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Felony DWI Lawyer in Rockwall

Upon conviction for felony DWI in Rockwall, the judge will sentence you to years behind bars and fines as high as $10,000. However, your time behind bars could easily turn into decades or even life in prison, depending on the circumstances of your arrest.

Third offense DWIs, intoxication assault, and intoxication manslaughter all carry felony charges in Texas. To protect yourself against this devastating future, you need a felony DWI lawyer in Rockwall to assist you.

The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help. Call us today at 214-696-9253 to get started.

What Is Felony DWI in Texas?

In Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code (TPC), the requirements for pursuing DWI charges compel the prosecutor to prove that you drove a vehicle in a public place while legally intoxicated.

The statutes set a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) guideline of 0.08 or more for DWI. However, the police can press charges for DWI as long as an officer believes you lack the mental or physical capacity to operate a vehicle.

To elevate your charges to felony DWI, one of the following conditions must be true:

  • You have two previous convictions for DWI OR
  • You injured or killed someone in an accident you caused OR
  • You had a minor (age 14 or under) in the vehicle with you at the time of your DWI arrest

What Penalties Will I Face for a Felony DWI in Rockwall?

The penalties you will face for a felony DWI conviction depend on how the prosecutor charged you for the offense. The statutory penalties for each type of charge are as follows:

State Jail Felony (DWI with a passenger under the age of 15)

  • Up to 2 years in state jail
  • $10,000 fine
  • Six-month suspension of your driver’s license

Third-Degree Felony (third DWI offense, accident involving injury)

  • 2 to 10 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • 2-year suspension of your driver’s license
  • $2,000 per year license reactivation fee (for 3 years)

Second-Degree Felony (accident involving death, accident involving injury of peace officer, EMT, firefighter)

  • 2 to 20 years in prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • 2-year suspension of your driver’s license
  • $2,000 per year license reactivation fee (for 3 years)

First-Degree Felony (accident involving death of peace officer, EMT, firefighter)

  • 5 to 99 years or life in prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • 2-year suspension of your driver’s license
  • $2,000 per year license reactivation fee (for 3 years)

The court will likely also require you to pay court costs, attend alcohol education courses, and install an ignition interlock device on your car. The judge may also impose up to 1,000 hours of community service, require you to go to rehab or counseling, and sentence you to extensive supervised probation.

Your felony DWI conviction will remain on your record permanently, affecting your ability to get a job or rent an apartment. And, as with any felony conviction, you will lose many of your civil liberties, such as the ability to own or possess a firearm.

How Can a Lawyer Help You Fight Felony DWI Charges?

Because a felony DWI conviction can send you to prison for years (or more), you need a criminal defense lawyer to represent you and fight for your future.

In addition to protecting your legal rights, your lawyer will ensure that you understand the charges pending against you and your options for fighting them. This will help to ensure that you make informed decisions for your future.

Your attorney will go to work immediately, carefully examining all the evidence in your case. After identifying any weaknesses or errors, we can use this information to leverage negotiations with the prosecutor. This may convince the prosecutor to reduce or even dismiss the charges.

Some of the most common challenges to felony DWI charges include a lack of reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop and lack of probable cause for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing.

Lack of Reasonable Suspicion

The police need reasonable suspicion before they can pull you over. If that was not in the case in your traffic stop, your lawyer may succeed in having any evidence gathered disallowed.

Lack of Probable Cause

The police must follow established guidelines for field sobriety testing. If the officer in your case failed to follow the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines for field sobriety testing, the court may disallow any subsequent evidence.

BAC Testing Flaws

The police must perform all BAC testing in accordance with the NHTSA chemical testing standards. If your testing failed to comply, your lawyer may convince the judge to throw out any results.

Your lawyer will customize the defense strategy for your case based on the details of your case. Because the prosecution has a high burden of proof, your attorney will focus on establishing reasonable doubt as to your guilt.

Is an ALR Hearing Required for a Felony DWI?

All DWI arrests in Rockwall, including those classified as felonies, trigger the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process. This administrative (civil) process is separate from the criminal component of your case.

Upon a DWI arrest, the police seize your license and issue you a temporary permit to drive. Within 15 days, you must request a formal ALR hearing from the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS). If you fail to request your hearing, TxDPS will suspend your license.

An administrative law judge will oversee your ALR hearing, and hear sworn testimony from the arresting officer and any other witness with evidence. You will also provide testimony under oath, any of which the prosecutor can use against you in your criminal case.

Consequently, having your attorney there to represent you will ensure that you do not offer any information that could harm your case.

More importantly, the ALR hearing will allow your attorney to question the arresting officer under oath and learn what evidence the prosecution has. This information provides critical insight that can help your lawyer build a stronger case for your defense.

Call a Felony DWI Lawyer in Rockwall Today

Contact a felony DWI lawyer as soon as possible, before you answer any questions or provide any information to the police or prosecutor.

Randall Isenberg has more than 30 years’ experience as a criminal defense lawyer, state district court judge, and felony prosecutor. This unique insider’s perspective gives him the knowledge and insight to help you fight the charges against you.

The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers free consultations and case reviews, to answer your questions and help you make an informed decision. Call today to schedule an appointment: 214-696-9253.

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