If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated, you could face serious, lifelong repercussions like going to jail, losing your license, or facing fines.
In addition to the legal penalties, your career, reputation, and family could also experience the consequences of your criminal charges. Our legal firm will give you a confidential case consultation just hours after your arrest. Our Bellaire DWI attorneys could also help you obtain a lesser charge through a plea deal. Call us today.
Potential Approaches to Defending Your DWI Case
Our drunk driving attorneys could approach your defense in several ways. Here are tactics our DWI lawyer in Bellaire, TX, could use to build your case:
- Questioning the reasons for the arrest: An officer must have probable cause for pulling you over or making contact. Next, there must be specific articulable facts for the officer to escalate a traffic stop and proceed to conduct standardized field sobriety tests. If an officer did not have a valid reason or probable cause, we may be able to challenge the initial detention for your DWI charge.
- Breathalyzer issues: There are various reasons why a breathalyzer test might give an inaccurate reading. The most obvious is that the breathalyzer is inaccurate. The officer may have been working with defective equipment, or the test may have been subject to another malfunction.
- Improper BAC Test Method: The Texas Breath Alcohol Testing Program Operator’s Manual gives specific guidelines for how these tests are to be conducted. If someone fails to follow those guidelines, the results could be inaccurate and inadmissible. We can investigate how your test was conducted and challenge your DWI because of improper testing.
We can work to collect accurate data and build your case to prove your innocence.
For a legal consultation with a dwi lawyer serving Bellaire, call 713-225-1900
Get Started With a Bellaire DWI Lawyer On Your Case as Soon as Possible
There is no time to waste. There are many reasons why we need to get to work quickly on our defense. Our criminal defense lawyers are ready to assist you through every stage of your case.
Bellaire DWI Attorney 713-225-1900
How Serious Is DWI?
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious problem, and this is not just regarding the potential legal fallout. It can also lead to severe accidents, resulting in significant property damage and injury.
When vehicles collide in a crash, those involved can suffer head, neck, and spinal cord injuries. These victims and their families then must cope with physical and emotional pain and suffering.
As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted, alcohol-impaired driving accidents are even more common in Texas than the national average. This makes it even more important to consult an attorney and gather evidence for your case as soon as possible.
How Does Law Enforcement Determine DWI?
Even if you haven’t been drinking, law enforcement could pull you over if they believe you have violated the law. How you were driving can suggest you were operating the vehicle while under the influence. For example, they might suspect you are drunk if they notice you swerving into other lanes or not stopping at the appropriate times.
Officers might also suspect you are intoxicated if they notice certain behaviors such as:
- Red, bloodshot, glassy eyes
- Slurred speech
- Imbalances or limited coordination
Common Tests Police Use to Verify Intoxication
Officers might use several methods to see if you display signs of intoxication. For example, they may ask you to complete the standardized field sobriety tests; note that these tests are voluntary. Examples of standardized field sobriety tests are:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus test: Officers will ask you to follow a moving object close to your face, such as the officer’s finger or a pen.
- Walk and turn: Officers will ask you to walk for nine steps in a straight line, turn around, and have you walk the same straight line back to the starting place.
- One-leg stand: Officers will ask you to stand on one leg for thirty seconds or more.
A more official method is a breathalyzer test measuring the alcohol content in your blood. Any reading above 0.08 indicates that you are above the legal limit and can be charged with DWI.
However, sometimes these tests are inaccurate. It might not be in your best interests to agree to take a breath test. If you refuse, the officer will likely get a search warrant and force a blood draw.
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You Do Not Have to Fail a Breath Test to Get a DWI in Texas
We can help you fight drunk driving charges, no matter the circumstances that led to your arrest. In general, you may face an arrest and under the influence charges if a law enforcement officer pulled you over and:
- Your breath or blood tested at 0.08 or above.
- They believe you lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties.
There are also several related crimes they could charge you with concerning a drunk driving stop. For example, if you are under the legal drinking age and have any detectable alcohol in your system, you could face a driving under the influence (DUI) charge.
Open container charges are also common. If you fight officers when they have a search warrant for blood, they can charge you with interfering with the duties of a public servant.
A Texas DWI Conviction Comes With Serious Consequences
Before you go to court for drunk driving offenses, you will face the administrative license revocation process, where the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) attempts to strip you of your driving privileges. The police officer who arrests you will take your license and issue you a temporary permit. The ALR is automatic and separate from your criminal case.
What Are the Penalties When a Person Gets Their First DWI?
