Commercial truck drivers regularly work long shifts hauling large amounts of cargo, operating vehicles with total weights in the thousands of pounds. A great deal of responsibility comes with this job and a higher standard regarding DWI convictions. A blood alcohol concentration that would let a regular driver off the hook could cost a CDL driver their license.
If you’ve been charged with a commercial DWI, it might feel as though your life is unraveling. One mistake could mean losing your license and risking your livelihood. However, not all is lost. A commercial DWI lawyer in Waxahachie, TX, from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg on your side, you still have options. You can reach out to us today for a free case evaluation.
Penalties for a Commercial DWI in Texas
The penalties for a commercial DWI charge while driving a company vehicle can be quite severe, owing to the increased risk to the public. It’s important to note that you can still be charged with commercial DWI even if you’re driving your car when a police officer pulls you over.
You could also face challenges with your employer, even if you weren’t on the clock at the time of your DWI. Considering a CDL carrier’s professional reputation is built around its driving record, a single commercial DWI conviction could make finding new work much more difficult.
What Does a Commercial DWI Charge Involve?
Before a police officer can make a commercial DWI arrest, they must have probable cause to stop someone they suspect driving while drunk. They must establish driver intoxication, which entails blowing a BAC of 0.08% for most drivers and 0.04% for CDL carriers. In most cases, this is a Class B misdemeanor (Penal Code § 49.04(c)). This could become a more serious Class A misdemeanor if you blow a 0.15% BAC or higher. (Penal Code § 49.04(d)).
It’s also important to remember that non-alcoholic substances apply to this charge. While alcohol intoxication is the most prevalent reason for a commercial DWI charge, you could also be charged if you’re impaired by something else, such as prescription or over-the-counter medications or illicit substances.
What Are Some Consequences of a Commercial DWI Conviction in Texas?
If convicted of a commercial DWI, you could face fines, and your commercial driver’s license could be suspended or revoked. You could also face jail time. The most common version of the charge – a Class B misdemeanor – could result in you having to pay up to $2,000 in fines, and you could face up to 180 days in jail.
If you’re convicted of the Class A misdemeanor, those potential fines are doubled, and you could end up facing up to a year in jail. While these sanctions alone would be a burden for any truck driver, it’s often the impact on their licensure that has the greatest effect. Authorities could suspend your license for a year for a first offense, and it might even be revoked permanently if you either had a BAC of 0.15% or higher or this is your second commercial DWI.
Some CDL truck drivers make the mistake of refusing to take a breathalyzer test. While it is within your legal rights to refuse any test, this does have consequences, such as an automatic 180-day suspension of your commercial driver’s license. If you were hauling hazardous materials when the officer stopped you, you could lose your license for three years.
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What Are Some Defenses to a Waxahachie Commercial DWI Charge?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the sooner you can get in touch with a Waxahachie criminal defense lawyer, the better. A CDL suspension of even a few months could mean disaster for you and your family, so time is essential when securing legal representation.
Some common defenses in commercial DWI cases revolve around the sobriety test itself and how authorities administer it. If the arresting officer used a non-standard test or device or did not follow the proper procedure while conducting the test, an attorney could challenge the results.
Breathalyzer tests are particularly prone to error, especially when they are not administered properly or regularly maintained. If your attorney can prove reasonable doubt concerning your test results, this could be enough to drop or reduce your charges.
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Why Should I Go With Randall B. Isenberg?
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg have decades of combined experience representing commercial DWI cases. Our partners have made prestigious lists such as Texas Super Lawyers and Top Texas Lawyer. We’ve built our reputation on honesty and effective advocacy, and along the way, we’ve secured positive outcomes for clients facing DWI charges.
Even if you feel your case is hopeless, we can help. We do all we can to minimize the negative effects this could have on your life, all with the goal of getting you back to where you were so you can put all this behind you. From negotiating favorable plea agreements to challenging charges in court and beyond, we will never stop fighting for you.
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Contact Us Today for Help From a Waxahachie Commercial DWI Lawyer and Get Your Life Back
It’s time to get your life back on track, and our team of attorneys at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg has what it takes to do just that for you. If you’re facing a commercial DWI charge in Waxahachie, every second matters. Get in touch today for a free consultation where we explain how our commercial DWI lawyer in Waxahachie, TX, can help your case.