If you were recently arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you’re probably looking into legal opportunities to help you avoid being convicted, as the penalties are high.
Thankfully, working with an attorney is the best way to get out of your charges, or have your sentence reduced if you are convicted. Continue reading to learn more about the ramifications for a DWI in Texas and what defenses your attorney may be able to make use of in your case.
Penalties for a DWI Conviction
The first time you are arrested for a suspected DWI, you can expect to suffer less severe consequences than a repeat offender. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was less than 0.15% then you can expect to spend anywhere from 3 to 180 days in jail, pay a $2,000 fine, and have your license suspended for between 90 days to 1 year.
This is considered a Class B misdemeanor, and you’ll have the opportunity to have your record sealed when you apply for a non-disclosure two years after you’ve completed probation and installed an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for six months.
However, if your BAC was 0.15% or higher, your charges will be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor, and your fine will increase to $4,000 and you’ll be required to spend a up to 1 year in jail. Repeat offenders could be charged with a 3rd Degree Felony and pay fines up to $10,000.
Your prison sentence could range from two years to ten years and your license will be suspended for a maximum of two years. What’s more, as a convicted felon, you’ll no longer be able to vote or possess a firearm, among other things.
The Strategy for Your Case
More often than not, the defensive strategy that will work best for a DWI charge is contesting the validity of the breathalyzer and/or chemical testing done. If the tests were not administered correctly, or if your sample was contaminated in some way, then the testing that determined your BAC will be invalid and there will be no evidence to support your charges.
Another option your lawyer will have is to establish that the stop was unlawful. This means that law enforcement didn’t have probable cause to pull you over and your case could be thrown out. After examining the details of your arrest, your attorney will choose the defense that will be most successful in your case.
Get Help from a Fort Worth DWI Lawyer
When you’re ready to discuss the circumstances of your case with a highly trained DWI lawyer in Fort Worth, schedule your initial appointment as soon as possible so that you can begin to build your case and avoid having a conviction haunt you for years to come.