How to Get out of a DUI - First Offense Information That's Crucial
How can one get out of their DWI in Texas? The easiest way to avoid an issue is not to drink and drive. However, adults are often responsible enough to have one drink and drive home safely. Others may drink too much and get caught. Still, that doesn't always mean they should spend their entire lives paying for that indiscretion. Therefore, it's crucial to fight that DWI in Texas to avoid the consequences it might have on one's life forever.
Most people aren't sure how to do it. A lot of it focuses on trust for the police officers and getting the results of the DUI blood tests, breath tests, and field sobriety tests.
In a perfect world, sobriety tests and all the rest work as they should every time. However, no one is perfect; in fact, these tests must be challenged instead of trusted to uncover the truth of the matter.
Why Choose Appropriate Attorneys
That's the second part of beating one's DWI in Texas - a DWI attorney is crucial here. They create the best attorney-client relationship, offering victims a way to prove their innocence and get the DWI overturned.
Sparks Law Firm is located in Fort Worth, Texas, and has many years of experience. The attorneys here have taken multiple cases to trial where other lawyers refuse to try. Lawyers know that there must be a valid reason to stop someone who might be intoxicated and can assist with other criminal charges related to the Texas first offense.
Anyone who needs a lawyer should contact the firm for a free consultation. The offense might be overturned, it may not go to trial/court, and no license revocation may occur.
Overall, the professionals at Sparks Law Firm understand the court system. They know what the jury expects and wants. Therefore, they can help anyone beat their DWI offense without jail time; in fact, probation might be the only thing to contend with, which is much better than being given a misdemeanor charge.
It's important to understand how to beat a DWI in Texas, whether it's a first offense or not.
What Is a First Offense DWI in Texas?
DWI means driving while intoxicated. If someone is caught driving over the legal limit (too much alcohol in the blood), they could face a Texas first offense DWI. This limit is 0.08 percent in Texas, as it is in many other states.
Shockingly, most drinks served at a bar are quite strong. Therefore, that percentage can easily be reached after one or two beverages. Getting a DWI is often easier than one might assume. Since it's considered a crime (and a serious offense), a lawyer is necessary to represent the person in their defense. That way, evidence may be refuted.
Consequences for Getting a DWI-First Offense
Here are the types of consequences one might get for a first offense DWI:
Class A Misdemeanor - This is when the BAC is .15 or higher and comes with a maximum jail sentence of 12 months and a maximum fine of $6,000. A conviction for such an offense is permanent and means license suspension for the driver.
Class A or B Misdemeanor - If one gets a DWI with an open container in the vehicle, it could be a Class A or B misdemeanor, depending on the BAC levels. It falls into the same punishment range as shown earlier. However, someone convicted of such an offense faces at least six days in jail because there was an open container involved.
State Jail Felony - If someone gets a DWI with a child in the vehicle, it's a felony. The maximum fine here is $10,000, and the person could be confined for 24 months in a state jail facility. Convictions for such an offense are also permanent and mean a license suspension and other collateral consequences for being a convicted felon.
Types of Penalties
Getting a DWI in Texas doesn't just mean having criminal charges; here are the types of penalties included:
Administrative License Revocation Penalties
If someone is lawfully arrested for their Texas first-offense DWI, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles may impose some administrative license revocation penalties. When the person refuses or fails a chemical test, the arresting officer may confiscate the license immediately.
The officer then issues the "notice of suspension," which functions as the temporary driving permit. From there, the person has 15 days from the arrest date to request a hearing contesting that suspension.
However, if they don't request the hearing, the license is suspended for 90 days, which starts on the 41st day after the arrest. If a hearing is requested, the notice of suspension allows one to continue driving until the hearing date to receive a final decision.
One may not refuse a chemical test legally. If someone declines the chemical test, it violates the implied consent laws in Texas. Therefore, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles can automatically suspend the license for 180 more days when the temporary license expires. This suspension is only set aside if they are fully acquitted of a DWI in criminal court.
Generally, one might be eligible for lesser administrative penalties as a first offender. This includes being provided an occupational license, which is given out during the suspension. With this, one may only drive to and from work, school, and other necessary places to accomplish household duties.
