Texas imposes significant penalties for drunk driving, including substantial monetary fines, jail or prison time, lengthy driver’s license suspensions, and a permanent record that can negatively affect many areas of your life.
However, it is important to remember that an arrest is not a conviction. A DWI lawyer in Highland Park, TX can help protect your legal rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg would like to offer you a free consultation and case review to help you determine your next step.
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In Highland Park, a DWI Conviction Carries Harsh Consequences
You will face a daunting set of penalties for a drunk driving conviction regardless of whether it is your first or your fourth. The penalties you face depend on several factors, including:
- Your prior record for drunk driving
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC)
- Whether you caused an accident, damages, or injuries
- Whether you had a minor passenger or open container
- Any aggravating circumstances related to your arrest
The Texas Penal Code (TPC) establishes the penalties for DWI convictions as follows:
- 3 days to 6 months in jail
- Monetary fine up to $2,000
- Driver’s license suspension up to one year
- 30 days to 1 year in jail
- Monetary fine up to $4,000
- Driver’s license suspension up to two years
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- 2 to 10 years in prison
- Monetary fine up to $10,000
- Driver’s license suspension up to two years
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Other DWI Penalties
For each offense, you must also pay a driver’s license reinstatement surcharge of up to $2,000 each year for three years.
You must pay all court costs and fees as well as the cost for any court-ordered substance abuse classes or treatment. The court may also place you on community supervision (supervised probation) or require community service. You may also need to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
If you had any aggravating circumstances related to your arrest, you will face more serious charges. Some examples include:
- BAC of 0.15 or above
- Open container
- Minor passenger (under age 15)
- Accident-causing property damage, injury, or death
Finally, a DWI conviction will leave you with a permanent criminal record that could prevent you from getting a job, renting a house or apartment, holding a professional license, affording car insurance, or getting into a good school. And, because you cannot expunge or seal most drunk driving convictions, you will live with those challenges indefinitely.
How a DWI Lawyer in Highland Park Can Help You
With Attorney Randall Isenberg on your side, you will not have to face this dire situation alone.
The prosecutor may try to convince you to enter a guilty plea, often in exchange for the promise of no jail time. However, despite how good this arrangement might sound on the surface, you will still have a conviction on your record and all the other penalties associated with your drunk driving charges.
Before you give a statement or agree to a deal, contact our office for a free consultation.
Our team will:
- Protect your legal rights
- Work to get your charges reduced or dismissed whenever possible
- Ensure that you understand what a conviction could mean for your future and help you explore your options.
- Obtain and analyze evidence in your case in search of mistakes and violations of your legal rights. This information may allow us to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction in charges or a case dismissal.
We will also fight to help you keep your driver’s license.
Your DMV Hearing for DWI Charges in Highland Park
When the police arrest you for DWI, it triggers the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing process.
The ALR process occurs concurrently with — but independently of — your criminal case. This civil proceeding takes place before an administrative law judge. You must formally request your ALR hearing within 15 days from the date of your arrest; otherwise, the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) will suspend your license.
At the hearing, the arresting officer will provide testimony regarding your arrest. You can also provide a statement in your defense. However, it is important to note that the prosecutor can use anything you say under oath against you in your criminal trial.
Our legal team will handle all the elements of the ALR process for you, including
- Scheduling your ALR hearing
- Prepping you for your ALR testimony
- Representing you at the hearing
- Questioning the arresting officer under oath
- Making a strong case against license suspension
If the court upholds your suspension, we can appeal that decision or petition the court to grant you an occupational license. This license allows you to drive to work or school and any necessary personal errands.
The ALR hearing is critical to the disposition of your driver’s license, but it is also important for your criminal case. This will present our first opportunity to learn about the prosecution’s evidence, helping us craft the most robust defense.
Potential Defense Strategies Against Highland Park DWI Charges
Our legal team will identify the most effective defense strategies for your case based on the available evidence. However, some of the most common ways to fight drunk driving charges are as follows.
- Lack of Reasonable Suspicion: If the police did not have reasonable suspicion that you committed a crime before making a traffic stop, we can request to have any subsequent evidence they obtained declared inadmissible.
- Lack of Probable Cause: If law enforcement failed to legally establish probable cause for your arrest, we can argue to have the charges dismissed. For example, if the police used field sobriety testing to prove they had probable cause, but the officer failed to follow the standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), we could argue to have the evidence thrown out.
- Faulty Chemical Testing for BAC: If the chemical BAC testing in your case failed to adhere to the guidelines in the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) or the NHTSA BAC testing standards, we can ask the court to disallow the resulting evidence.
These examples illustrate why we advise potential clients to never presume a poor outcome simply because of chemical BAC testing results.
Highland Park DWI FAQs
When you have been charged with a DWI in Highland Park, you may be feeling scared and worried about your future. When you understand more about the charges you are facing and what to expect from the criminal process, you may feel more confident in your defense.
With that in mind, we have provided the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions surrounding Highland Park DWIs below. If you have additional questions that are not answered here, contact our office to discuss your specific concerns further.
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What Is Implied Consent?
Implied consent refers to a driver being required to give their consent to chemical blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing when they are suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Here, you do have the right to refuse BAC testing. However, if you do not provide your consent to chemical blood alcohol testing, you can face penalties, including the suspension of your license for a maximum of two years.
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Can I Get a Hardship License After My License was Suspended?
Yes, you may be eligible for a hardship license despite having your license suspended or revoked following a DWI conviction in Highland Park. However, hardship licenses are only available in specific circumstances. For example, if you need to attend religious services regularly, need to get to work, or must attend physicians’ appointments, you may require a hardship license accordingly.
However, your eligibility for a hardship license can vary depending on the individual details of your case. If you are interested in finding out whether you qualify for a hardship license, be sure to contact our office to discuss the DWI conviction on your record.
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How Long does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Highland Park?
If you are found guilty of a DWI in Highland Park, it will remain on your criminal record forever. Many people are under the impression that they can get a DWI sealed or removed from their records through expungement. However, under the law, once you have been convicted of a DWI, this conviction will remain on your record indefinitely. DWIs are not eligible for expungement.
However, if you were found not guilty or completed the terms of a pretrial diversion program, then a conviction would not remain on your record. Instead, you may be able to get the charges against you expunged or sealed. Again, your eligibility for expungement will vary considerably depending on the details of your case and whether you meet the requirements. Your attorney can give you a better idea of your legal options going forward if you are found guilty of a DWI in Highland Park.
Free Case Review with a Team Member in Highland Park
To learn more about your options for fighting a Highland Park DWI charge, contact Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today.
Randall will use his 30+ years’ experience in the Texas criminal justice system to fight for the best outcome in your case.
Contact us today for your free case evaluation with a team member.
Call or text (214) 696-9253 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form