Southlake, TX, DWI Lawyer: How Can They Help Offenders
Many people face the United States court system for the first time after committing a DWI offense. In most cases, offenders think they should plead guilty and face the consequences.
However, driving while impaired can become a longer and more complex legal process if they do so. Therefore, it is essential to seek advice from a criminal defense attorney or DWI lawyer who understands and fights for their legal rights.
What Is the Difference Between DUI and DWI?
While often confused or used interchangeably, the two terms are different under Texas law. DUI refers to driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These offenses relate to over-the-counter, prescribed, or illicit drugs or other controlled substances.
In turn, DWI defines an offense as driving while drunk, intoxicated or impaired. However, each state has its specific definitions and punishments for these offenses.
Understanding the Legal Definition of DWI
Under the Texas Penal Code, driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) is a criminal offense, categorized as a Class B misdemeanor.
DWI offenses encompass driving impairment caused by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both. The term is often used interchangeably with DUI, but some states employ it to refer to driving while intoxicated cases involving recreational or prescribed drugs.
Texas criminal law states that a person is intoxicated if they are unable to use their mental or physical abilities because of high concentrations of alcohol or other controlled substances in their system.
Therefore, police officers may ask drivers to undergo different chemical tests to confirm whether individuals are guilty of impairment after witnessing erratic or dangerous driving.
However, they are not mandated by law, and drivers should seek help from a DWI or DUI lawyer if law enforcement agents force them to take such tests.
Tests a DWI Offender Could Undergo
Law enforcement officers may resort to field sobriety tests while looking for signs of drunkenness, but they are voluntary.
Drivers cannot be compelled to submit to any tests by traffic authorities or police. Additionally, the Fifth Amendment gives offenders the right to remain silent. Some tests officers may order are:
The Walk & Turn Test
It is similar to the single leg stand test and is used to assess an individual's ability to focus on two things at once.
The Walk & Turn Test's goal is to find out if a person can use their mind and body at the same time to confirm if they keep their attention divided.
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (Hgn) Test
Law enforcement officers often order this test to confirm whether an offender has driven under impairment since horizontal gaze nystagmus or reflex contractions of the eyeballs can be triggered by the ingestion of alcohol or other controlled substances.
The One-leg Stand Test
It is similar to the walk and turns test. Officers often ask drivers to balance on one leg while raising the other.
The One-leg Stand Test is intended to show whether a person is capable of concentrating on two things at once.
Blood Alcohol Concentration Tests
Officers may also ask offenders to submit to laboratory tests to determine their blood concentration.
A Criminal Defense Attorney Can Disprove All Tests Results
A DUI lawyer or DWI attorney can refute and challenge all tests since most of them have come under scrutiny for their effectiveness or have been proven incorrect under many circumstances.
In addition, a police officer can only ask an apprehended motorist to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test through the person's statutory warning or DIC-24.
If law enforcement fails to present it, the driver should contact a reputable law firm's criminal defense lawyers to challenge the results or take legal action over the officers' misconduct.
What Would Happen If a Person Is Convicted of a DWI in Southlake, TX?
A person convicted of DWI in Southlake, TX, can face all the consequences criminal offenses bring. If the case escalates, the court could take further action and consider a jail sentence.
DWI is considered a Class B misdemeanor charge, meaning it carries a maximum prison sentence of six months. However, being sentenced to incarceration for driving under impairment is rare.
DWI Laws in Southlake, TX, and Other Parts of Fort Worth
Texas has clear statutes on the basic components of a DWI charge, whether the offenders are in Southlake, TX, or other parts of Fort Worth, TX. Along these lines, a person accused of driving while intoxicated can be charged with:
Drivers facing a first-time offense in Fort Worth, Texas, can face serious punishment and have permanent additions to their criminal record.
DWI is considered a class B misdemeanor, which means people who drive while intoxicated or impaired can face fines of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. A first-time offender could also have their driver's license suspended for up to a year.
If there is a repeat offense, offenders may face more difficulty in challenging the guilty verdict. In these cases, they can face up to $4,000 in fines and more than a year in prison. Their driver's license may also be suspended for up to two years.
The third offense is much more severe and is taken very seriously. Under Forth Worth law, offenders can face fines of up to $10,000 and two to 10 years in prison on a third DWI charge. Drivers could also lose their driver's licenses for up to two years.
What If the Driver Was with a Child Passenger?
People facing drunk driving charges could face worse consequences if they intentionally or negligently endanger the life of a child passenger.
If convicted in a DWI case with a child endangerment count, offenders could be fined up to $10,000 and go to jail for at least 180 days.
Resolving a DWI Misdemeanor Case in Southlake, TX
A DWI attorney strives to help offenders emerge victorious from the cases in which they are charged. Therefore, they try to resolve a misdemeanor case and clear the criminal record of the defendant.
In these cases, DWI or DUI lawyers can apply the following:
Dismiss Case for Lack of Evidence
Not Guilty Verdict
What Can Offenders Do After a DWI Arrest in Southlake, TX
Offenders also have some options to do after being arrested in a DWI case. The first step they should take is to contact a law office and hire DWI attorneys or DUI lawyers, depending on their case, to determine the best way to continue the legal process.
DWI law firms in Fort Worth can fight the officers' decision and make an appeal for probation, keeping offenders out of jail.
As they seek probation for offenders, DUI lawyers recommend taking DWI education program courses if they apply to improve their defense and reduce or nullify prison terms. Drivers can also rely on DWI attorneys for probation violations.
Should Offenders Hire DWI Lawyers, Criminal Defense Attorneys, or a Personal Injury Law Firm?
People who have been charged with DWI should seek DWI lawyers' advice.
A criminal defense attorney knows and serves as a DWI lawyer, but not everyone is an expert in that practice area. Therefore, offenders should seek support from specialists who know all the related laws, especially if the case reaches the county criminal court and they need legal representation.
Whether the case is difficult or straightforward, an offender can get help from reputable law offices' DWI lawyers to try to get the case dismissed or reduce the sentences.
Experienced DWI attorneys can present several arguments and perform some actions to achieve these goals, including:
Try the Absence of Reasonable Doubt
Show evidence to prove discrepancies in laboratory results
Demonstrate that there is no probable cause for a DWI arrest
Determine if the driver was really intoxicated
Prove that blood alcohol levels can vary according to multiple factors
Argue lack of a court warrant when officers force the suspect to produce a breath or blood sample
What Sparks Law Firm's DWI Lawyers Can Do for Defendants
DWI lawyers at Sparks Law Firm in Southlake, Texas, have more than 100 years of combined expertise. We are aware of the challenges a criminal record can present and the effort required to mount a successful DWI case. Our team is prepared to support the accused in the defense of their rights and future well-being.
Additionally, every attorney in this law office has trial experience and was a former prosecutor, so we all understand the criminal justice system to handle DUI and DWI cases that become more complex and end up in court.
Other Southlake Practice Areas
Contact Sparks Law Firm and Get a Free Consultation if You Need DWI Lawyers' Advice in Southlake, TX
All offenders facing a legal issue or jail time for DWI charges can contact Sparks Law Firm at (817) 381-7846, get a free consultation in Southlake, TX, and receive help from a lead attorney to build a strong defense.
The highly qualified team of DWI and DUI lawyers at Sparks Law Firm treats offenders with respect and works hard to find a solution to their legal issues.
Moreover, Sparks Law Firm's super lawyers understand the legal system in Fort Worth, TX, and are ready to handle all DWI cases. They have experience in several practice areas. Get in touch and get a free consultation by this law firm today!