Bell County DWI Attorney
Many people would admit to making a mistake or erring in judgment, but the consequences can be extreme if your decision to get behind the wheel leads to an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Texas has some of the strictest laws on drunk driving among all US states, and arrest records are proof that officials aggressively pursue offenders. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrests almost 61,000 motorists every year for DWI, so you are not alone in wondering about the laws, penalties, and defenses.
Fortunately, you can rely on our team at The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC to handle the details after an arrest for drunk driving. Despite harsh laws, there are defense opportunities and strategies for obtaining a favorable outcome. A Bell County DWI attorney can explain them in more detail, so please contact our firm today to set up a free consultation. Some background information may also be useful.
Overview of Texas Drunk Driving Laws
There are two ways that you could be arrested for DWI under state law:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeded .08 percent when measured by a breathalyzer or other chemical test; or
- As observed by police, you did not have normal use of your mental and physical capabilities due to consumption of alcohol, drugs, or both.
The basic drunk driving charge is a Class B Misdemeanor for which a judge could order up to 180 days in jail; however, the mandatory minimum sentence is 72 hours’ incarceration. If you had an open container at the time of your arrest, the mandatory minimum is 6 days’ imprisonment. Plus:
- You could face Class A Misdemeanor charges if you had a BAC in excess of .15 percent, so your sentence may be up to a year in jail.
- Your driver’s license will be suspended for a year.
- You must pay $1,000 to $2,000 per year after your driver’s license is reinstated.
- Subsequent DWI convictions can lead to longer jail terms and higher fines.
Defenses and Strategies in DWI Cases
One common defense includes showing that police did not have reasonable suspicion of drunk driving to pull you over, and another is contesting probable cause for an arrest. You might also fight DWI if you have grounds to counter the results of a breathalyzer.
The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC can also assist with another option for drunk driving cases: DWI probation, in which the charges are dropped if you comply with all of the terms set by the judge. Our Bell County DWI lawyers can advise you on whether you qualify.
Every US state has drunk driving laws, but Texas statutes on driving while intoxicated (DWI) are among the strictest in the nation. You could be arrested if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in excess of .08 percent as measured by a breathalyzer, blood test, or urinalysis. Plus, the law also encompasses a provision on impairment, so you might face charges if officers find that your mental or physical capabilities have been affected by alcohol.
If you were recently arrested for DWI, one of the first thoughts to cross your mind will be the penalties. It is understandable that you have concerns, but it is also important to realize that there are strategies for defending the charges. The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC is knowledgeable about the laws and ready to fight for your rights, so please contact us today. You can schedule a free consultation with a Bell County DWI penalties lawyer, and a legal summary may be helpful.
Penalties for a Drunk Driving Conviction in Texas
Whether you were charged because of a BAC in excess of .08 percent or on the grounds of impairment, a first-time DWI offense is a Class B Misdemeanor. The mandatory minimum sentence is 72 hours in jail, though a judge could order up to 180 days’ incarceration and a fine. You also face a 12-month driver’s license suspension. DWI charges and penalties increase in severity, so:
- A second drunk driving offense is a Class A Misdemeanor, punishable by 30 days to 1 year in jail.
- For a third DWI, the case is treated as a Third Degree Felony. Your mandatory minimum is 2 years in prison, but a judge could order up to 10 years’ incarceration.
- Subsequent drunk driving convictions also extend the driver’s license suspension, potentially up to 2 years or more.
Texas does NOT have a lookback period that limits the number of years that authorities can review, so any and all convictions count as a prior offense for your lifetime.
Strategies for Avoiding Harsh Punishment
Police must have reasonable suspicion that you were intoxicated before they can pull you over, and they need to have probable cause to arrest you for DWI. There may be additional defense options based upon the conditions of BAC testing. Still, one of the most effective strategies for avoiding serious penalties is DWI probation. The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC can explain how the process works, since you might qualify to have the charges dropped if you meet the terms established by the court. Our Bell County DWI penalties attorney will help you understand the eligibility criteria and assist with the process.
A Bell County DWI Attorney Can Assist with Defense Options
There are strategies for fighting drunk driving charges in Texas, and you leverage them most effectively when you have experienced representation on your side. To learn about our legal services, please call 254-330-3214 or go online to reach The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC. We can schedule a no-cost consultation with a Bell County DWI lawyer at our location in Temple, TX.