When a police officer asks you to take a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test, you can decide whether you should take a blood, breath, or urine test. Blood samples tend to be more accurate than breathalyzer tests, so this may be the best option.
Blood, breath, and urine tests are all designed for one purpose: to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in your system. If your BAC is .08 or higher, you are considered legally drunk and may be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Driving While Intoxicated is a Serious Charge
DWI penalties vary considerably, depending on how many prior convictions you have and whether you are facing additional charges (e.g., driving with an open container of alcohol). During a first DWI conviction, per the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), you could face:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- A $2,000 fine
- Up to 1 year without your driver’s license
With a second conviction, the penalties get more arduous. They may include:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- A $4,000 fine
- Up to 2 years without your driver’s license
By the third offense, the maximum penalties increase to:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- A $10,000 fine
- Up to 2 years without your driver’s license
Other Negative Effects of a DWI Conviction
These are the punishments a judge may order for you. Each can negatively affect your life in a number of ways, including:
- Making it more difficult for you to maintain or find a job
- Depriving you of the right to vote or own a gun
- Altering how the people in your life think about and interact with you
- Putting financial stress on you and your family
- Taking a toll on your mental health
You will naturally want to do whatever you can to avoid a conviction that requires such penalties. One way to help yourself is by hiring a DWI lawyer to fight the charges on your behalf.
Getting Legal Help with Your DWI Charge
How can you avoid facing penalties like those outlined above? One way is to hire a DWI lawyer from our firm. We can educate you about your rights and fight hard to make sure the legal system respects those rights. We may perform some or all of the following tasks during your case.
Bargaining with the Court
The charge you face comes with life-altering penalties. One of our attorneys can help you fight a DWI charge by asking a judge to:
- Drop the charges: With a strong enough defense, your lawyer can argue that the case against you has no basis and should not stand.
- Reduce the charges: As an example, your lawyer may fight to have you charged with roadway obstruction instead of a DWI. This way, you are no longer at risk of losing your license.
Building a Strong Defense
Our firm’s goal is to create a case that either shows you are not guilty or introduces enough doubt in the jury member’s minds that they must acquit you. An attorney from our team can do this by collecting evidence such as:
- Police records
- CCTV footage
- Witness testimony
- Expert testimony
- Photographs and video
This evidence can help us construct your defense by:
- Establishing police error or misconduct
- Demonstrating that you are not guilty
- Undermining the prosecution’s claims
Representing You at the Trial
As already discussed, we may be able to eliminate the need for a trial by getting the charges dropped. If your case does go to trial, your lawyer will take all necessary steps to prepare and present your case, including:
- Preparing trial exhibits from the evidence our team has gathered
- Submitting exhibits and all other materials to the court
- Presenting oral arguments before a judge and jury
- Finding witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Questioning witnesses on the stand
Your Rights After a DWI Stop
As soon as you are arrested, you have consented to take a BAC test under the law. The arresting officer has every right to ask you to submit to a test. This is according to Texas Transportation Code § 724.011. If you refuse to take a test, you will:
- Have to sign a statement documenting your refusal
- Undergo license suspension
- Receive a temporary license
If you believe that law enforcement violated your rights in any way during your traffic stop, arrest, or questioning, be sure to tell our team right away. This can become a significant part of your case.
Speak to a Member of Our Law Firm Today
Whether you took a blood, breath, or urine test, our team at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg wants to help you avoid a DWI conviction and all of the penalties that come with it. With over 30 years of legal experience, Randy Isenberg knows how to ensure that the law treats you fairly. Call our firm at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation today.