If you get convicted of driving while intoxicated, losing your license may not be the biggest penalty you could face. As a first-time offender, legal penalties may include:
- A $2,000 maximum fine
- Three days to six months in jail
- An additional license suspension, up to one year
In some cases, you may be able to get probation, called community supervision, instead of these penalties. Probation could require you to commit to a certain number of hours of community service, attend a 12-hour alcohol education program, and regularly report to a probation officer.
Additional Charges May Call for Extra Penalties
You may be facing additional charges depending on the circumstances surrounding your DWI. These can include the following:
- If you have a previous conviction, you could face more serious consequences. You could spend 30 days to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines for a second offense. A third offense is a felony charge, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
- Getting a DWI with a child in the car is also a felony offense. If convicted, you could face drunk driving penalties such as spending six months to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
- If you tested at 0.15 BAC or higher, there is a high chance you’ll face additional legal penalties.
- If you caused an accident resulting in injury or death, you can face intoxication assault or manslaughter charges. Intoxication assault penalties are two to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and a potential two-year license suspension. Penalties for intoxication manslaughter are between two and 20 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and a potential two-year license suspension.
Other Consequences of a DWI
We will get to work to defend you in the face of these consequences following a DWI charge. Our team can answer any questions and help you understand the defenses that may be available. Then, we can choose a strategy that gives you the best chance to clear your name.
Other consequences you could be facing once you have a criminal conviction on your record includes:
- Loss of employment: Some employers may terminate your employment immediately if they find out you have been convicted of a DWI. You could also lose your employment if your job requires you to drive and your license is suspended. A suspended license can make it difficult to find transportation to work, which could also result in termination.
- Difficulty finding employment: Many employers conduct background checks when hiring potential candidates. If they see a criminal conviction on your record, they may deny your application and hire someone with a clean record.
- Failed background checks: If you are applying for housing with an apartment complex, you could be denied if you failed a background check. You could also be impacted by a failed background check if you are applying to college or applying for a loan.
- Auto insurance premium increase: Auto insurance companies can increase your premium after a DWI conviction because you would be considered a high-risk driver. The auto insurance company could also drop your policy. It can be difficult to find a new policy after being convicted.
- Civil lawsuits: If you were in an accident when you obtained the charge, and someone was injured, you could face a civil lawsuit. The injured person or their family could file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against you. You could be subject to paying a large amount of compensation to the injured person.
- Professional licenses: If you hold any professional licenses, the agency that issued them could revoke them after a DWI conviction. Lack of an occupational license could make it harder to maintain your employment or find employment in the future.
Our attorneys are ready to work hard to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We can do what it takes to protect you from having a criminal conviction on your record.
Why You Should Work With a Bellaire DWI Lawyer
Founder criminal defense attorney Jay Cohen has never worked for the prosecutor’s office and never fought against those who face DWIs and related charges. He has always been on the side of people just like you. He and his team can go to work today to protect your rights and build a strong defense on your behalf.
Other reasons to consider our team include:
- Jay Cohen is a Certified Practitioner and Instructor in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. We have the background necessary to investigate your field sobriety results.
- Jay Cohen is a lawyer scientist accredited by the American Chemical Society. We know scientific techniques to find real answers to problems you may be facing.
- Our past results for clients speak for themselves. We have gotten DWI charges dismissed or reduced for many previous clients, even for those with multiple prior offenses and felony charges.
- We keep our clients informed of their options and provide the best defense. Our legal team will work hard to protect your right to freedom by avoiding jail time and large fines and help you preserve your driver’s license.
We will work to get you the best possible outcome for your case. We understand what laws apply to your case and how to gather accurate data.
Our Initial Case Evaluations Are Always Confidential
You may feel scared after getting charged with a DWI and not know who to turn to. Our team is available 24/7 for a confidential consultation. During the consultation, we will discuss what happened and inform you how we can help.
After the consultation, you will know your legal options and have your questions answered. Connecting with our attorney soon after you have been charged can be helpful to your case. Being in touch will give us more time to evaluate your case’s circumstances and develop a strong defense strategy.
We can begin working on your case immediately after you choose to start working with our team.
Reach Out to Our Attorneys About Your Bellaire DWI Today
Blass Law is here to help if law enforcement officers in Bellaire, TX arrested you on accusations of drunk driving or a related charge. Our team has helped many past clients get their charges dropped or reduced, helping them avoid having a criminal conviction on their record.
Call us or fill out the contact form on our website for a confidential case review with a member of our team. We are ready to answer your questions and work with you toward the most favorable outcome for your Harris County case.