A driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction can wreak havoc on your career, social life, self-esteem, and future goals. However, no matter what charges or penalties you face, you are still innocent until proven guilty, and you are still entitled to certain civil rights. Let a Hurst DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg advocate on your behalf. Call us at (214) 696-9253 so that we can evaluate your case at no charge.
It Is Important to Know the Definition of DWI
Once your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level hits .08 percent, you have officially reached the legal standard of “drunk driving.” If a police officer gives you a blood or breathalyzer test at this point, they may arrest you on a DWI charge if you are 21 or older. While you can refuse to take these tests, you might be penalized for doing so.
In addition, you may be pulled over and tested even if your BAC level is below .08 percent. In Texas, police officers may pull over drivers if they have reason to believe that the driver is driving under the influence (e.g., the person is weaving side to side or driving erratically).
Alcohol is known to affect several skills you need to drive safely, including your concentration, reflexes, judgment, and temper. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk driving is responsible for about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States. This is why punishments associated with DWI convictions are so onerous.
DUI Is Not the Same as DWI
It is important to distinguish between driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI), as they are entirely different charges in the state of Texas.
Only minors (people under 21 years of age) may be charged with DUI. A minor does not have to have a BAC level of .08 percent to be arrested. Any amount of alcohol in the blood is sufficient reason to be charged with DUI.
Both minors and adults may be charged with DWI. A DWI is a more serious offense than a DUI and carries more serious penalties. These penalties are discussed in detail in the next section.
DWI Penalties Can Be Severe
A first DWI conviction is categorized as a Class B misdemeanor. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), this means a conviction might cause you to:
- Lose your license for up to one year
- Be jailed for up to six months
- Be fined up to $2,000
A second DWI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor. This is a more serious offense and carries more serious penalties. If you are convicted, you might:
- Lose your license for up to two years
- Be jailed for up to one year
- Be fined up to $4,000
If you are convicted three times, you may face third-degree felony charges. At this point, you might:
- Lose your license for up to two years
- Be jailed for up to 10 years
- Be fined up to $10,000
In addition, the court may force you to put an ignition interlock device on your car. As the TxDPS states, this means you would be unable to operate your vehicle if you were drinking. You would also need to get a special license to drive with this device, and you would need to apply to get your regular license back once your sentence is up.
Losing your license can have a devastating effect on your livelihood and your life, but the consequences of a DWI conviction may be more far-reaching than that. Your conviction will stay on your public record permanently, so even a single DWI conviction can affect you well into the future. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is dedicated to helping people like you defend and protect your rights. Call us at (214) 696-9253 to arrange a free consultation with a member of our team.
Let a Hurst DWI Lawyer Represent You
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we understand how scary being arrested can be. If you decide to hire us, we will work hard to preserve your rights and defend your case. There are several ways we may be able to help you with your case, including:
- Offering a free consultation: A member of our team can help you understand your case and your options at no cost to you.
- Helping you understand the process: The legal system may seem less intimidating once you understand it better. A law firm representative may explain the process to you and answer any questions you might have.
- Investigating your arrest: We do not take the arresting officer at their word. Instead, we launch our own independent investigation into what happened before, during, and after your arrest.
- Arguing for dismissal: There are many regulations and procedures a police officer must follow when arresting, testing, and charging someone. If they broke even a single rule, we may be able to use this point to try to get your case dismissed.
- Arguing for a charge reduction: If possible, we may be able to bargain with the judge to get your charges reduced. In this way, even if you are convicted, you might be able to keep your license and spend less money on fines.
- Fighting for you: Our number one goal is to make sure everyone gets the legal representation they deserve. You can count on us to fight hard on your behalf at the negotiating table and in the courtroom.
Before he was a defense attorney, Randall B. Isenberg was a prosecutor and a judge. Thanks to his decades of experience, he has a strong understanding of how the law works and how to help you get your life back. Give us a call at (214) 696-9253 to learn more about the services a Hurst DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg may provide you.