To get an occupational license, one must provide evidence of their financial responsibility and prove they had an ignition interlock device installed on each vehicle they operate or own. However, employer-owned vehicles could be exempt from this rule.
Criminal penalties are what one might have to do after their first DWI in Texas. A conviction for a first offense is often a Class B misdemeanor. However, when the driver has a blood alcohol content level of .15 percent or more, it is upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, they face maximum fines of $2,000 to $4,000 and administrative fees.
First offenders often face between 72 hours and six months in jail (up to a year in jail with BAC levels of 0.15 percent or more). DUI sentences may also include community service, DWI education programs, and probation.
Generally, a first DWI conviction requires the court to suspend the motorist's license for three to 12 months. Texas imposes an annual license surcharge for the next three years, which ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
What Must One Beat in Texas First Offense DWI Cases?
If someone is arrested for a DWI in Texas, they must understand that it's not just the criminal penalties they must beat. There are also administrative penalties. One must tackle the administrative license revocation procedure against their driver's license and overcome that charge, as well.
While the driver's license and criminal cases are separate and in different court systems, the overall strategy is the same to beat the DWI with the help of a lawyer.
How to Beat the ALR Hearing in Texas
A DWI arrest carries criminal and civil consequences with it. For civil consequences, the arrest means an automatic license suspension. The driver's license is confiscated when the person is arrested. When they are released, they get a pink paper (notice of suspension).
They have 15 days from receiving that notice to request their ALR hearing. At the hearing, they must contest the suspension of their license. It's best to hire a DWI attorney for this situation.
Three Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
Here are the three primary reasons a lawyer is necessary:
The ALR hearing isn't a criminal hearing, but it can act and feel like that because specific rules must be followed and upheld. An experienced DWI attorney understands the process and regulations.
An ALR hearing is the person's opportunity to protect their driving privileges. A DWI lawyer holds the state accountable to prove the case. While the state's burden of proof is lower here than for a criminal procedure, it must still prove that the person committed a DWI in Texas through evidence. The state needs a valid reason to pull someone over and arrest them.
The ALR hearing is the best opportunity to look at the DWI case against the person. The lawyer uses that hearing to cross-examine the arresting officer, forcing him to commit to what happened.
For a DWI case, the first step to beating a DWI in Texas is by retaining an experienced lawyer who provides a strong ALR defense. From there, the civil consequences of the DWI can be fought.
How to Beat a Texas First Offense DWI
Some attorneys make people believe they can help them with a DWI charge. However, beating a Texas first offense DWI means accepting a plea deal. In fact, that's not overcoming the charge; it's throwing in the towel. Beating a DWI shouldn't include trading one offense for another just to get a reduced sentence.
It's not about accepting the program, such as deferred adjudication. With one misstep, the guilty verdict stands, and the victim gets sentenced. In such situations, everything is settled once the towel is thrown in. There's no going back to fight the DWI.
There are two primary ways to beat the DWI: One's actions and the evidence.
What Can the Person Do to Beat Their DWI Charges
There is a lot that can be done before, during, and after the DWI in Texas that may aggravate or mitigate the circumstances surrounding the DWI event. People might improve their chances of getting the charges reduced or beating it altogether by watching what one says and how they behave.
