Texas drunk driving laws are some of the harshest in the United States. In Garland, a second offense DWI charge carries much higher fines and more time behind bars than your first conviction. You might also lose your license for years. And, of course, your permanent criminal record will reflect your status as a repeat offender.
Protecting your legal rights is more important now than ever before. Seeking the services of a second offense DWI lawyer in Garland is a good way to ensure that you understand all your options and that you make the right choices for your future. Your attorney will help protect your legal rights and, if necessary, build a strong defense on your behalf.
To discuss your case, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today: 214-696-9253.
How Can a Second Offense DWI Lawyer Help You?
If you have a previous drunk driving conviction, you will face Class A misdemeanor charges for a second offense. And, because the penalties for DWI in Texas have no lookback period, that fact remains true no matter how long ago your first conviction happened.
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08 or above (but less than 0.15), you might spend 30 days to a year in jail; you will spend at least 72 hours in jail upon conviction. You must pay a fine of up to $4,000 as well as all court costs and fees.
You will lose your driver’s license for at least six months, possibly up to two years. To restore your driver’s license, you must pay a surcharge of as much as $2,000 per year for 3 years.
And if the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) had previously suspended your license, you must wait at least 90 days before you can receive an occupational license.
The judge may also impose community supervision (probation) and community service. You may have to undergo rehab or alcohol abuse counseling and attend an alcohol awareness class. You will likely also have to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
What Strategies Can Your Lawyer Use to Fight a Second Offense DWI?
Entering a guilty plea to a second offense DWI in Garland is usually not a wise choice, based on the harsh nature of the penalties that accompany a conviction. This is why anyone accused of this crime needs an attorney on their side.
Your lawyer will likely attempt to negotiate with the prosecutor to have your charges dismissed or reduced.
Although accepting a plea bargain for a lesser charge may result in some unpleasant consequences, this option is often preferable to taking the risk of a second Texas DWI conviction. However, if your attorney can find sufficient problems with the prosecution’s case, convincing a judge to drop the charges is always a possibility.
If the court refuses to consider either of these options, we will build a case in your defense and fight your charges in court. Although this may seem like a risky proposal, the court’s burden of proof is high and makes establishing reasonable doubt a realistic possibility.
For example, the police officer who arrested you must have had reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Otherwise, the court could declare yours to have been an illegal traffic stop.
Once he pulled you over, the officer needed probable cause to request a chemical test for BAC. In Texas, police often use field sobriety testing to accomplish this goal. However, if the officer failed to follow the field sobriety testing guidelines established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the officer may not have legally established probable cause.
Likewise, unless your chemical BAC testing followed the NHTSA BAC testing guidelines as well as the BAC testing regulations established by the Texas statutes, the judge could declare your test results inadmissible in court.
In other words, never assume that BAC test results will guarantee a conviction in your case. When you have a second offense DWI lawyer on your side, you have a better chance of a good outcome in your case.
What Happens to Your Driver’s License After a Second DWI?
You may remember the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing process from your first conviction. For a second offense DWI in Garland, you must participate in this process again.
TxDPS handles this administrative action, which is unrelated to the criminal aspects of your case.
Within 15 days of your arrest, your attorney must request a formal ALR hearing from TxDPS; otherwise, TxDPS will suspend your license and you will have to wait out the entire suspension period.
Your attorney will represent you at the ALR hearing, where you must testify under oath. We will ensure that you do not say anything potentially incriminating during the hearing, as the prosecutor can (and will) use this information during your criminal trial to secure a conviction.
Although you may lose your license for a second offense, your attorney can glean crucial information during the ALR hearing that can help your criminal case.
The arresting officer in your case must also testify under oath at the ALR hearing. This gives your lawyer the opportunity to question the officer, potentially identifying any areas of weakness in the prosecution’s evidence against you.
Protect Your Future. Call a DWI Lawyer in Garland Today.
Do not attempt to face these very serious charges alone. Look for an attorney who will not only protect your legal rights but who will fight tirelessly for you throughout the entire process.
Attorney Randall Isenberg of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg brings more than 30 years’ experience to the table. Having spent time working as both a felony prosecutor and a state district trial judge, Randall has invaluable insight on how the process works from the other side, and he knows what it takes to get the job done for you.
We offer a complimentary consultation and case reviews for second offense drunk driving clients. Contact us today to schedule an appointment: 214-696-9253.