Texas is not a state that handles charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) lightly. Even a first-time conviction can put you on the hook for substantial fines and suspension of your driver’s license. You could even go to jail for a first-time DWI. If you are a commercial driver, a DWI conviction will likely result in the disqualification of your commercial driver’s license (CDL), making you ineligible to continue working at your job. Once you are convicted of a DWI charge in Texas, you can never get your record sealed, which means it will be there in the open for future employers, landlords, insurance companies, and even romantic partners to see.
If you have been charged with a commercial DWI in Denton, Texas, it is critical that you do everything possible to avoid a conviction. A Denton commercial DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help. We fight for the rights of the accused, and we want to help you move past this issue with as few complications as possible so that you can get back to your life and career.
We offer a free consultation and are eager to get to work for you today. To speak with a member of our team, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253.
What Is at Stake: The Potential Life-Changing Penalties of a Texas DWI Conviction
Texas is notoriously tough on drunk driving. If you get convicted of a DWI in the state, you can count on your life changing in substantial ways—none of them good. As a commercial driver, your stakes are even higher, as a DWI conviction can instantly derail your career.
Here are the potential penalties for a DWI in Texas, based on the circumstances of the conviction and your prior criminal record:
First-Time DWI Conviction
For a first-time DWI conviction in Texas, you may be sentenced to:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- 72 hours to 6 months in jail (no mandatory minimum)
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 1 year
Second-Time DWI Conviction
Upon getting convicted for a second DWI in Texas, you can expect penalties that include:
- A fine of up to $4,000
- 30 days to a year in jail (mandatory 72 hours of jail time upon conviction)
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years
- Upon reinstatement of your license, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that prevents it from starting if you register a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit
Third-Time DWI Conviction
If you get convicted of DWI for a third time in Texas, your punishment could include:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- 2 to 10 years in prison
- Driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years
- Upon reinstatement of your license, mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that prevents it from starting if you register a BAC above the legal limit
Regardless of your prior record, Texas imposes additional punishments for DWIs that involve certain aggravating circumstances. You could face an additional $6,000 fine for a DWI in which your BAC was higher than 0.15% (the legal limit is 0.08%) or $10,000 if you had an underage passenger in your vehicle.
DWI Convictions for Commercial Drivers
The penalties described above apply both to private and commercial drivers. Yet for Texans who drive as part of their career, the consequences of a DWI can be much more severe, as they can impact your career and ability to make a living.
If you are convicted of a DWI in Texas as a commercial driver, you could lose your CDL for at least one year. During that year, you would be unable to work at any job requiring a commercial driver’s license. Even after you are permitted to get your CDL reinstated, there is no guarantee that employers will hire you back with a DWI on your record. In short, a DWI is an existential threat to your ability to make a living as a commercial driver.
If you have been charged with a commercial DWI and would like to receive legal advice on how to handle your case, call our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. We can give you a free case evaluation and determine what your next steps should be. Call (214) 696-9253 today.
We Can Help Build Your Texas Commercial DWI Defense
A Denton commercial DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will investigate all facets of your commercial DWI arrest. We will come up with a defense strategy to avoid a conviction that could ruin your career and life. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we may elect to pursue one or more tactics for your defense. These tactics may include:
Pleading Not Guilty and Establishing Reasonable Doubt
No matter the charge, the burden is on the prosecution to prove that you are guilty. In other words, rather than having to prove you are innocent, we simply must raise enough doubt to prevent the other side from establishing your guilt.
If we find evidence of the following, we can use these findings to weaken the prosecutor’s case and prevent them from establishing guilt beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The officer did not follow the proper procedures during your arrest
- The device used to measure your BAC was not calibrated properly
- The officer did not administer field sobriety tests correctly (e.g., ensuring the road surface was smooth and flat before asking you to walk heel to toe)
- Anything else happened that undermined your rights as an accused person
Pleading Down to a Lesser Charge
In some circumstances, it makes more sense to avoid a trial altogether by agreeing to plead down to a lesser charge, one that does not result in jail time or the loss of your CDL. Some judges and prosecutors are more amenable to plea bargains than others. As a longstanding Denton law firm, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will put forward the best strategy based on the specific court, judge, and district attorney pursuing your case.
Call Now for a Free Denton Commercial DWI Defense Consultation
For a free consultation and case evaluation, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253.