Pre-arrest Actions to Take for Beating a Texas First Offense DWI
The first thing for beating a DWI is to know a person's rights. That must be done before the person is arrested so that they may invoke them when needed. These rights are at the core of the DWI defense and include essential things, such as:
The right to remain silent (not incriminating oneself by talking to the police without a lawyer present)
The right to retain their DWI defense attorney
The right to have a jury trial
The right to defend oneself, including a right to contest
The constitutionality of the administration of a roadside test (police administering the field sobriety tests correctly)
The constitutionality of the stop (reasonable suspicion to pull someone over, such as poor physical faculties)
The constitutionality of the Miranda rights (properly provided to the person promptly)
The constitutionality of probable cause to arrest (there was a reason to arrest someone for drinking and driving)
The use of a blood or breath test (the blood or breath specimen was handled, taken, tested, and analyzed correctly)
Other Factors to Consider
Apart from a person's basics rights, there are things that they should do before a traffic stop or arrest, such as:
Adhering to the rules of the road
Remaining polite because dash and body cams might be taping them
Maintaining control of mental and physical faculties
Handing officers insurance and identification information with no other details provided (where one was going, where they had been, what the evening had been like, what they were doing)
Actions to Take When Being Arrested for a Texas First Offense DWI
One is automatically placed under arrest if they fail a portable breath test, fail field sobriety tests, or indicate to the police officer that they were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It's crucial at this time to:
Be on their best behavior
The reason why people should remain silent is that they can. It's a constitutional right to be quiet, so they shouldn't speak and risk incriminating themselves. The police are quite smart; they try to persuade people that they're doing them a favor if the party involved gives a little information. Unwittingly, they do so, helping the police and not the person arrested.
It's also a good idea to be on one's best behavior because the police officers might be videotaping the situation. Those are often submitted as evidence later. Therefore, how one acts influences the jury's opinion of them.
Post-arrest Actions to Take for Beating a DWI Charge
After being arrested, it's crucial to keep these things in mind:
Don't refuse the breath test. Blood tests are often more reliable and harder to challenge.
Once one is released from jail, don't post anything about it on social media. The police can search such sites to provide evidence.
Don't tell others what happened, such as having drunk alcohol or how much. The state could use those people as witnesses, calling them against the party.
In addition to using common sense, it's best to contact a DWI attorney. They can review the DWI charge and investigate immediately to ensure that there's plenty of time to build a strategic and strong defense to beat the DWI in Texas without going to jail.
The Evidence - What a Board-certified DWI Attorney Does to Beat DWI Charges
There's a lot of physical evidence that may be used along with layperson and expert testimony during a DWI charge. It's best to request a free consultation with Sparks Law Firm located in Fort Worth, Texas. A lawyer can help people beat a DWI in Texas.
Field Sobriety Tests
Field sobriety tests aren't scientific. They're created by the police to help the department. In fact, they're highly subjective and must be administered according to the proper guidelines. There are various ways to challenge the tests and videos from the DWI event, which can support those issues.
Blood or Breath Test
Determining intoxication is much more complex than simple blood and breath tests lead others to believe. Most of the time, breath tests give a positive result, which is produced because of something other than being intoxicated or using alcohol. Using mouthwash recently, eating specific foods, and having a health condition could also trigger a positive result.
Other times, those results are from bad toxicology, bad administration of the test, or bad mishandling. For example, the intoxilyzer is the machine used for such a test, and it must be calibrated correctly and handled properly. If it's not, the results may be inaccurate and more vulnerable to a motion to suppress. It may also inspire doubt among the jurors of the case.
Reports from Police Officers
A police report establishes the date, time, and reason for a traffic stop and arrest. Therefore, through the police report, the attorney can identify if there was reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop and determine if probable cause for the arrest existed. If not, the lawyer can build a strong case to move for dismissal because the case is lacking one or both points.
Typically, the report also includes the police officer's explanation of what happened and a list of witnesses and what they said if available. This information is often very useful, as well.
It all depends on the circumstances of the case and how good the lawyer is. Make sure that the attorneys considered have reviewed thousands of similar police reports. That way, they know what to watch for and can determine if the information is absent and how it might benefit the current situation.
Most peace officers wear body cameras and use dash cams. Therefore, people are likely recorded if they are pulled over for a routine traffic stop. It's best to perform well on the video, such as being polite with unremarkable behavior and having normal actions. That way, it's hard for the jury to believe it if the police state the party failed a sobriety test because of such visual contradictions.
Dash and body cams can be very beneficial to a person's defense. However, people must be on their best behavior at all times. Those cameras can also harm the defense if the client acted belligerent during the scenario.
A knowledgeable DWI lawyer knows how to cross-examine the expert witnesses, which includes forensic specialists and peace officers. Finding contradictions, inaccuracies, and other relevant information is crucial to weaken the state's case against the client. Sometimes, counter-expert testimony is also used to show the jury another way of what happened.
