If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed. The DWI laws in Texas are strict, and the fines and penalties that result from a conviction are steep. However, a DWI attorney in Mesquite can help defend you against your charges in an effort to have them reduced or dismissed.
There are complex issues involved in defending DWI cases, so finding an attorney who can help you navigate these issues is important. To learn more about how a DWI lawyer in Mesquite, TX, can help, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free case evaluation.
The Life-Altering Consequences of a DWI Conviction
DWI-related charges come with stiff consequences that go beyond fines, jail time, and a probation period. These consequences may follow you in important facets of your life for years to come.
Here are some of the long-term impacts of a DWI conviction:
A DWI-related charge can affect your current and future job opportunities. Mainly, your DWI conviction may show up when potential employers conduct a background check, which can then hinder your chances of getting the job. This is especially true if you are applying for a position as a police officer, teacher, firefighter, or medical professional.
Also, if you are currently working in a position that requires a commercial driver’s license, you may lose your job and have your license suspended or restricted. If you receive a jail sentence or community service hours, you will have to take time off work, which can also result in termination.
It takes years of academic hard work to obtain a professional license, but just one DWI conviction can severely impact your ability to receive or maintain your license. Some occupations a DWI can impact include:
- Commercial drivers
- Government employees
Getting a DWI conviction while working in these fields can be detrimental to your career, since it can result in your license being revoked or suspended.
If you are requesting custody of your child, the court will look at your background and criminal record to determine whether the child will be safe with you. While a DWI does not mean you will not receive custody of your child, it can be one of the factors that influence the court’s final decision.
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A criminal history of any kind can be a red flag for banks or other financial institutions from which you are trying to obtain a loan. The goal of lenders is to give out loans to individuals they can trust to reliably pay them back. If you have a DWI, you are more likely to be categorized as a high-risk applicant. Difficulty in obtaining a loan can make paying a mortgage or car payment incredibly challenging.
The scars from DWI can have long-lasting implications. Thus, it is critical that you have a strong legal defense by your side to mitigate the potential damage you face. After reviewing your case, a DWI attorney from our firm will identify the best possible defense strategies to leverage for your benefit based on the facts of your case.
Fines and Penalties for DWIs in Texas
In Texas, you are legally intoxicated if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or more. You can also be considered legally intoxicated if you are impaired due to alcohol or controlled substances, regardless of your BAC.
If you are charged with DWI, your penalties and fines depend on the severity of your impairment and history of past convictions:
- First offense: you may face a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, loss of your driver’s license for up to one year, and an annual fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years to keep your license.
- Second offense: you may face a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in jail, loss of your driver’s license for up to two years, and an annual fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years to keep your license.
- Third offense: you may face a fine of up to $10,000, up to 10 years in prison, loss of your driver’s license for up to two years, and an annual fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years to keep your license.
- Enhanced DWI: If your BAC level is .15% or more at the time of testing, your charge may be increased from a Class B Misdemeanor to a Class A Misdemeanor. This carries a potential penalty of $4,000 in fines and/or up to 1 year in jail, along with a longer period of suspension and stricter probation terms. Those with a BAC higher than .15% are also ineligible to have their DWI records sealed from the public.
If you were driving with a child passenger under the age of 15, the consequences are more severe. You may face a fine of up to $10,000, up to two years in state jail, and loss of your driver’s license for six months.
After two or more convictions within five years, you may be sentenced to have an ignition interlock breathalyzer device installed in your car, which prevents you from driving if you have been drinking. The more convictions you have, the more severe your punishment can be. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a no-cost case review.
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Refusing the BAC Test
If you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test when you are arrested, you are in violation of Texas’s implied consent laws. The penalties for refusing to comply with a BAC test may include the loss of your license, significant fines, and incarceration.
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You Can Lose Your License on Your First Offense
When you are arrested for DWI, law enforcement will take your driver’s license and issue you a notice of suspension, which functions as a temporary driving permit. You then have 15 days to request a hearing to have your license returned.
If you fail to make that request, your license will remain suspended for 90 days starting on the 41st day after your arrest. These penalties apply regardless of whether you are ultimately convicted of DWI.
The ALR Hearing
The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) program requires the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) to suspend your driver’s license if you are arrested for DWI and you:
- Refuse to take a blood or breath test when you are arrested
- Take the test and your BAC is 0.08 percent or more
- Are driving a commercial vehicle and your BAC is 0.04% or more
You must request an ALR hearing within 15 days to contest the automatic suspension of your license. You are allowed to have your lawyer present at this meeting, which we recommend, as it will give us insight into the state’s case against you.
An administrative law judge will listen to both parties’ evidence and determine whether you will be allowed to keep your driver’s license at the end of the hearing. However, the judge’s decision can be appealed. We can also ask for an occupational license, which would allow you to drive to specific places such as school, work, and the grocery store during your suspension.
We Can Help You Avoid Receiving a Felony on Your Criminal Record
It is important to take your DWI charge seriously. While a first-time DWI in Mesquite, Texas, is a Class B misdemeanor, aggravating circumstances can upgrade it to a felony offense.
If you are convicted of a felony, it can result in the loss of the right to:
- Possess or use a gun
- Work in certain fields
- Be professionally licensed in certain fields
- Travel overseas
- Get a loan or a mortgage
You are innocent until you are proven guilty. With more than 30 years of experience as a former Chief Felony Prosecutor and State District Judge, our DWI attorney, Randall B. Isenberg, will advise you about your criminal charges. This means informing you about what to expect from the legal proceedings and the different options available to protect you.
Our legal team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will be there protecting your rights and relentlessly defending you, from the moment you are arrested through the entire case’s life.
How Our Experienced DWI Defense Attorney Can Serve You
DWI-related convictions come with steep consequences. Therefore, you need aggressive legal representation that will go the extra mile to mitigate the potential impacts that a DWI can unleash on your life.
Here are some ways our lawyer and legal team will serve your case:
- We will investigate to determine if law enforcement stopped you illegally or neglected to give you a Miranda warning.
- We will also review all aspects of the BAC and field sobriety tests and investigate whether you had any medical conditions or implanted devices that may have skewed the results of the tests.
- We will provide you with legal advice and walk you through the criminal justice process, which includes what you can expect during court proceedings.
- We will handle all the legal responsibilities of presenting a strong DWI defense case.
Our DWI attorney and legal team will use results-driven defense strategies to help you get out of jail or avoid jail time altogether and minimize the harm a DWI can bring to your driving privileges, work, finances, and your future.
Call Today to Get Started
If you have been arrested for DWI in Mesquite, TX, you could be facing consequences that will change your life forever. You do not have to face these challenges alone. Contact a DWI lawyer in Mesquite at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg for a free case review.