Plano DWI Attorney
Defense for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Charges
Even if you have never been convicted of a crime, you can still face very
serious consequences if you are charged and convicted with DWI. If you
have been pulled over by a Texas law enforcement official and he or she
discovers through chemical testing that you have a BAC of over 0.08%,
you will almost certainly be charged with drunk driving. Texas DWI laws
are very strict and are targeted at eliminating drunk driving. If you
have been charged with drunk driving, a Plano DWI attorney at The Zendeh
Del Law Firm, PLLC will be able to offer you the aggressive
defense that you need.
Defining the Crime of DWI
According to Texas law, DWI is defined as "not having the normal use
of one's mental faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol,
a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two
or more of those substances, or any other substance in the body."
In accordance to the law, any driver found to have a
blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher—or 0.02% for individuals under 21, and 0.04% for
commercial drivers—can be held liable.
When an officer suspects a driver of DWI, they will look for behavioral
signs such as:
- Drifting in and out of the lane
- Weaving & swerving
- Braking erratically
- Slow reaction time
- Excessive speeding
- Driving under the speed limit
If you have been pulled over for any of these reasons, a law enforcement
officer may have asked you to perform a series of field sobriety tests
and/or comply with a breath test. Field sobriety tests are designed to
determine physical and cognitive capacity through a series of basic tasks.
If, after performing poorly on these tests, the officer then had reason
to believe that you were impaired, they would have asked you to submit
a breath sample in order to determine blood alcohol concentration. If
it was higher than 0.08%, it is likely that you were arrested for a DWI.
Consequences of a DWI Conviction
In the state of Texas, DWI convictions can carry some pretty severe penalties.
Even for a first time offender, jail time, fines and a driver's license
suspension are all incorporated in the punishment.
First Offense: 3-180 days in jail, fines up to $2,000 & license suspension of 90
days to 1 year
Second Offense: 30 days-1 year in jail, fines up to $4,000 & license suspension up
to 2 years
Third Offense: 2 years in jail, fines up to $10,000 & license suspension of 180 days
to 2 years
If you are hoping to avoid the serious penalties of a DWI conviction, it
is imperative that you act quickly. As soon as you have been arrested,
the next step should be to enlist the help of a qualified attorney.
How Our DWI Defense Lawyers Can Help You
Let us protect your rights! We can represent you in the following matters:
ALR Hearings: This hearing is the civil (rather than criminal) hearing after a person
is arrested for driving under the influence. This civil proceeding involves
the driver’s driving privileges. Upon arrest for DWI, a Texas peace
officer will take possession of the driver’s license and issue them
a temporary one. At this point, the driver has 15 days in which they can
request an ALR hearing if they want to get their license back and reinstate
their driving privileges.
First Time DWI: If you have been charged with your first DWI, you could be subject to the
following penalties if you are convicted of driving with a BAC between
0.08% and 0.14%: up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, up to
one year of license suspension, probation, victim impact panel attendance
and DWI education courses. In most cases, this is a class B misdemeanor.
If convicted of driving with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, you may be subject
to one year in jail and a two year probationary period.
Second DWI: In Texas, the penalties for a second DWI conviction will be more severe
than the first conviction. If you have been charged with your second DWI,
you could be subject to the following penalties if you are convicted:
up to one year in jail, up to $4,000 in fines, up to two years of a license
suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in the
Third DWI: With each subsequent DWI after a first conviction, penalties will become
more severe. Upon a third conviction, a driver will be facing up to two
years in jail, up to $10,000 in fines, up to two years of license suspension,
and the installation of an ignition interlock device in the driver's
vehicle. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a third DWI conviction
within a certain time period may be considered a felony offense. A fourth
or subsequent DWI charge will also be considered a felony.
Occupational Driver’s License: According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), a driver may
be issued an occupational license even if their regular license has been
suspended because of a DWI. Anyone may request this type of license with
the county or district court where they reside. This type of license will
only be granted to those who can prove their need to drive for their job,
education or important household duties.
15 Day Rule: The 15 day rule in Texas involves the ALR hearing. After an individual
is arrested for drinking and driving, they have only 15 days in which
they can request an administrative license revocation hearing with the
DMV. In these hearings, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will have
the burden of proof to show evidence of intoxication at the time of arrest.
After the 15 days is up, a driver will not be allowed to request this
type of hearing, and their license suspension will automatically begin
on the 41st day after the notice was issued.
Breath & Blood Tests: Breath and blood tests are different than field sobriety tests. You may
be asked to submit to a breath test upon being pulled over, or you may
be arrested and taken to the police station where you will then be asked
to submit to a test. Whatever the case, a refusal means that you are in
violation of Texas’s “implied consent” law, and you
will face automatic license suspension. Breath and blood test results
can be contested.
Felony DWI: There are many scenarios that may warrant a felony DWI charge rather than
a misdemeanor such as: if an alleged drunk driver caused an accident that
led to serious injury or death, multiple DWI convictions, or a DWI with
a child passenger.
Field Sobriety Tests: Each state has adopted different field sobriety tests commonly used at
traffic stops. If an officer pulls you over under suspicion of DWI, they
may ask you to complete tests such as the walk and turn test, horizontal
gaze nystagmus and the one-leg stand.
DWI with Child Passenger: Charges are more serious if an individual is arrested for driving while
intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 15. You may face up to two
years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and other serious charges.
Intoxication Assault: In Texas, if you were arrested for driving while intoxicated and were involved
in an accident that caused serious injury to another individual, then
you may be facing intoxication assault charges. This is a felony offense.
Intoxication Manslaughter: According to the Texas Penal Code, driving under the influence and causing
an accident that results in the death of another individual warrants a
charge of intoxication manslaughter. This is a felony offense.
Any driving while intoxicated charge is serious. To learn more about DWI
charges, penalties and the defense strategies,
contact our office. The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC is here to fight for the rights of those
charged with DWIs and ensure that their charges are lessened or dropped