Travis County DWI First Offense Lawyer
Because first-time DWI offenses are typically charged as Class B misdemeanors, some Texans make the mistake of thinking they aren't that serious. However, the potential penalties are much more than a slap on the wrist. If you're convicted, you could face jail time, fines, and other stiff penalties. Additionally, the conviction will stay on your criminal record for the rest of your life. That means that employers and others who run background checks will know that you were convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Since the potential consequences are so steep, it's wise to have a Travis County DWI first offense lawyer on your side. Jason English is a former prosecutor and now defends clients in criminal cases. Using his background as a prosecutor, he strives to get DWI charges rejected, dismissed, or reduced. You can meet with him to discuss your case by scheduling a free consultation today.
Potential Penalties for the First DWI
Many people are surprised by the severity of the penalties for first-time offenders. If found guilty, you face up to:
- $2,000 in fines
- 180 days in jail
- A suspended license for a year
Potential Defenses For A First-time DWI Charge
It's a myth that DWI charges automatically lead to convictions. In reality, you are innocent until proven guilty, and your Travis County DWI first offense lawyer can develop a defense strategy based on the evidence. For instance, your defense lawyer might discover that the arresting officer didn't have probable cause to stop or search your vehicle, meaning that the charges should be dropped.
Your lawyer might also choose to build the case around the blood sample. For instance, if it was collected without your permission, your lawyer might try to get the evidence thrown out. Additionally, your lawyer can build a defense based on the chain of custody problems, contamination, and more.
Your DWI first offense lawyer will also likely examine the breathalyzer evidence to ensure the machine provided legally admissible results. If it wasn't calibrated or hadn't been inspected for a long time, the results might not stand up in court.
These are just some of the possibilities when it comes to building a defense. After consulting with you and carefully reviewing the evidence, the lawyer can then determine the right strategy.
What Is Intoxication In Texas?
You're considered intoxicated if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. However, the state of Texas also allows law enforcement to charge you with a DWI if evidence shows that your driving abilities were affected due to drugs and alcohol. This is true, even if your BAC is below the 0.08 percent threshold.
Because this often comes down to a judgment call or unreliable sobriety tests, it's possible to get charged, even if you are in full control behind the wheel. Contact our Travis County DWI first offense lawyer to go over your options if you were charged but not intoxicated.
Enhanced DWI Charges For The First Offense
It's possible to receive enhanced DWI charges, even if you don't have any DWI convictions on your record. For instance, the prosecutor might choose to file an enhanced charge if you have a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher or if you were transporting minors at the time of the charge. Also, excessive speeding or driving on a suspended license can lead to enhanced charges. If convicted, you face even steeper penalties, so consult with a Travis County DWI first offense lawyer to go over your legal strategy.
Additional Consequences Of A DWI Conviction
If you are convicted of a DWI, you face more than possible jail time, fines, and a suspended license. DWI convictions create collateral damage that can impact all aspects of your life. Texas employers can typically fire employees if convicted of a DWI. Additionally, the conviction will go on your record, making it harder to find a new job. It can even impact your ability to secure housing and affect your custodial rights if you share custody of minor children. In addition, your car insurance can increase as a result of a conviction. With such serious consequences, don't hesitate to consult with a Travis County DWI first offense lawyer to see if you can get the charges reduced or dismissed.