Laypersons are just like all other types of people. They get confused, forget, remember, and mix up facts. A good and experienced lawyer knows how to handle such witnesses. It's best to have someone who can read laypersons and jurors. The attorneys ask gentle but assertive questions and expose witnesses who aren't credible. They also provide testimony that works in their client's favor. Overall, attorneys must be specific and strategic in their dealings.
DWI vs. DUI in Texas - Can the Case Be Proven?
One primary difference between a DUI and DWI in Texas relates to whether the driver was under 21 years of age or not. Texas state law says that a driver who is 21 years or older and over the legal limit for intoxication (0.08 percent blood/breath alcohol concentration) may be charged with a DWI. The same law extends to those who are over 21 and get arrested for driving while impaired from drugs (including marijuana and prescription medications).
If someone is under 21 years of age and gets stopped by the police during a traffic stop with alcohol in their system, they must be charged with a DUI. A significant difference between a DUI and DWI is that it doesn't really matter if the driver under 21 is over that legal alcohol limit (0.08 percent) or not.
Under the Texas legal code, it's still illegal for drivers under 21 to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. The DUI law uses the zero-tolerance policy, which is in effect for each town and city in Texas.
Must be Proven Guilty First
Regardless of the test results for prescription medication, alcohol, marijuana, or illegal drugs, one is innocent until proven guilty in a court. It's the prosecuting attorney's job to prove each element of the charges against the driver. If they cannot do this beyond a reasonable doubt, then the law requires those charges to be dismissed in court. This is why free legal advice is provided after a first offense.
DWI charges in Texas are serious, even when it's only a DUI offense for those under 21. Both DUI and DWI can affect the person's life for many years after the first offense guilty plea or conviction.
Therefore, attorneys offer free legal advice to explain the best defense options, depending on what happened during that arrest. That way, everyone understands their best chances for getting a DWI dropped. What they choose to do next is entirely up to them, but they are now back in control and have some peace of mind because they're informed to make appropriate decisions based on their individual situation.
Contact the attorneys at Sparks Law Firm to speak with a reputable lawyer.
Why Breathalyzer Results Aren't Always Accurate
After a DWI arrest, it could seem like the case is easy to prove because the party involved failed the field breath test or a Breathalyzer after the traffic stop. However, it's not true that one can be found automatically guilty or that it is easy for the prosecutors or police to prove that case in court.
Here are the four top factors that result in inaccurate or false Breathalyzers (blood alcohol content readings):
Faulty breath test equipment
Device not properly maintained
Driver's own medical conditions or unique attributes
Even when the breath tests are accurate after traffic stops, the machine may only record the person's BAC level when the driver took the test. They may have been under that legal limit of the 0.08 BAC when they were driving, blowing over that limit later on after they took the test.
After examining all the arrest details, attorneys know what to look for and can determine if the BAC results of the breath test might have been unreliable for use in court as evidence.
Other Factors for How an Attorney Can Dismiss DWI Charges in Texas
It's quite common for people facing a DWI in Texas as first-time offenders to be unconvinced that their DWI lawyer can get the charges reduced or dismissed. To explain how an excellent attorney can accomplish that outcome, here are a few ways that attorneys may help people get out of the offense:
The prosecuting attorney is likely basing the case on a specific piece of evidence, such as the breath/blood test results. Therefore, the lawyer may provide reasons why that evidence was collected improperly to ensure that it's suppressed and cannot be used against the client.
Additionally, attorneys can provide reasonable explanations that signs of intoxication the officer observed were not actually caused by using alcohol or drugs. For example, the normal use of prescription drugs could make someone appear drunk when they are sober.
Many strong defenses can reduce or drop the charges. Each legal tactic applies to specific cases and that client's individual situation. Before considering a guilty plea and enduring the criminal penalties and administrative penalties that may come after, it's crucial to have the case reviewed to see what the lawyer could do for that specific set of circumstances.
Overall, a lawyer can find whatever arrest details that are available and get them dismissed according to the law.
