DWI Defense

Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

DWI Defense

Getting arrested for a DWI can be an incredibly overwhelming process and unfortunately many people are misinformed as to their rights and consequences of being arrested and charged with a DWI.  Haddad Law Firm is experienced in dealing with all the ins and outs of a DWI defense case and is ready and willing to defend you against a charge of Driving While Intoxicated. Give Haddad Law Firm a call today to speak with a criminal defense lawyer for a free consultation regarding your DWI charge and what can be done about it.  Don’t delay, the consequences of a DWI arrest can begin as soon as 15 days after your arrest! Fighting a DWI charge is never easy, but it is almost always worth it to protect you, your driver’s license, your livelihood and your criminal record.

What Is A DWI?

There is a lot of confusion as to what constitutes a DWI versus a DUI and which one you are being charged with, mainly because the two terms are used interchangeably throughout the United States.  Here in Texas, both terms are actually used, but refer to separate charges.

DWI or Driving While Intoxicated

Any person that is driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher can be charged with a DWI or Driving While Intoxicated.  A first offense is usually a Class B or Class A misdemeanor and can result in punishment of up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000.00 fine. Whether the charge is a Class B or Class A misdemeanor can depend on factors such as blood alcohol content or whether the arrested person has previously been convicted of a DWI.  Additionally, a person charged with a DWI can face driver’s license sanctions in the form of suspensions and surcharges.

A DWI can be filed as a felony charge if:

Arrested person has previously been convicted of a DWI two or more times in the last 10 years

If the driver caused an accident resulting in injury to another person

If the driver had a passenger in the vehicle that is 15 years old or younger

There are even more strict standards for a Commercial Driver facing a DWI charge.  If you are a commercial driver with a CDL, your blood alcohol content level (BAC) must be lower than 0.04% while driving, even if you are not driving a commercial vehicle at the time of arrest.  Furthermore, you will lose your commercial driver’s license if convicted of driving while intoxicated.

DUI or Driving Under the Influence

Any person under the age of 21 found drinking and driving will be charged with a DUI.  DUI rules operate under a zero-tolerance policy, therefore no is no minimum BAC for underage drinking and driving – any amount of alcohol detected in a blood or breath test will result in DUI charges.  However, a blood alcohol content level above the adult legal limit of 0.08% will incur harsher penalties.  A first time DUI offense can include penalties of a $500.00 fine, 60 days in jail, community service and enrollment in an alcohol education and awareness program.

Why am I still being charged with a DWI if I wasn’t drinking any alcohol?

Most people think that DWI is strictly an alcohol related offense, but you can also be charged with a DWI for driving under the influence of drugs or any other intoxicating substance.  Certain medications, even if prescribed to you by your doctor, can be considered an intoxicating substance and result in a DWI charge.  It is important to know that just because you were not drinking alcohol does not mean that you can’t be charged with a DWI.  There are a wide variety of drugs, both illegal and prescription, that can impair your driving and result in a DWI charge.

Penalty and Punishment Ranges for DWI Offenses

DWI penalties and punishments are very harsh in Texas, even for a first offense of Driving While Intoxicated.  Jail time, fines, community service, classes, breathalyzer, and suspended driver’s license can all be included as part of the punishment for a DWI offense.  Any DWI conviction on your record is permanent and will be used against you if you are every arrested and charged with another DWI in the future.

  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Probation and Community Service
  • Suspension of Driver’s License for up to a year
  • Up to a $2,000 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Driver’s License suspension
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Community Service
  • Possible Interlock Requirement
  • Up to a $4,000 fine
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Driver’s License suspension
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Community Service
  • Interlock Requirement
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Driver’s License suspension
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Community Service
  • Interlock Requirement
  • Possible Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • Driver’s License suspension
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Community Service
  • Interlock Requirement
  • Possible Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison
  • Permanent Driver’s License revocation
  • Alcohol education classes
  • Community Service
  • Interlock Requirement
  • Possible Substance Abuse Treatment

What happens to my Texas Driver’s License?

You only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to schedule an ALR hearing regarding your driver’s license.  If you fail to do so, your driver’s license will be suspended 40 days from the date of your arrest for refusing to provide a blood or breath sample or failing a blood or breath test.

Just because you failed a blood or breath test does not mean you should not fight to save your driver’s license or your criminal DWI charges.  Often, an ALR hearing can be very beneficial in not only preventing your license from being suspended but also by providing your attorney an early opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer and obtain an official record of the circumstances surrounding your arrest that can later be used in your criminal charges.

If your driver’s license is suspended due to an ALR suspension or a DWI conviction, it is possible that you may be eligible to apply for an Occupational Driver’s License that will allow you to continue to drive to and from your necessary daily tasks such as work and medical appointments.

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