For commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders, a drunk driving charge can result in a devastating loss of livelihood and potentially put you behind bars. Even a first-offense commercial DWI will result in the suspension of your CDL for up to a year. A subsequent offense could cost you your commercial license permanently. Fortunately, you do have options for fighting commercial DWI charges. To learn more, contact a commercial DWI lawyer in Richardson at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to schedule your no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation.
Penalties for Commercial DWI in Richardson
The Texas Penal Code (TPC) holds commercial vehicle drivers to more stringent standards for drunk driving.
While a standard DWI in Richardson requires a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above, having a BAC of 0.04 or above meets the statutory definition for intoxication if you are behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. The police can also charge you with commercial drunk driving if you have illegal drugs or controlled substances in your system.
For a first offense, you will face a Class B misdemeanor charge, which carries the following penalties:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $2,000 in fines
If you have a prior DWI or if you had any aggravating circumstances at the time of arrest, you will face a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties that include:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $4,000 in fines
You must pay all court costs and fees and attend an alcohol safety course. You may also face supervised probation and community service, and the judge can require you to install an ignition interlock on your vehicle — at your own cost.
In addition to the criminal penalties you face, you also face disqualification of your CDL — regardless of whether you were driving a commercial vehicle or your personal vehicle at the time of arrest.
Commercial DWI Disqualification Penalties
You will lose your CDL for any of the following events:
- You refused BAC testing
- The court finds you guilty of DWI
- You enter a guilty plea to DWI charges
- You flee the scene of an accident
For a first-offense commercial DWI, you will lose your license for one year. If you had hazardous cargo at the time (anything that requires a HAZMAT label), you will lose your CDL for three years.
For a second-offense commercial DWI, you will lose your CDL permanently.
Even a first offense DWI conviction will prevent you from working as a commercial driver for at least one year. And, as your offense will become a part of your permanent record, any potential employer who runs a background check — virtually all employers do so for commercial drivers — will see your conviction.
Disqualification Hearing for Commercial DWI
If you hope to contest the disqualification of your CDL, you must request a hearing within 20 days of the date of your arrest through the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). TxDPS will notify you of your hearing date by mail, using the address they have on file.
Your hearing will take place in justice or municipal court in Richardson before a designated hearing officer.
What to Expect During the Hearing
During the hearing, you will present sworn testimony regarding your arrest, as will the arresting officer and anyone else who may have relevant information to offer. Based on this testimony, the hearing officer will determine the disposition of your commercial driver’s license.
Our legal team will prepare you for giving testimony to ensure you do not make any statements that could incriminate you. This is important not only for the future of your CDL but also because the prosecutor can use your testimony against you in your criminal case.
This hearing will also provide us with critical insight into the strength of the prosecution’s case and assist us in preparing your commercial DWI criminal defense.
A Commercial DWI Lawyer Will Fight for Your Future
With your future livelihood on the line, a commercial DWI lawyer will fight for your commercial driving privileges and protect your legal rights.
We Will Look for Errors or Rights Violations During the Process
Our legal team will quickly obtain any evidence in your case and evaluate it to determine whether the police violated your legal rights or made any errors that could wrongly implicate you. We can use any potential problems as a bargaining tool to negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain a dismissal of your case or a reduction in the charges against you.
We Analyze All Breath, Blood, and Urine Tests
One of the most critical aspects of your defense may concern the breath, blood, or urine testing used to determine your BAC. The police and testing technicians must meet stringent standards imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation as well as the TxDPS crime lab.
Failure to adhere to these standards can render the subsequent BAC evidence inadmissible in court.
Our legal team will fight for you, building the most robust possible case to defend you against both your criminal charges and your CDL suspension or revocation. If we cannot successfully negotiate with the prosecutor, we can prepare your case for court.
Meet with a Commercial DWI Lawyer in Richardson Today at No Cost
Too much depends on the outcome of your commercial DWI case to fight these charges on your own. Few commercial transportation companies will consider you for employment, even if it was only a first-offense commercial DWI.
In Richardson, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg understands the fear and uncertainty you feel, and we will stand by you, fighting for you and your future. DWI lawyer Randall Isenberg brings more than three decades in the Texas criminal justice system to bat for you. His time as a chief felony prosecutor and state judge provide a wealth of insight and knowledge.
We want to put this experience to work for you.
We offer a complimentary case evaluation and consultation for individuals facing commercial DWI in Richardson. To schedule your appointment, contact us today at 214-696-9253.