What Happens If I Get a DUI While on Probation?
In any state, this is a very undesirable place to be in. A probation violation can result in more severe punishment including years of jail time. If an individual gets a DUI or DWI while on probation, law enforcement may revoke probation.
This means the convicted will not only serve time for their initial crime but their DUI or DWI as well. In turn, they would face way harsher punishments.
It is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney after a DUI or DWI conviction. Sparks Law Firm serves the Forth Worth community and surrounding areas. A free consultation is offered right from the beginning.
Provided below is information for individuals who have personally or have a loved one who received a DUI/DWI while probation and need legal counsel.
DUI/DWI Law in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, "you are legally intoxicated in Texas when your blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%, but you are breaking the law as soon as drugs or alcohol affect your driving."
What Is a DUI?
DUI stands for driving under the influence. A DUI in Texas would be given to a minor (individuals who are below 21 years of age) who has a 0.08% or higher BAC. A DUI is under the jurisdiction of the Texas Traffic Code.
What Is a DWI?
DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. This is given to adults (21 years of age or older) who are driving with 0.08% or higher BAC (or are clearly incompetent to operate a vehicle due to intoxication). A DWI is under the jurisdiction of the Texas Penal Code.
Punishment and Sentencing
Fines and jail time increase with each offense. Even first-time offenses can result in expensive fees to keep a driving license. If one's BAC is 0.08% to o.14%, the criminal charge is a Class B misdemeanor. 0.15% or higher BAC results in a Class A misdemeanor.
According to Texas Law, "a conviction for a Class A misdemeanor carries up to a year in jail. It also carries the potential for a fine of up to $4,000."
Drunk driving is a serious offense that can be life-changing to all parties involved. Permeant injury or even wrongful death could occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "every day, about 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes -- that's one person every 52 minutes."
DUI/DWI Law While on Probation
The punishment will be far more if a DUI/DWI occurs during probation. During probation, an individual's freedom and future are very much at the hands of their probation officer and the state/county government. If one's probation officer discovers misconduct, he or she can file a report called a motion to revoke probation. This report will permanently be on the individual's criminal record.
The DWI probation violation will be sent to the judge or court of law preceding the said individual's criminal case. If approved, the individual would be sent back to jail without the option of bail. Article 42.12 Section 21 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure dictates that any individual who is placed in jail after a violation will be seen by a judge within two days.
If a defendant has multiple probation violations, he or she will have way more difficulty trying to receive a lesser sentencing. With each subsequent offense, the more severe the punishment. Other offenses can have a large impact on sentencing.
Probation Violation Hearing
The convicted will be legally required to remain in jail until a probation violation hearing occurs. United States law states that the accused are entitled to a fair and impartial trial. This hearing will be even harsher than a traditional criminal trial.
Evidence will be shared attempting to prove why a probation revocation should occur. Fortunately, the convicted will have the opportunity to be represented and present counter-evidence.
The central challenge of a DWI probation violation hearing is that it has a key difference from a traditional criminal trial. The defendant's actions do not need to be proven to a reasonable doubt. Reasonable doubt simply means that the evidence must be so convincing that any reasonable person would agree the client is guilty. In a hearing, the preponderance of the evidence methodology is used. What does this mean?
According to the Legal Information Institute, "the burden of proof is met when the party with the burden convinces the fact finder that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true." In other words, if a jury finds that there is a 50% chance that the convicted did violate probation, he or she will be sentenced accordingly.
Why Hiring An Attorney is Crucial
Most DUI's can be initially proven through a breathometer. Therefore, the convicted could receive the additional criminal offense or DWI probation violation. With an experienced attorney representing on the behalf of the defendant, probation may not be revoked. As a result, the individual would face a lesser penalty and may not even have to serve time.
It is important to contact and hire the best DWI lawyer in Fort Worth right after a DWI while on probation violation occurs. According to Saputo Law Firm, the legal system has been known to be more accommodating "with people who take a proactive approach to resolving probation problems (or potential probation problems)."
Sparks Law Firm understands the severity and difficulties of such a situation. The attorney team is strong-willed, experienced, and aggressive. Firm representation can be of the essence to ensure that one's probation is not revoked. When an individual contacts the firm, they will receive a free legal consultation and a free case evaluation.
Defense Attorneys and the DWI Probation Violation Case Process
A DWI conviction by itself is a criminal offense that can be highly punishable. A DWI while on probation takes the level of severity to a different degree. If proven guilty of the violation, jail time is nearly certain.
When a probation violation case is considered by Sparks Law Firm, the attorney-client relationship will begin. The first step would be a confidential consultation. If the Firm accepts the case, a collaboration between the defendant and attorneys will start.
The client will have the opportunity to share his or her complete side of the situation. The lawyers will then research the details of the case and examine items such as the client's probation record and any accessible police records.
After conducting research, the attorneys will craft a compelling argument based on legal precedent that would attempt to limit the criminal punishment faced. The ultimate goal would be for the defendant not to plead guilty. If successful, punishment can be reduced to community service, longer probation, or similar alternatives in place of jail time.
Additionally, the convicted could have their license suspended based on sentencing guidelines. The defendant would then report back to their probation officer or community supervision officer.
Court costs can be extremely expensive. This is just another reason why a defendant would want to place emphasis on hiring an aggressive criminal defense lawyer. Defendants would desire a lawyer who will place 100% effort in the trial and will fight with perseverance.
Perhaps even more critical, if one receives a guilty verdict, he or she will be required to fulfill the respective punishment. If a defendant is investing a significant portion of their finances for their future, they would undoubtedly want the best possible outcome and representation.
Why Sparks Law Firm is the Right Choice?
At the heart of the Sparks Law Firm philosophy is being proactive, rather than reactive. Its team of talented and respected attorneys has years of experience in criminal defense. As soon as a case is accepted, work will begin. The team hates to procrastinate and wants to get the job done!
This does not mean that quality will ever be compromised. Sparks Law Firm's team will research and plan for as long as it takes to create the best possible defense argument. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, a majority of the team are former prosecutors who have plenty of trial experience.
Every client who entrusts Sparks Law Firm is valued and appreciated. Care and respect are core to the mentality of the firm. Additionally, each case taken on will be handled by at least two Sparks attorneys. The firm believes in the power of teamwork and collaboration. A bigger team is a more successful team.
Sparks Law Firm is dedicated to placing clients first. The attorney team will always work hard on the behalf of their clients. This is the foundational backbone that drives its attorneys each and every day. Sparks Law Firm is grateful for the trust clients place in its team.
If one has received a DUI/DWI while on probation, the Sparks Law Firm law offices can be contacted at (817) 381-7846. Receive a free consultation and a free case evaluation today. You can also seek their legal assistance if you would like to know how to get off probation early for DUI.