For many people, a DWI will be their only encounter with the criminal justice system. Even so, the potential penalties for a DWI conviction are strict. First offenses can lead to the court sentencing a person to time in jail, the payment of thousands of dollars in fines and fees, and a mandatory driver’s license suspension.
In other situations, the case can be even more severe. A subsequent conviction will see the potential jail sentences, fines, and license suspension periods increase. So too will allegations that a DWI incident led to property damage or another person’s injuries. It is essential that any person facing allegations of DWI fight back.
A Southlake DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg may be able to help you. Our lead attorney, Randall B. Isenberg, has more than 30 years of experience in the legal system as both a prosecutor and state district judge. Give us a call today at (214) 696-9253 to discuss your case.
The Legal Definition of DWI
The Texas Penal Code §49.09 is the state’s DWI statute that says that it is a Class B misdemeanor to be intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The Texas Penal Code §49.01 says that a person is intoxicated if they do not have the normal use of physical or mental facilities because of the use of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. Alternatively, a person is intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
These two factors give prosecutors two options to attempt to obtain a conviction. They could argue that the results of a blood, breath, or urine test indicate a blood alcohol concentration in excess of the legal limit. In other cases, the result of the trial could hinge on a police officer’s supposed observations of a driver’s drunken behavior. A Southlake DWI lawyer can provide more information about the concept of DWI under state law.
The Possible Criminal Consequences of a Conviction
A conviction for DWI is a criminal offense. This means that the criminal court will handle the case and that a conviction can result in a jail sentence. Because a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, the maximum jail sentence after a DWI conviction is six months. Thankfully, this outcome is rare.
Instead, the length of a sentence is up to the judge in the case, with the exception of a “guilty” verdict in cases in which a person has no previous criminal record. Then, a judge may suspend this jail time as long as a person pays the relevant fines and remains out of trouble. The legal team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg may be able to help you to avoid an unfortunate outcome. Reach out to us today at (214) 696-9253 to learn more about your legal options.
How a Conviction Might Affect Other Areas of Your Life
Unfortunately for people facing allegations of DWI, time in jail is not the only thing to worry about. The state views DWI as a public health and safety issue and has granted broad powers to courts to discourage this behavior.
The courts have the power to issue fines and penalties after a DWI conviction. For starters, a Class B misdemeanor conviction, according to the Texas Penal Code §12.22, can result in the payment of a maximum fine of $2,000. In addition, a conviction will usually result in a person having to attend an alcohol education course as a requirement to regain their driving privileges. Finally, a DWI conviction may lead to a rise in a person’s insurance premiums.
The final portion of punishment for DWI is a mandatory loss of license. Under the Texas Transportation Code §521.344, a first-offense DWI conviction carries a mandatory 90-day suspension of license. However, the judge in the case has the authority to extend this suspension to a maximum of one year. Clearly, it is essential to avoid a DWI conviction at all costs. Consulting a Southlake DWI lawyer could be a powerful first step.
Reach Out to Our Law Firm Today to Protect your Freedom and Your Wallet
If you are facing allegations involving DWI in Southlake, it is understandable to be frightened and confused. You may be wondering how a police officer made an arrest without a breathalyzer test or what the prosecutor will need to prove in court to obtain a conviction. Of course, you may also wonder what the potential penalties for a conviction can be and how to avoid them.
The simple truth is that no two DWI cases are exactly alike. The goal of a Southlake DWI lawyer is to fight for the best possible outcome that meets your needs. Doing so could include seeking out a pretrial diversion program to keep your criminal record clean or fighting the charges at trial. The legal professionals at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg are ready to help no matter the exact circumstances of your arrest.
Keep in mind that our lead attorney, Randall B. Isenberg, has over 30 years of experience in the legal field. Whether your arrest for DWI is your first encounter with the criminal justice system or you are looking to avoid a second conviction, reach out to us today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation. When you are ready to talk with us, we are ready to fight for you.