Texas holds commercial drivers to more stringent DWI standards than non-commercial drivers. If you hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and you face drunk driving charges, you need a commercial DWI lawyer in Garland to help you protect your license, your future, and your ability to earn a living.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for help: 214-696-9253
How Can a Garland Commercial DWI Lawyer Help Me?
The penalties for commercial DWI are substantial and a conviction can prohibit you from ever working again. If you hope to keep your CDL and protect your ability to drive commercially, you need a lawyer to help you.
A commercial DWI lawyer is better equipped than the average person to protect your legal rights and your right to earn a living. Because you will face both criminal and civil action for a commercial drunk driving charge, an attorney can guide you through these complex processes and offer hope for a positive outcome.
Your lawyer will start by obtaining all relevant evidence in your case, and scrutinizing it to identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Armed with this information, your lawyer can potentially negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain a reduction in your charges or, in some cases, maybe even a dismissal.
The civil portion of your case, the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing, will determine the disposition of your commercial driver’s license. Both the civil and the criminal aspects of your case are critical to your future, which is why you need a commercial drunk driving lawyer to represent you for both portions of the process.
How Does a Commercial DWI Differ from an Individual DWI in Texas?
Commercial DWIs and individual DWIs have a few differences:
- The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit differs between commercial and individual DWIs. The limit for individuals is 0.08. The limit for commercial truck drivers is 0.04.
- If you hold a CDL, you face a commercial DWI regardless of whether you were driving your truck or your personal vehicle. You face charges if you had a BAC of 0.08 or more while you were driving your personal vehicle OR a BAC of 0.04 or above while driving your truck.
Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code (TPC) defines individual DWI offenses; whereas the TTC defines commercial DWI. The similarities and differences between the two crimes — and the intricacies of how they affect each other — can be highly confusing.
The important takeaway here is that, if you hold a CDL and drive drunk, you will face commercial DWI charges no matter what type of vehicle you were driving at the time.
What Penalties Will I Face for a Commercial DWI in Garland?
Although similar laws govern individual and commercial DWI, the added penalties are substantially harsher for CDL holders.
You face typical class B misdemeanor charges for your DWI — assuming this is your first offense. Conviction for this charge carries a $2,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail. If your BAC registered at 0.15 or more, or this is your second offense, you will face Class A misdemeanor charges, a $4,000 fine, and up to 1 year in jail.
The court may also require you to perform community service, attend a DWI education course, report for alcohol abuse counseling, and install an ignition interlock on every vehicle you own or drive.
You also face disqualification penalties, even if you were driving your personal vehicle (or any non-commercial vehicle) at the time of your arrest.
What Are Commercial DWI Disqualification Penalties?
The amount of time the state will suspend your CDL depends on the charges you face. For conviction on a DWI (or a refusal to submit to blood alcohol testing), the state will disqualify you from driving commercial vehicles for 1 year.
If you were carrying placard-bearing hazardous materials at the time of your arrest, the state will disqualify you for 3 years.
Texas will disqualify you permanently upon conviction for a second DWI or if you ever refuse BAC testing after your first DWI conviction.
Disqualification is part of the criminal component of a commercial DWI. You must also undergo the civil component, ALR, during which the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) may revoke your license as well, even if the state does not.
Legal Defense Strategies Your Commercial DWI Lawyer May Use
Depending on the factors of your case, your attorney may approach your defense using one or more of the following strategies.
If the police officer who pulled you over did not have reason to believe you violated the law, your lawyer may succeed in having your charges dismissed.
If the police officer lacked probable cause to ask you to undergo BAC testing, your attorney may successfully negotiate a DWI reduction or dismissal of charges.
All BAC testing must comply with established state and federal guidelines and regulations. If the police failed to adhere to these guidelines, your lawyer may successfully petition the court to disallow any subsequent evidence collected.
During the civil portion of your case, the ALR process, we will have the opportunity to question the arresting officer under oath. This provides a valuable opportunity for your attorney to learn what evidence the prosecution has and potentially identify weaknesses in the case.
Your lawyer can use any information obtained through ALR as a part of your criminal defense strategy.
Protect Your Livelihood. Get Defense Help Today.
Even a first offense conviction for commercial DWI can prevent you from working in the future. Once your suspension ends, few commercial transport companies will consider hiring a driver with a drunk driving conviction on their record.
Choose a lawyer who understands the serious nature of your charges, and who knows how to fight for you.
Attorney Randall Isenberg will put his over 30 years of experience to work for you. He has experience not only as a DWI attorney but also as a felony prosecutor and district court judge. His perspective is that of a true insider, giving him the background it takes to get the job done for you.
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to discuss your case with a commercial DWI lawyer in Garland: 214-696-9253.