Drunk driving laws are especially strict in Texas. If you are facing a drunk driving conviction, even if it’s your first, you don’t want to go at it alone.
In Texas, a drunk driving conviction carries a substantial fine and potentially time behind bars. You may also lose your driver’s license for as long as one year. And, even after you have paid your fine and completed your obligations, you will still have a permanent criminal record.
Before you make any decisions that could profoundly affect your future, talk to a DWI lawyer to ensure you understand your options. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to schedule a no-cost consultation with a first offense DWI lawyer in Richardson, Texas.
Harsh Penalties Following a First Offense DWI Conviction in Texas
The Texas Penal Code (TPC) establishes the guidelines for DWI, establishing intoxication as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or above.
For your first offense DWI, if your BAC did not exceed 0.149 and you had no other aggravating circumstances, you will face Class B misdemeanor charges. Upon conviction for this charge, you will face penalties that include:
- Monetary fine up to $2,000
- Jail time of three to 180 days
- Driver’s license suspension of up to one year
For a BAC of 0.15 or more, you will face a Class A misdemeanor charge, which carries the following penalties:
- Monetary fine up to $4,000
- Jail time of 30 days to one year
- Driver’s license suspension of up to two years
At the end of your driver’s license suspension, you must pay an annual charge of up to $2,000 to restore your license, for a total of three years.
The judge has the discretion to assess additional penalties as necessary, which could include probation (community supervision), community service, alcohol education classes, substance abuse treatment or the requirement to install a deep lung breath testing device on your car.
But, most important, even a first offense DWI conviction will result in a permanent criminal record. Anyone who conducts a background check on you will have access to your record, and can potentially use this information to deny you for certain opportunities that include:
- House or apartment rental
- College admission
- Student loans
- Professional licenses
- Affordable car insurance
And, since most drunk driving convictions do not qualify for expungement or non-disclosure, you must live with this record and its consequences if you agree to plead guilty or if the court finds you guilty of a first offense DWI.
First Offense DWI Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Future
Most first offense DWI clients have never been arrested or spent time in jail. This experience can be frightening and confusing – and the prosecutor may attempt to capitalize on your fear by recommending that you plead guilty.
Before you make that decision, talk to a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in representing first-time DWI clients. Attorney Randall Isenberg of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg has more than three decades of experience in the Texas legal system, including stints as a state judge and as a chief felony prosecutor. Our office will put this experience to work on your behalf.
A DWI lawyer in Richardson can defend your legal rights and help you understand all the options available to you. We will examine the evidence in your case for potential errors by the police or violations of your legal rights. We will use this information to negotiate with the prosecutor, with the goal of getting your charges reduced or your case dismissed. Or, if necessary, we will take your case to court and present the strongest possible defense.
Legal Strategies for Fighting a First Offense DWI
Although our legal team will base your defense strategy on the facts and evidence related to your arrest, we frequently defend first offense DWI clients on one of more of the following bases.
Before they can pull you over, the police must establish a reasonable suspicion that you broke the law. Without that reasonable suspicion, the court can declare your traffic stop unlawful.
To arrest you and request a chemical BAC test, the police must establish probable cause (typically through roadside breath or field sobriety testing). Whatever process the police use to establish probable cause must comply with all governing local, state, and federal guidelines. Otherwise, the court can rule that the police did not establish probable cause for your arrest.
Faulty Chemical Testing
To support the prosecution’s DWI case, the police may request that you submit to chemical testing for BAC, typically either breathalyzer or blood testing. However, unless the individual and facility conducting BAC testing comply with all applicable standards and laws, we may succeed in having the evidence suppressed.
First Offense DWI Driver’s License Suspension Hearing
In addition to the criminal case against you, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will conduct an administrative hearing to determine the disposition of your driver’s license.
To dispute the suspension of your license, you must formally request this proceeding, called the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. An administrative law judge will conduct the proceeding and take testimony on the validity of your case.
An ALR suspended license lawyer from our legal team can represent you throughout the ALR hearing process as well as your criminal case, to protect your rights and argue for your ability to keep your license. We will also have the opportunity to question the arresting officer in your case under oath. The information we gain from this testimony can help us to bolster your criminal defense case.
If the judge rules to suspend your license, we can file an appeal or, if necessary, help you obtain a special license that will allow you to get to work, go to school, and to important personal errands.
Consult a First Offense DWI Lawyer in Richardson Today at No Cost
To help you make the best choices for you and your future, the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers a no-cost, no-obligation case analysis. We will answer your questions and help you make the most informed decision possible for your future.
To schedule your consultation with a first offense DWI lawyer in Richardson, call us today at 214-696-9253.