Getting convicted of a DWI when you are a commercial driver could spell the end of your career and cost you a lot of money that you can’t afford to lose. Fighting or avoiding the conviction could help you keep your job and protect your future. Our Kaufman defense lawyer can take the lead on your case.
Our commercial DWI Lawyer in Kaufman, TX will fight for a favorable outcome on your behalf. Mr. Isenberg is a former prosecutor and state district judge who has experience working with clients facing the life-altering consequences of a DWI. As your legal representatives, our team will gather evidence for your defense, protect your rights, and fight for reduced or dismissed charges.
Getting Charged with a DWI in Kaufman, Texas
Under Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, it is possible to get charged with a DWI for several different criteria. For example, you could get charged with a DWI if:
- You refuse to take a breathalyzer or a blood test.
- You have any measurable levels of drugs or controlled substances in your body.
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds the legal limit. In Texas, the criminal laws define intoxication as a BAC of 0.08 or higher for a regular driver’s license and 0.04 or higher for a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
- Because of drugs or alcohol or a combination of two or more of these substances, you temporarily lack the normal use of physical or mental abilities that impact your driving performance. Your BAC could be well below the legal limit, but you could still get charged with a DWI in this situation. Alcohol and drugs affect people differently.
As soon as you get charged with a DWI, based on any of the above scenarios, your first call should be to a commercial DWI attorney. Getting a lawyer onboard from the beginning can give them time to build a case and navigate any legal hurdles that arise.
How Texas Law Treats Commercial DWIs
Texas’ laws on CDL holders are much harsher than for standard driver’s licenses, including the lower threshold for BAC.
Here are some other facts that you might want to know about commercial DWIs in Texas:
- If you have a CDL and you get a DWI conviction, even if you have never been found guilty of an alcohol offense in the past, you will lose your CDL for a year.
- You can lose your CDL even if you were driving a non-commercial vehicle when you got the DWI.
- In addition to these consequences, you still have to face all the DWI penalties for people who have ordinary driver’s licenses.
- Texas has zero tolerance for detectable amounts of drugs and controlled substances for people with CDLs. In other words, any amount of marijuana or prescription painkiller still in your bloodstream from the day before can still result in a DWI.
- As a commercial driver, law enforcement can randomly test your BAC or check for the presence of drugs or controlled substances at any time when you are driving a commercial vehicle.
With such strict treatment of commercial DWIs in Kaufman, Texas, you may benefit from a lawyer fighting for you–one who has spent decades inside of courtrooms.
How Getting a Commercial DWI Conviction Could Impact Your Career
When a professional driver gets a DWI conviction in Texas, there are immediate consequences to your driving career, as well as fallout that could last for many years. You will likely lose your job if you cannot work while you’re in jail, and when you lose your CDL for a year, you cannot drive commercially.
After you satisfy all the requirements imposed on you by the judge and you eventually get your CDL restored, it will be challenging to get another job as a commercial driver with a DWI conviction on your driving record and criminal record.
It is risky for an employer to hire a driver with an alcohol offense on their record. If you get into a collision at some point in the future, a jury might say that your boss was negligent in hiring you. For all of these reasons, it would be best to avoid a conviction at all.
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Other Negative Consequences of a Commercial DWI Conviction in Texas
When you get your driving privileges restored, you may have to pay higher insurance premiums for years.
If you decide to change careers after getting a DWI conviction, it could be difficult for you to get into the school of your choice because you now have a criminal record. Getting a job may also be challenging because most jobs require you to submit to a background check, which can involve your potential employer reviewing your driving and criminal record.
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Standard DWI Penalties
The Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) explains that the penalties for a standard DWI conviction can include jail time of up to 180 days for a first offense, up to a year for a second offense, and 2 to 10 years in prison for a third offense. A person with a regular driver’s license could lose their driving privileges for a year or two.
The judge could impose a fine of up to $2,000 for a first offense, a maximum of $4,000 for a second conviction, and $10,000 for a third conviction. The state of Texas can also hit you with a state fine of $3,000, $4,500, or $6,000.
These penalties are in addition to the consequences of suspension for a year or a lifetime termination of the offender’s CDL.
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The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Fight to Dismiss or Reduce Your Charges
If you want to try to avoid or minimize consequences like these, talk to the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today. We can discuss a strategy for your case. When we take you on as our client, we strive to provide peace of mind during the legal process with answers to your questions and frequent case updates.
Don’t wait. Secure your commercial DWI lawyer in Kaufman, TX today.
Call or text (214) 696-9253 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form