Recent articles covered on social media and the news report that first-time offender laws in Texas are always changing. Therefore, there are various ways that attorneys can deal with the charge and get it removed from the client's record successfully.
How Some DWI Charges May Get Reduced Through Plea Bargaining
Some DWI and DUI cases are more complicated or serious to fight, so the most important thing the criminal defense attorney can do for someone is to get a plea bargain deal for a less serious offense from the prosecuting lawyer. With plea bargaining for drug or drugged driving cases in Texas, the prosecution must agree to reduce the charges against the person, but they must plead guilty to that lesser offense. This is often reckless driving.
It's crucial to understand that the prosecuting attorney does not agree to reduce the charges because they are asked. The first-offense DWI laws are now so severe in every state. Organizations like MADD and political pressure put more strain on the courts to not negotiate a plea bargain for lesser charges for offenders of a DWI in Texas.
Therefore, an average attorney cannot make an easy and quick deal with the prosecution like they did in the past. That's why it's crucial to work with attorneys who understand this complex field of law. The goal should always be a full dismissal in court.
However, negotiating a DWI plea deal to a lower charge is possible in some cases. This depends on the specific circumstances for each individual. When lawyers can find appropriate weaknesses in the prosecution's case, they understand the legal process and can open up the possibility to get a lesser plea, such as community service. Likewise, they know how to negotiate for their client to reduce the charges of a Texas first-offense DWI.
It is important to reduce the charges if it's possible because of how long a DUI can stay on your record in Texas. If a less serious offense (reckless driving) could be worked out, this can be beneficial in the long run for the driver. A DWI or DUI offense stays on the person's criminal background record for life, while a reckless driving charge may get expunged later, so it doesn't limit the person's future, showing up forever on the background check.
Contact Sparks Law Firm for assistance today!
Negotiating a DWI Plea without a Lawyer
Some people feel that they could negotiate their DWI case by themselves, but it's not a good idea to try to get a plea bargain without the assistance of a lawyer. It's unwise to navigate those serious criminal offenses like that without expert advice and legal counsel. However, people only have one chance to get the plea bargain, so they don't want to waste it.
When someone tries fighting a DWI in Texas without an attorney, the prosecution is fully aware from the start that they want to negotiate a plea deal on their own from a severe position to one of lesser implications.
Without an attorney to review the plea offer and its potential value to lower DWI charges, they could end up taking a bargain that ends up being something less attractive than they wanted. Overall, some people don't fully understand the repercussions of the lesser charge initially.
How a Lawyer Helps
With a lawyer's experience, they provide their client with the knowledge of the local law and procedures and how those apply to that specific arrest scenario. Lawyers conduct potential plea negotiations with the legal experience necessary to drop the seriousness of the DWI in Texas.
If and when the plea bargain is in the clients' best interest, the lawyer gets them the best result at the court date. The driver can obtain appropriate assistance with enough time after getting arrested, so they greatly increase their chance of having the best outcome for reducing or ultimately dropping the case.
How Lawyers Fight the Evidence
Driving while intoxicated is a complicated and specialty area of Texas law that requires significant skill and courtroom experience. That way, the lawyer understands the legal issues that must be challenged as it relates to the clients' case. Here are a few areas where lawyers can fight the evidence:
Can the prosecuting attorney prove the driver was operating the vehicle when the offense took place?
Was there enough probable cause to believe they were trying to drive? For example, were they sleeping in the parked car to be warm while they sobered up?
Were any blood or breath test devices used properly and well-maintained under the local and state law DWI testing procedures?
Were the Breathalyzers in good working condition and calibrated according to the manufacturer's instructions at the time of the arrest?
How long did it take for the police officer to test the driver for alcohol during the traffic stop?
Were the driver's rights violated when the police ordered a breath/blood test sample?
Were the police officer's observations made with a predetermined bias of DWI (the driver had red or irritated eyes?)
Did the officer make procedural mistakes because they were confused about the new testing laws for alcohol or drugs?
As previously stated, the above list is only a small set of facts that attorneys consider when reviewing the driver's arrest. That way, they can find the best defense for getting out of Texas DWI charges in court.
