In Texas, being convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can lead to dire consequences. Imagine having two beers at a bar and being suddenly pulled over for drunk driving. You could lose your license, be imprisoned, fined, and be forced to perform community service if convicted. Furthermore, you will pay higher insurance costs and possibly an annual surcharge to keep your license.
If you were charged with DWI, you need a DWI lawyer in San Marcos, Tx to fight for your freedom and rights. Read more about DWI in Texas below, and contact our attorneys immediately for assistance.
After being arrested for DWI in San Marcos, you might not realize there are two cases against you. The first is the civil case with the Department of Public Safety regarding your driver’s license and the administrative suspension that happened when you were arrested. The other case is the criminal one that occurs in court with the county prosecutor and judge. You will want to win both cases if you can.
In Texas, DWI is defined as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. You are considered intoxicated under Texas law if you lack the normal use of your mental and physical faculties because you are using alcohol or drugs. You also are considered intoxicated if you have a BAC of at least .08%. So, remember that you can be charged with DWI even if your BAC is under the legal limit; it is sufficient for a charge if the police believe you are not in full possession of your faculties because of alcohol or drugs.
When you are stopped for suspected DWI, the police officer will ask you to take a breath or blood test and possibly do a field sobriety test. You can refuse the breath or blood test and the field tests. If you decide to refuse the tests, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. However, note that the police officer will probably have a video recorder in their vehicle and will use the test videos against you in court, so refusing the tests is an option.
Field sobriety tests are not necessarily accurate in determining if someone is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Many things can make you fail the tests, including the ground on which the tests are taken, your shoes, nervousness, and more. Your DWI attorney in San Marcos will review how the field sobriety tests were conducted and look for holes in the prosecution’s case.
It is common for the defendant’s intoxication to be a major issue in the DWI trial. An experienced DWI attorney knows how to cross-examine witnesses to cast doubt on whether you were intoxicated or not. Your attorney will review the case to determine if there is a way to question whether you were drunk or not.
If you fail the blood or breath test, your driver’s license will probably be suspended for 90 days. If you will not take the test after the DWI stop, your license is suspended for six months. However, you and your San Marcos DWI attorney can petition the DWI court for an administrative hearing to get your license back while the charges are pending.
Hiring a DWI attorney to represent you at the administrative hearing to get your license back while the drunk driving charges are pending is strongly recommended. You can contest the suspension within 15 days of the DWI arrest. Your attorney will offer the best arguments for reinstating your driver’s license. If the court grants your petition, you can keep your license while you wait for the administrative hearing.
At the hearing, the judge will decide if the officer made a reasonable traffic stop and probable cause to arrest you. If the judge agrees with the stop, your license is suspended.
However, your attorney could help you qualify for an occupational driver’s license. This would let you drive up to 12 hours per day and seven days a week for work, school, and duties related to maintaining a household. Your attorney can help you keep your license while the case is pending, which can be for several weeks or months.
The penalties for DWI convictions in Texas are serious and worsen based on the number of offenses and other factors involved in the case. For instance, if there was a minor in the car, you could receive enhanced DWI penalties.
Texas does not use a look-back period for drunk driving. This means every charge will stay on your record forever and may be used as a prior charge. Punishments for DWI charges are:
This is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to a $2,000 fine, a term in jail between three and 180 days, and a license suspension of up to two years. You also can have a $2,000 surcharge on your driver’s license annually for up to three years and up to 100 hours of community service. You may also be required to pay for an ignition interlock device on your car and a DWI education program.
This is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to a $4,000 fine and a term in jail between 30 days and one year. Your license can be suspended for up to two years, and you may need to pay a $2,000 annual surcharge for three years to keep your license active. You also must serve up to 200 community service hours and pay for an interlock ignition device and DWI education.
This is a third-degree felony; you can receive between two and 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A $2,000 annual surcharge on your license is likely, and so is an ignition interlock device and DWI education programming. Up to 600 hours of community service may be required.
If you are a minor and convicted of drunk driving, you may receive a $500 fine for a first or second offense, community service, and alcohol abuse classes. This crime is usually charged as a Class C misdemeanor. If you are under 21 and charged with public intoxication, you also can be charged with a Class C misdemeanor.
If you are charged with minor in possession of alcohol, also known as MIP, you may be fined $500 for the first or second offense. The third offense may result in a $2,000 fine and a sentence of up to 180 days in jail.
If you are stopped for DWI, the stop could be illegal or mistaken. Your attorney will carefully review the stop to see if it was illegal and if your Constitutional rights for violated. Some of the ways the traffic stop might be inadmissible in court are:
“It’s not my job to judge my clients, it’s my job to ensure their constitutional rights are protected and to provide them with a fair and just defense.”
David A. Mendoza
David A. Mendoza
After your San Marcos DWI arrest, you should call an attorney to help you with two things. First, the lawyer will help you request the administrative hearing to save your driver’s license. As noted earlier, you must act fast because this hearing happens within only 15 days of the arrest.
Second, is the criminal DWI case that takes longer. It is common to have to wait several weeks for a court date, but the first court date may be scheduled within about 20 days. Your attorney will ensure you do not miss any court dates; if you do, you can be arrested.
If you were charged with DWI, don’t panic. A good criminal defense lawyer may be able to beat the charge. But you must act quickly; the longer you wait to hire an attorney, the more likely you’ll say or do something to damage your case. Contact our DWI Lawyer in San Marcos, Tx today for a complimentary consultation.
David Mendoza was there to handle my issue with his expertise and ability to communicate on my behalf. He made this process as smooth and effective I no longer feel the stress I can be at ease knowing Mr. Mendoza knows how to get things done legally. over all he is a great attorney and if ever needed will continue to have him as my lawyer.
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