Do not assume that a first offense DWI is not a big deal. It is a very big deal that will cost you significant monetary fines, potentially send you to jail, and leave you with a permanent criminal record. You will also potentially lose your driver’s license for an entire year.
If you currently face your first Texas drunk driving charge, you need someone who can help you through this confusing process and provide trustworthy advice. Talk to a first offense DWI lawyer in Rockwall for free today. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 for help.
Do I Need a First Offense DWI Lawyer?
DWI charges of any kind can disrupt your life. But, if you have never faced serious criminal charges before, you may not realize what a conviction can do to your future.
Upon conviction for a first offense DWI in Rockwall, you will have to pay substantial fines and spend time in jail or on probation. You will lose your driver’s license and have to attend mandatory alcohol education courses. You will also have a permanent criminal record.
As you sit in a holding cell at the police station, contemplating what you may have done to your life and future, police and prosecutors may attempt to prey on that moment of vulnerability. They will often try to persuade you to enter a “guilty” or “no contest” plea, in exchange for your release and the promise of no further jail time.
Understandably, many first-time drunk driving offenders accept this offer, believing it is a good deal. After all, it is their first offense DWI.
In many cases, however, this offer is not a good deal — especially if the police violated your rights or if the prosecution does not have a strong case against you.
A first offense DWI lawyer will give you the facts and tell you the truth, helping you make a well-informed decision about your future. Your lawyer will protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive all the considerations you are entitled to by law.
A DWI lawyer can protect you from making statements or answering questions that could harm you in court. Your attorney will carefully analyze the evidence and identify the potential weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Using that information as leverage, a DWI attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges against you.
No matter what happened during your arrest, you should never assume the court will automatically convict you of a first offense DWI. Even if your lawyer does not succeed in getting the prosecutor to reduce or drop your charges, you can potentially prevail in court with a strong defense.
Will I Go to Jail for a First Time DWI in Rockwall?
It is likely you will spend some time in jail for your first DWI.
The statutory first offense DWI penalties call for a $2,000 fine, between 3 days and 6 months in jail, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year.
If your BAC tested at 0.15 or above, however, the charges increase to a Class A misdemeanor, with up to a year behind bars, a $4,000 fine, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years.
To these penalties, judges often also require substance abuse counseling, community service, community supervision (probation), and the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car.
Texas also assesses an annual fee of $2,000 to restore your driver’s license, once your suspension ends. This annual fee applies for three consecutive years.
The most troublesome consequences for many people convicted of a first offense DWI in Rockwall is the criminal record. You cannot have a drunk driving conviction expunged from your record in most cases.
This means that, every time someone runs a background check on you, your conviction will show up. Consequently, potential employers and landlords may reject you. Your car insurance rates will soar. You could even lose any professional licenses you hold, such as a real estate license.
How Can a DWI Lawyer Fight My Criminal Charges?
First offense DWI lawyers use countless strategies to defend their clients against Rockwall drunk driving charges, depending on the circumstances of the case.
Your attorney will begin by exploring potential mistakes made by the police during your traffic stop and subsequent arrest.
Reasonable Suspicion: The police must have a valid reason to stop your car. They must reasonably suspect that you are breaking the law in some way. If they pulled you over without a valid reason, the traffic stop may be illegal.
Probable Cause: Once the police stop you, they must have probable cause for making an arrest and asking you to submit to chemical testing for BAC. Officers often use field sobriety testing or a portable breathalyzer device to establish probable cause. However, if the officers failed to follow established policy or federal guidelines for these tests, they may have lacked probable cause for your arrest.
Chemical Testing Errors: The Texas Administrative Code establishes standards for chemical BAC testing. The police must comply with these standards, along with guidelines established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for every aspect of breathalyzer testing. The standards require that technicians maintain, test, and calibrate testing equipment on specific schedules. They also require testing technicians to obtain certification and maintain it through continuing education.
Your lawyer will evaluate arrest reports, dash cam video, witness statements, BAC test reports, and any other evidence available to determine whether the police violated your legal rights at any point during the process, and then use this information to build a case for your defense.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a First Offense DWI Lawyer in Rockwall
Even a first offense DWI conviction will significantly affect your life. To learn more about your options, you can talk to a lawyer at no cost.
As a former felony prosecutor and state court judge, Attorney Randall Isenberg understands how the prosecution will build its case against you. Using this insight, he can help you make an informed decision about your future.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to schedule an appointment with a first offense DWI lawyer in Rockwall.