It's best to contact a lawyer for a free arrest review before making decisions that could result in expensive consequences or affect a person's ability to go to work, travel, and support the family.
People must act fast to maximize their chances of success while keeping legal costs low.
Please contact Sparks Law Firm for assistance and to receive a free consultation.
Why Work with an Attorney
It's best to contact an attorney for a DWI charge because of the attorney-client relationship. One can confidently and discreetly discuss the situation they're having, and the attorney can determine the best way to handle the case. That lessens any penalties that might come about during the trial.
Intoxication while driving is a serious concern. To fail the sobriety tests or refuse to take them can lead to the party becoming convicted. It's best to pay a lawyer immediately to ensure that the client gets the assistance they require.
Contact Sparks Law Firm right now for assistance.
What Happens If One Pleads Guilty to the DWI or Refused the Breath Test?
Most drivers find themselves charged with their first DWI in Texas and wrongly believe that the arrest isn't a criminal offense or as serious as a violent crime might be viewed in the court.
Though a DWI charge may not have as much stigma as another criminal defense, driving while intoxicated has serious consequences that could be more costly than other violent crimes.
It doesn't matter if it was a felony or misdemeanor DWI or the individual refused to take the breath test sample. They all have serious criminal penalties and administrative penalties for first-time offenders. Generally, the individual has a permanent criminal record for the rest of their life.
When one decides to contact a lawyer early enough after the arrest, it could prevent the conviction from happening. More importantly, this criminal offense has unique consequences on the driver's life.
The first punishment is a driver's license suspension for at least one year on average. When the person gets their driver's license back, there's another impactful and newer penalty to deal with. They must pay to have the Ignition Interlock Device installed on all vehicles they drive and pay for the related costs, as well. Luckily, attorneys are proficient in the updated methods to prevent this problem.
On top of the license suspension and other factors, car insurance rates for the individual often double or triple after being convicted under the new state laws. Most auto insurance companies outright refuse to cover drivers with a DUI or DWI conviction anymore. Therefore, the individual must buy high-risk insurance, paying several thousand dollars more throughout the next three years.
Given the mandatory punishment required for first-time offenders who are convicted, individuals mustn't plead guilty until they're completely aware of each defense option available to them based on their circumstances. It's just as important to know precisely what the long-term and immediate consequences are if one gets convicted in a local court.
Fortunately, attorneys can avoid the suspended license and don't always have to enter a guilty plea when drivers are experiencing their first offense.
Contact Sparks Law Firm for assistance today!
What to Expect for DWI Lawyer Prices
Besides the common reasons to hire an attorney for a DWI in Texas, driving while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs carries fixed costs with it and mandatory consequences compared to other misdemeanor and criminal offenses.
Most people arrested on DWI/DUI-related charges have long-term effects of the conviction that outweigh the immediate cost of the punishment or fine. Upon the finding of guilt for the first offense, insurance rate premiums skyrocket, and there's a mandatory driver's license suspension for six months to one year on average.
That also includes newer court-ordered programs from the government to get the license back early, such as installing an Ignition Interlock Device in every vehicle the convicted party might drive. Those new criminal penalties come with an expense that adds up to thousands of dollars.
The truth here is that there's no inexpensive way to deal with such charges. While a good lawyer's fees aren't cheap, they are far less compared to how much money could be spent on the Ignition Interlock, classes, fines, and higher insurance rates after a conviction.
Additionally, DWI lawyers are specialists who offer low payment plans and try to work within people's budgets. That way, every driver gets the best defense possible to win their cases.
How a First Offense DWI Can Cause Problems
Here are just a few of the ways that a first offense may cause various problems:
Getting a Job after the First Offense DWI in Texas
Most employers and companies in Texas conduct background checks before hiring new employees. Therefore, that first DWI charge is sure to be found. By signing the employment contract or application form, people give the employer permission to conduct criminal background searches.
Therefore, having the DWI offense on record greatly limits people's opportunities and chances to hold various jobs. That's why it's crucial to do everything possible to fight that DWI charge in Texas while the case is pending or before it goes to trial.
