A conviction for driving while intoxicated in Texas can include jail time and hefty monetary fines and leave you with a permanent criminal record. But what if you could have the state reduce or even dismiss your charges?
As a DWI reduction lawyer in Plano, Randall Isenberg has more than 30 years’ experience working on both sides of the legal system. In many cases, we can negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction or dismissal of your charges. And, even if we are not successful in getting your charges reduced, we have other options for improving the outcome of your case.
Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to learn more: 214-696-9253.
What might the state reduce my DWI to?
Depending on whether you face charges for a first-offense DWI, second-, or third-offense DWI, or a more serious charge such as DWI assault or DWI manslaughter, the state will punish you based on the statutory DWI fines and penalties established in the Texas Penal Code (TPC) Chapter 12, “Punishments.”
The state charges some DWI offenses as misdemeanors and others as felonies. If your DWI reduction lawyer can produce sufficient evidence to demonstrate that the state may lose its case against you, the prosecutor will often agree to a DWI reduction and charge you with the lesser offense.
Specifically, Randall may aim for one of the following when negotiating your charges down:
DWI to Reckless Driving
You may have heard the term “wet reckless,” which is an alternative to DWI charges that many states offer. Texas does not have a legal option for wet reckless charges. However, in many cases, we can convince the prosecutor to reduce your DWI charges to reckless driving. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $200 and/or 30 days in jail — much more favorable than DWI penalties.
DWI to Obstruction of Highway/Passageway
Depending on your case, Randall can pursue charges of obstruction of a highway or passageway. This charge, commonly offered when the prosecutor has doubts about the veracity of the state’s case, is a class B misdemeanor.
While you can also face class B misdemeanor charges for a DWI, the after-effects of an obstruction charge are much more lenient (e.g., no insurance hikes, no yearly license surcharge).
Felony DWI to Misdemeanor DWI
If you face a felony DWI charge, the prosecutor may refuse to drop the charges or accept a reckless driving plea. In that case, we may negotiate with the prosecutor about having you plead guilty to a misdemeanor DWI charge instead.
Drop Enhanced Charges
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) chemical testing reflected a reading of
0.15 or if there is another aggravating factor, the state can enhance your charges to the next tier (class B misdemeanor to a class A misdemeanor, for example). Randall may convince the prosecutor to drop the enhancements in exchange for a plea deal.
What legal strategies might a Plano DWI reduction lawyer use?
Your DWI reduction attorney has many potential strategies for successfully negotiating your charges down. Some of the most effective approaches include the following:
Demanding a Speedy Trial
The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to a speedy trial. Your lawyer can file a motion demanding that the state proceed with its case by a certain time. If the state does not take action by the deadline, your lawyer can petition for a dismissal of your case.
Question Reasonable Suspicion
The police officer who pulled you over must have had reasonable suspicion that you were legally intoxicated. If your attorney can demonstrate that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion, the resulting evidence may be inadmissible in court.
Question Probable Cause
Once the officer stopped you, she must have had probable cause to request chemical testing. In your case, the officer may have asked you to submit to field sobriety testing or portable breath testing. If so, the officer must have followed established protocols for either type of testing.
For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has established field sobriety testing guidelines. The NHTSA also has guidelines for roadside breath testing and calibrating and maintaining the instruments officers use to test blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the officer failed to follow these protocols, your lawyer may be able to convince the judge to declare the resulting chemical test evidence inadmissible.
Illegal Chemical Testing
For BAC chemical testing evidence (breath, blood, or urine screening) to be valid, the police department must follow established standards for testing. It must maintain, test, and calibrate the equipment on a set schedule. Also, the operator or technician who administered the test must possess the correct certification to perform the tests. If any part of your BAC testing failed to comply with established standards, your DWI reduction attorney can request the judge throw the test results out.
Invalid Lab Analysis
If your BAC screening used blood testing rather than breath testing, the prosecution must provide proof that the lab had the necessary qualifications to analyze the sample, that the lab did not contaminate the sample in any way, that the police properly maintained the chain of evidence, and that the lab conducted the tests correctly.
Did you know that your mouthwash, medications, and even your diet can cause a false positive breathalyzer test? If you failed the breath test, your DWI reduction lawyer can seek assistance from toxicology experts who can testify as to how something you consumed interfered with chemical testing results.
What happens if the state refuses to reduce my DWI charges?
Even though we have extensive experience with DWI reduction, taking your case to trial is always a valid — and sometimes preferable — alternative.
In many cases, Texas prosecutors play “hardball” and refuse to negotiate a plea agreement, preferring to take their chances in court. However, the burden of proof is on them and, the harsher your charges, the more difficult their burden becomes.
When you choose a DWI reduction lawyer who has courtroom experience — and who knows how to present your case to a judge and jury — acquittal is a very real possibility.
Call a DWI reduction lawyer in Plano today.
Attorney Randall Isenberg of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg has more than three decades of experience, including time as a felony prosecutor and state district court judge. Randall brings this unique insight to your case, allowing him to provide expert counsel and guidance while protecting your legal rights.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is pleased to offer a complimentary consultation and case review to help you decide the next steps to take. Contact us today: 214-696-9253.