case and give them an estimate of how much jail time and penalties they might face.
Lack of Probable Cause
Reasonable suspicion is the same as probable cause. The only distinction is that reasonable suspicion is necessary for an officer to pull a driver over, whereas probable cause is required for an officer to conduct BAC testing during a traffic stop.
An Arlington DWI lawyer at Sparks's law offices will look at every detail of a client's arrest to see if the law enforcement officers had reasonable grounds to order BAC testing. If the DUI lawyers determine that there was no probable cause, they can have the findings of the client's test – as well as other proof of their guilt – declared inadmissible.
Lack of Reasonable Suspicion
DWI attorneys may discover when reviewing the facts of a client's arrest that the arresting officer had no reasonable suspicion to pull the client over in the first place. Any evidence obtained during a traffic stop becomes inadmissible unless there is reasonable suspicion.
To put it another way, even if the client failed a BAC test or showed clear signs of impairment, a criminal defense attorney can get the evidence thrown out in court if they can show a lack of reasonable suspicion.
Plead Guilty to a Minor Offense
If the prosecution's case against a person is strong, they may be better off pleading guilty to a lesser charge rather than fighting the charge. Criminal law attorneys will discuss the client's options with them and include the client in the decision-making process.
Drivers can generally avoid jail time and the loss of their license by pleading guilty to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving. Furthermore, a reckless driving conviction does not appear on a background check nearly as badly as a DWI.
Other Arlington Practice Areas
Call Law Offices of Sparks Law Firm for a Free DWI Case Evaluation in Arlington
If someone has been charged with a DUI conviction, the criminal defense lawyers and personal injury lawyers at the Sparks Law Firm can help a client avoid jail time as well as a license suspension. The firm provides a no-obligation consultation, and the DUI lawyer team is ready to represent clients right away.