Sparks Law Firm can help people explore their options by having the arrest details thoroughly examined. That way, they know what to do next to fight for dismissal.
Losing a Texas Job after the First Offense DWI
Even if someone has worked for the same company for many years, they're not protected from future criminal background search requests. Therefore, a first-time offense could still be found. They could lose their job if the DWI is shown on the public record.
Self-employment with a Texas First Offense DWI
Self-employed people in Texas aren't immune to background criminal search requirements for most companies. Therefore, a first DWI offense could still cause employment hardships. Most companies subcontract to small businesses or individuals, and they require criminal background checks on the owners of the business and employees used.
This is true for situations where an independent contractor has access to confidential information or works with vulnerable people. Nannies, accountants, and computer programmers are a few examples of self-employed careers that require criminal record searches. A first-time offense in Texas could be a problem if it's on the individual's permanent and personal record.
Career Advancement Issues for a First Offense DWI in Texas
Many employers in Texas never required background checks before and do so now when employees apply for job promotions. The discovery of the first DWI may hinder that person's chance for career advancement and could lead to them being let go or fired, especially when driving is part of the duties.
Inability to be Bonded after First Offense DWI in Texas
Being bonded indicates that the employer or company paid insurance in case the employees steal or commit other crimes. Most people can get insurance, but the business might have to pay more for those with a criminal record, including the first DWI offense. If the employer finds it too expensive to bond the employee, they may not get hired.
Careers Requiring a Criminal Record Background Search (Includes DWI/DUI) in Texas
Many job fields require a background record search because it states that in the law. Some common examples where background checks are required (with a first DWI offense preventing employment) include:
Taxi or limousine drivers
Any government office
Second, Third, and More DWI Charges
Second or third charges can also be beaten in Texas. Because of the prior convictions, there are pre-judgments and assumptions, making it harder to fight in front of the jury. However, they can be won with preparation and convincing arguments. It's crucial to have an attorney who provides a compelling argument.
Please contact Sparks Law Firm for assistance today!
Before someone decides to contact an attorney, they may have other questions about their criminal charges. It's best to understand whether it's a felony and what fees are involved with hiring a lawyer.
A person has the right to protect their way of life and stay out of jail, especially if it was a first-time mistake. Here are a few questions that might be helpful in understanding the law and how it pertains to DWIs.
Can the DWI be Dismissed in Texas, and How?
Yes, DWI cases get dismissed each day in courtrooms throughout Texas. If someone is facing a first-offense DWI, the stakes are high. The state isn't likely to take it easy on someone because it's their first offense. That's why it's crucial to fight back, understand the constitutional rights, and do everything necessary to avoid that final conviction.
Bad Traffic Stop
Police officers are often wrong when it comes to the law. If the judge determines that the underlying reason for the traffic stop was in error, everything following that stop must be excluded in court. Without any additional factors, bad traffic stops could result in the dismissal of the case.
Lack of Probable Cause
All DWI cases must be dismissed if the judge finds that the arresting officer had no probable cause. Arresting officers are trained to watch for signs of impairment during routine traffic stops.
However, if there are no signs of intoxication or impairment, the arrest is deemed invalid, and the case is dismissed. Sometimes, clients may choose to sue the officer or the department for wrongful arrest or stereotyping.
Can the DWI in Texas Get Reduced and How?
Yes, enhanced DWI offenses can be reduced. The first-time charge might get elevated to a Class A misdemeanor or a state Jail Felony. However, the state has the right to waive the enhancement and proceed with it as a Class B misdemeanor. Sometimes, people can get their sentences reduced even further to community service or something similar. It just depends on the circumstances and the lawyer.
Reckless Driving or Obstruction of a Highway
Before September 1, 2019, anyone charged with a DWI in Texas was ineligible to apply for the deferred adjudication. As a work-around for this, many prosecutorial offices allowed defendants to plead to other offenses, such as reckless driving or obstruction of a highway. Though it only happened in certain situations, it allowed the judge to grant the person's application for deferred adjudication, avoiding a final conviction.
