In a recent year, over 89,000 Texans were charged with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). While you may feel like giving up, you can fight the charges. An arrest is not a conviction. Our Texas DWI lawyers want to help you keep a conviction off your record.
If a prosecutor charges you with a Texas DWI, contact our Celina, Texas, criminal defense attorneys before entering your plea. The team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian has successfully achieved acquittals, dismissals, or reduced charges in thousands of DWI cases. We want to fight to save you from jail time, hefty fines, and license revocations. Contact us today.
What Is a DWI in Texas?
A DWI is the criminal offense of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that normal faculties are impaired. In Texas, DWI is taken seriously due to its potential to endanger lives on the road. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels determine the legal threshold for alcohol intoxication in Texas.
For individuals 21 years of age and older, a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered legal intoxication, meaning that a person can be charged with DWI even if their driving isn’t visibly impaired. For minors under 21, any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DUI charge. Additionally, commercial drivers in Texas can be charged with DWI if their BAC is 0.04% or higher while operating a commercial vehicle.
For drugs other than alcohol, police determine impairment for a DWI through various methods. Officers watch drivers’ behavior, such as erratic driving, slurred speech, or impaired motor skills. They may administer field sobriety tests to assess coordination and cognitive abilities. Additionally, officers may request a blood or urine test to detect drug presence and levels.
What Are Possible Penalties for DWI?
The penalties for a Texas DWI conviction can be severe and escalate with repeat offenses. DWI penalties include the following:
- First Offense – A first-time DWI offender can face fines up to $2,000, a license suspension for up to one year, mandatory attendance in alcohol education programs, and a possible jail term of up to 180 days (including three mandatory days in jail).
- Second Offense – A second DWI offense carries increased penalties, including a fine of up to $4,000, a license suspension of up to two years, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, and the possibility of at least a month and up to one year in jail.
- Third Offense (or More) – Third or subsequent DWI offenses are considered felonies and can result in even harsher consequences, including a $10,000 fine, loss of driving privileges for up to two years, and mandatory prison sentences of two to ten years.
- Enhancements – Aggravating factors such as high BAC levels, accidents causing injury or death, or having a child passenger in the vehicle can increase penalties, further intensifying the legal repercussions. For instance, if impaired with a child passenger under 15, you will be charged with child endangerment and could be imprisoned for up to two years.
In addition to legal penalties, a DWI conviction can lead to collateral consequences such as increased insurance rates, employment challenges, and a tarnished criminal record that may affect various aspects of your life.
Given the severe consequences of a DWI conviction in Texas, anyone charged should seek advice from Texas criminal defense attorneys. An experienced DWI defense attorney, including the team at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian, can help navigate the legal process, build a strong defense for you, and potentially mitigate the impact of a conviction.
How Can I Fight DWI Charges?
An experienced Celina, Texas, DWI lawyer has many strategies and tactics to mount a strong defense against your DWI charge. Here are some ways the team of criminal defense attorneys at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian can defend against your Texas DWI charge:
- Evidence Review – Our skilled attorneys will meticulously examine all evidence, including police reports, breathalyzer and blood test results, field sobriety tests, and dash-cam footage. We search for procedural errors, inaccuracies, or client rights violations that could weaken the prosecution’s case.
- Challenging Testing Procedures – Our attorneys can challenge the reliability of chemical tests, such as breathalyzers or blood tests. Knowing these tests, we can question the calibration and maintenance of testing equipment, potential contamination of samples, and the qualifications of the testing personnel.
- Field Sobriety Tests – Our defense attorneys analyze the circumstances under which police administer field sobriety tests. An excellent criminal defense attorney can use factors such as weather conditions, uneven surfaces, or the defendant’s physical limitations to challenge the accuracy of these tests.
- Probable Cause and Traffic Stop – Attorneys can examine whether the arresting officer had probable cause to stop the defendant’s vehicle in the first place. If the stop was unlawful, we could move to suppress any evidence obtained during the stop.
- DUI Checkpoint Legality – If the arrest occurred at a DUI checkpoint, attorneys could challenge the legality of the checkpoint itself and whether it adhered to established guidelines.
- Miranda Rights Violation – If the police did not correctly provide the client with Miranda rights, or if the police coerced a client into self-incrimination, our defense attorneys can argue for excluding anything you said during the arrest.
- Medical Conditions and Medications – We can investigate whether any medical conditions, medications, or other factors could have influenced our client’s appearance or behavior, potentially leading to a false perception of intoxication.
- Negotiation and Plea Bargaining – Our DWI attorneys are skilled negotiators who can work with the prosecution to explore plea bargains, reduced charges, or alternative sentencing options that may minimize the impact of a conviction.
- Trial Strategy – If the case goes to trial, we can develop a comprehensive trial strategy, including cross-examining witnesses, presenting expert testimony, and challenging the prosecution’s evidence.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Texas Drug Crimes Lawyer
Navigating a Texas DWI charge requires thorough legal knowledge and expertise. The Celina, Texas DWI lawyers at Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian can provide valuable guidance, build you a robust defense, and zealously strive for your best possible outcome, whether it’s a dismissal, reduction of charges, or minimized penalties.