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Defending Against DWI Charges In Texas

Defending Against DWI Charges In Texas

The following article will cover:

  • The definition of DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Texas.
  • Implied consent laws and the consequences of providing or declining a breath or blood sample when arrested for DWI in Texas.
  • Important information about your driver's license status following a DWI arrest.

How Is DWI Defined In Texas?

In Texas, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is defined as operating a motor vehicle, (including boats and planes), in a public area while impaired. Under Texas law, driving “impaired” means driving with faculties reduced beyond the standard mental or physical capacities. Additionally, you can be charged with DWI in Texas if you are found driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or above.

Do I Need To Provide A Breath Or Blood Sample If Arrested For DWI In Texas? What Are The Consequences If I Decline?

Texas operates under the "implied consent" principle. This means that if you're lawfully arrested with probable cause for suspicion of DWI, you're assumed to have consented to a breath or blood test, with the testing method often determined by the arresting officer. While you have the right to refuse, doing so results in a 180-day license suspension.

If you comply and the results are incriminating, your license faces a 90-day suspension. What’s more, it's essential to understand that an officer, with a judge-approved warrant, can mandate a blood test even if you decline. Additionally, your refusal might be portrayed in court as evidence of your acknowledgment of guilt.

What Should I Know About My Driver's License Following A DWI Arrest And Charge In Texas? Is My License Instantly Revoked?

Your license isn't immediately revoked after a DWI arrest. You have a 15-day window from the arrest date to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. However, failure to make this request within the specified time frame will result in an automatic license suspension.

What Are The Consequences Of A DWI Conviction In Texas? How Does It Affect My Driver’s License?

The penalties vary based on the specifics of the offense:

  • First offense (Class B misdemeanor): Up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine not exceeding $2,000.
  • Second DWI or BAC greater than .15%: A maximum of 1 year in county jail and/or a fine up to $4,000.
  • Third or subsequent DWI: Classified as a 3rd-degree felony, it carries a sentence ranging from 2-10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and/or a fine up to $10,000.

The consequences of a DWI conviction to your license are as mentioned above.

If I'm Considering Pleading Guilty To A DWI Charge In Texas, Should I Hire A DWI Defense Attorney?

It's ill-advised to simply plead guilty without consulting an attorney. An officer's judgment of intoxication is subjective. Engaging a qualified attorney ensures a thorough examination of all aspects surrounding your case, providing you with the best advice for such a pivotal decision. For more information on Defending Against DWI Charges In Texas, an initial consultation is your next best step.

Aurelio Garza, Esq. - Estate Planning Lawyer - McAllen, TX

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