Since Texas House Bill 3582 passed, first-time DWI offenders are eligible to apply for it. That has ultimately ended the practice of letting defendants plead to other charges.
What All Happens for a First DWI in Texas?
After getting arrested for a DWI, defendants must see the magistrate judge. They set the bond amount and decide whether there are other conditions for release. In DWI cases, the additional bond conditions consist of ignition interlock, drug testing, and SCRAM devices.
How Much Is Bail in a DWI Case in Texas?
For first-time offenses, the bond amount is often set anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000. Defendants may choose to pay a Cash Bond or work with a local bail bond company or attorney to post their surety bond. With that, some clients might qualify for the personal recognizance bond. It's often best to contact an attorney for assistance on paying bonds.
Is Jail Time Always Mandatory for a First-time DWI in Texas?
No. Jail time isn't always required for a first offense unless it's enhanced.
Can One Go to Jail for Their First DWI in Texas?
Yes, people are sentenced to jail time every day in Texas courtrooms. The likelihood of someone being sentenced to jail for a DWI is dependent on various facts, including their driving history, criminal history, and the criminal defense strategy used by the lawyer.
How Long Is Probation for the First-time DWI in Texas?
Typically, probation could last 24 months for a Texas citizen convicted of a DWI.
Does One Need a DUI Defense Attorney for a DWI in Texas?
Some people argue that an attorney isn't required for DWI convictions. However, Texas has harsh penalties for intoxication offenses, including DWI. Therefore, without a lawyer, jail time is likely. However, attorneys can often get the criminal charges reduced. The choice for representation makes the difference between a lifelong conviction and a temporary inconvenience.
How Long Does the DWI Stay on One's Record?
In Texas, the disposition and arrest records for an individual are never cleared automatically, so they stay on a person's permanent record forever. However, there are two ways to remove criminal charges from the record in Texas. These include:
Expunctions to Delete DWI Charges
DWIs and other criminal charges could be eligible to get expunged (deleted) if those charges didn't result in a final conviction.
Petition for Nondisclosure to Seal One's DWI Convictions
Texas has a Second Chance Law that started in 2017. Therefore, certain individuals with a DWI conviction could seal their records. The law is retroactive, as well, so it applies to any DWI cases, even those that are very old.
It's often hard to deal with the mental anguish of having a criminal conviction. Therefore, it's best to contact a lawyer for assistance. Clients can avoid the penalty of higher car insurance and other problems when they have their records sealed.
Contact a DWI Attorney for Assistance
Being pulled over is never fun, and most people get very nervous when they see the cop car behind them with their lights flashing. The police are there to do a service for the community, but they aren't always right. People have rights, even when they're suspected of a crime. Therefore, it's in everyone's best interest to get the assistance of a professional attorney.
Anyone could get arrested for DWI, including law enforcement professionals. This crime is never planned. While it can happen to everyone, it's often hard for a regular individual to defend a DWI charge. It takes planning, skill, strategy, and knowledge. Overall, a solid attorney-client relationship is the best option for clients. They get legal counsel about what to do for their Texas first-offense DWI.
Whether the breath and blood tests were done incorrectly or the individual wasn't intoxicated at all, it's often hard for the jury or judge to decide on the case without enough evidence and information.
Most people feel that a DWI in Texas has a lower penalty than other criminal cases. One pays a fine, might do community service, and they're done. However, being convicted means that the information is permanently on the person's record. They need the assistance of a legal team who is knowledgeable and can create a strong defense.
Sparks Law Firm is located in Fort Worth, Texas. The Fort Worth TX DWI lawyers here have the scientific knowledge and courtroom skills necessary to understand the Breathalyzers and other methods of testing. With that, they have the insight and resources needed to win DWI cases for their clients.
These attorneys don't back down; they fight hard each day for hard-working people who need a second chance or were innocent from the beginning. Decide to get the assistance necessary to avoid these serious charges.
After being pulled over, one might still be taken into custody, but they can contact a law firm that cares about its clients. It's the only way to avoid getting convicted.
Contact Sparks Law Firm to request a free consultation and provide the facts of the case.