Although the police and prosecutor may try to convince you differently, a first-offense DWI is a big deal. You will pay a considerable fine, lose your driver’s license, and possibly even go to jail.
Before you make any decisions or agree to plead guilty, learn more about your options from a first-offense DWI lawyer in Highland Park. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg provides a complimentary consultation and case review, so that you can make the best decision for your future.
Contact us today at 214-696-9253 to schedule your appointment.
The High Price of a First-Offense DWI Conviction
Never assume that a drunk driving charge — even your first DWI offense — is no big deal.
If the court convicts you for your first DWI offense in Highland Park, you will face some or all of the following penalties:
- Fines, fees, and court costs
- Driver’s license suspension
- Jail time and/or community supervision (probation)
- Mandatory education, counseling, or treatment
- Community service
You will also have a permanent criminal record.
A criminal record will disrupt your life in ways you may never have imagined. Employers can deny you a job because you have a DWI conviction on your record. Landlords and property managers can refuse to rent to you. You might also permanently lose any professional licenses you hold.
You may also find it impossible to obtain affordable car insurance, once you have a DWI on your record.
Why You Should Talk to a First Time DWI Lawyer in Highland Park
The prosecutor in your case may offer you a deal if you agree to plead guilty. They may tell you that pleading guilty will allow you to avoid spending time in jail.
What they likely will not tell you is exactly how seriously a conviction will affect your life.
When you talk to a Highland Park DWI lawyer — like attorney Randall Isenberg — you will get the full story. Our legal team will explain exactly how a conviction will affect your life and help you explore your options.
Having a criminal defense lawyer on your side provides a host of advantages, including:
- Protecting your legal rights
- Protecting you from self-incrimination
- Identifying potential flaws in the prosecutor’s case
- Building the most robust possible case in your defense
- Fighting to help you keep your driving privileges
No matter how much the prosecutor tries to convince you they have an open-and-shut case, let a DWI lawyer give you the straight story. With all the necessary information, you can make an informed decision after your case. Even if the prosecutor has seemingly damning breathalyzer or blood testing evidence, this does not guarantee a negative outcome for your case.
Randall and his legal team will fight for your future, your freedom, and your driver’s license. We will obtain all available evidence and identify any potential problems with your case. We will negotiate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced or dismissed or, if necessary, we will prepare your case and defend you in court.
Penalties for a First Time DWI in Highland Park
Although the specific penalties you will face for a first-offense DWI will depend on the facts and evidence in your case, you face the very real possibility of spending time behind bars.
The Texas Penal Code (TPC) establishes the definition of DWI as lacking the “mental and/or physical capacity to safely operate a motor vehicle.” The police typically look to chemical testing for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to prove the charge. However, an officer can arrest you even without a BAC test, if he believes you are intoxicated.
For most first-offense DWIs, the prosecutor will pursue a Class B misdemeanor charge if your BAC ranged between 0.08 and 0.149. The penalties for conviction on a Class B misdemeanor charge include:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- Potential 1-year license suspension
You will likely face Class A misdemeanor charges if your BAC registered at 0.15 or more. Potential penalties include:
- Up to 1 year in jail
- Up to $4,000 in fines
- Potential 2-year license suspension
If you had an open container or a minor child in your car, you will face more serious penalties — potentially with a felony DWI charge. Likewise, if you cause an accident, damage, injury, or death while driving drunk, you will face felony DWI charges with $10,000 in fines and the possibility of spending 10 years or more in prison.
You will also face a litany of other penalties, including the following:
- Community service
- Substance counseling
- Installation of an ignition interlock
After your license suspension, you must pay a substantial annual surcharge — up to $2,000 — for three years.
You will also have a permanent record. This means that anyone who runs a background check on you can see your crime and potentially use it to deny you a job, an apartment, or a professional license. You may be able to have your record sealed for a first-offense DWI, but the process is complex.
Potential Legal Defense Strategies for a First-Offense DWI in Highland Park
Our legal team will devise your defense strategies based on the facts and evidence in your case. Typical defense strategies for a DWI charge include the following:
Lack Of Reasonable Suspicion
Police officers must have reasonable suspicion that you broke the law before pulling you over. Without reasonable suspicion, we may challenge the validity of the evidence obtained in your case.
Lack Of Probable Cause
During a traffic stop for DWI in Highland Park, officers must establish probable cause of your legal intoxication before arresting you or requesting BAC testing. If the police lacked probable cause, we can challenge any evidence they obtained.
Invalid BAC Test Results
Although you may believe that BAC testing is sufficient to get you convicted for a first-offense DWI, these tests are prone to a variety of errors. We can evaluate the condition of the breathalyzer equipment, the qualifications of the testing technician, or the lab’s handling of your sample. Any potential error could invalidate this evidence.
Our team will employ our vast network of resources to obtain and evaluate the evidence in your case and build the most persuasive possible defense on your behalf.
Meet With a First-Offense DWI Lawyer in Highland Park Today for FREE
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for individuals facing a first-offense DWI charge in Highland Park. Facing drunk driving charges can be frightening, but you do not have to deal with it alone.
For a free case evaluation, contact us today at 214-696-9253.