If an officer suspects you of driving while intoxicated (DWI), it can lead to your arrest. However, a DWI arrest does not automatically mean that you are guilty. There are ways to fight back against a DWI charge, and you have a good reason for doing so since the penalties for a DWI can be harsh.
If you have been arrested for a DWI, this is what you need to know about the charges against you, the associated punishments, and how our firm could help you clear your name.
The State Needs to Build its Case
When you are charged with a DWI, the state needs to make a case against you. The prosecutor working for the state must be able to prove that you were driving while intoxicated without any reasonable doubt.
This is when you have a chance to fight the charge. You need to show that the DWI case against you is weak; hiring our firm to represent you can help. Our team knows how to navigate DWI cases and can construct a defense that points out holes in the state’s arguments.
In doing so, we could get the charges dropped or reduce the penalties you face.
Penalties for DWI charges
According to Texas Penal Code §49.04, a DWI charge is leveled at anyone operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. It is generally a Class B misdemeanor. However, the severity of the charge could rise from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending on the circumstances of the arrest.
A DWI charge quickly becomes more serious if:
- There is an open container in the vehicle.
- A child is in the car.
- You have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of more than 0.15.
- Someone was injured due to your actions.
Any of these issues can result in harsher charges and punishments. For example, a BAC level of 0.15 or more raises that Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor. Causing an accident with injuries makes that DWI charge a felony.
Depending on the severity of the charge, penalties could include:
- Jail time, starting at 72 hours for a first-time offense
- Fines of up to $10,000
- A loss of driving privileges
How a Lawyer Can Assist You
When our firm represents you, we will do everything possible to help you fight for the best possible legal outcome in your DWI case. Our team will:
Determine Whether the Stop was Valid
Per Texas Transportation Code §724.012, you do not have the right to refuse a BAC test if the police pull you over because they suspect you of driving while intoxicated. Refusing the test can result in hefty penalties. However, if you can show that the stop was invalid in the first place, that can help in your defense.
Police need probable cause to pull you over and arrest you. If we can show that there was no probable cause for the stop, we can argue that the results of that BAC test were not legally obtained. Then that evidence cannot be used against you.
Ensure the Test was Conducted Properly
We will also focus on whether or not the BAC test was conducted properly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has standards for how such tests should be conducted. If the field test does not meet those standards, it could be deemed invalid.
Gather counterevidence to dispute the state’s case
Our team will gather evidence that counters the state’s case against you. Eyewitness reports, video footage, or other evidence that contradicts the officer’s record of events can all help you fight this charge.
Fight for Reduced Penalties and Evaluate Plea Deals
If it does not seem like the case is going your way, a Dallas DWI lawyer from our team can help you evaluate offers from the prosecution and fight for reduced penalties. If it is possible to reduce jail time or otherwise lessen the punishment for your DWI charge, we will try to find it.
Help You Retain Driving Privileges
Losing your ability to drive can be a major inconvenience, potentially preventing you from attending school or earning an income. We can help you fight to keep your driving privileges.
Call for your free consultation today
A DWI arrest in Dallas does not mean that you are guilty, and a lawyer from our firm can help you prove that. Call Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 and get your free consultation today. Learn more about how our team can help you fight for the best legal outcome and your reputation.