DWI Under the Legal Limit Lawyer in Travis County
Technically, Texas law states that motorists are legally intoxicated when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reaches 0.08 percent. Thus, you might be confused if you've been charged with a DWI even though you were under the legal limit. In fact, you might not have realized that was even possible until you were charged.
Our Travis County DWI under the legal limit lawyer has experienced these cases on both sides of the courtroom. As a former prosecutor, he has unique insights into each stage of these cases, from advocating for a dismissal to presenting compelling evidence in court.
Don't let your shock of the arrest turn into complacency. Instead, contact our firm today to discuss the case with a lawyer.
When Can You Be Charged With an Under the Legal Limit DWI?
You can be arrested for a DWI without reaching the legal limit if:
- The officer thinks you're impaired
- Your BAC is close to the limit after the arrest
- You're under the age of 21
- You're a commercial driver with a BAC of .04 percent or higher
Breathalyzers And DWI Arrests
If you were pulled over on suspicion of DWI, the officer might ask you to take a preliminary breath test (PBT). Unfortunately, PBTs are similar to lie detector tests as both help law enforcement build cases but aren't admissible in court due to unreliable results. You can still be the primary suspect after acing a lie detector test and can still be under suspicion for DWI if your PBT results are within the legal limit.
Instead of letting you drive away, the officer might decide that the BAC is close enough to the limit to warrant an arrest and further testing. The officer can take you to the station and order a breathalyzer or blood test.
Unfortunately, blowing under the legal limit once again at the police station might not translate into freedom. Blood alcohol levels drop as time passes. Thus, if your BAC is close to the limit, the officer might claim that you were clearly intoxicated when driving.
This is all quite complicated and confusing, so don't try to face it yourself. Reach out to our Travis Country under the legal limit DWI lawyer for help with your case.
Field Sobriety Tests And Under The Legal Limit DWI Charges
If the police think you're intoxicated, they can also conduct a field sobriety test. Unfortunately, the results are based on the officer's subjective opinions, meaning you can be perfectly sober and still get arrested. Even so, the officer's observations are admissible in court. Keep in mind that you have the right to refuse the test, but that could lead to an arrest.
Our Travis County under the legal limit DWI lawyer can help even if you failed the field sobriety test. Remember, this is not a scientifically valid test, so you can mount a defense.
Penalties For Under The Legal Limit DWI Convictions
Texas takes DWI seriously, even if you are under the legal limit. If convicted of a first offense DWI, you'll face up to $2,000 in fines and could be sentenced to 180 days in jail. At the minimum, you'll have to go to jail for three days and might lose your license for up to a year.
If you're under the age of 17, you face up to $500 in fines, a license suspension for 60-180 days, and 20-40 hours of community service. Additionally, the court might require an alcohol awareness class.
The penalties increase for minors aged 17-20 and include up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
These penalties will have a huge impact on your life, so contact our Travis County under the legal limit DWI lawyer to build a case.
Mounting A DWI Defense
Your Travis County under the legal limit DWI lawyer will mount a defense based on the evidence, including the facts you provide. Then, your attorney might choose to challenge the breathalyzer results, field sobriety test, and other evidence the prosecution presents. Additionally, the evidence might indicate that the arresting officer violated your constitutional rights, or you have a condition that prevents you from passing a field sobriety test. These are just a handful of possible options.