DWI and DUI

DWI and DUI

The State of Texas has increased its efforts in recent years to be tougher on drivers arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. Serious consequences accompany a DWI arrest. It is important to contact an experienced DWI attorney soon after your arrest. There are deadlines that affect your rights that begin running the moment you are arrested. If you have been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, call the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case and your options.

OVERVIEW

A Driving While Intoxicated charge (DWI) charge in Texas is a serious charge with serious consequences for your future—If you are convicted of DWI in Texas, the DWI will be on your record forever. It is important to understand that an experienced DWI lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced. Even if you are found guilty or plead guilty to a DWI charge, an experienced DWI lawyer may be able to minimize your punishment.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

WAS THE STOP LEGAL?

An officer generally must have reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed before conducting a traffic stop. Whether an officer had reasonable suspicion is determined by considering the facts and circumstances surrounding the situation. An experienced DWI lawyer can advise you about whether your stop may have been illegal. If you were stopped illegally, your DWI charge may be dismissed. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

DWI INVESTIGATIONS

When you are pulled over, the police officer’s questions may indicate whether you are being investigated for DWI. What you may not know is the police officer’s DWI investigation began immediately upon pulling you over, and sometimes before initiating the stop. Since many interactions with the police officer are now video recorded, an experienced DWI lawyer can review the video and determine how to fight the officer’s assessment of your performance during the investigation. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

FIELD SOBRIETY TESTS

If the officer believes you have been drinking, you will be asked to step out of the vehicle. Once you have exited the vehicle, then the officer may ask you more questions or ask you to perform certain tasks and standardized methods now known as Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).
The SFST consists of three tests that officers administer and evaluate in a standardized manner on the roadside. The officer’s evaluations of the driver’s performance during these tests help the officer decide whether to arrest the driver for DWI (You do have the option of refusing to perform these tasks.).
The three tests that make up the SFST are:
1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)
2. Walk and Turn
3. One-Leg Stand
HGN is an involuntary jerking of the eyes that occurs as the eyes move from side-to-side. When a person is intoxicated, the jerking is exaggerated and may occur at lesser angles depending on the degree of intoxication. The Walk and Turn and the One-Leg Stand Tests are self-explanatory. However, officers generally ask you to perform simple, physical tasks while you walk and turn or stand on one leg. The officer’s evaluation of your ability to perform these tasks assists the officer in deciding whether to arrest you for DWI.
An experienced DWI lawyer knows that there are several factors that could affect your performance during the SFST, and may also notice that the officer that conducted the SFST was poorly trained. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

BREATH TESTS AND BLOOD TESTS

There are two types of breath tests that an officer may ask you to take when you are arrested for DWI. The first test is given prior to the arrest when the field sobriety test is administered. This breath test is taken on a Portable Breath Test (PBT). The results of a PBT are not considered reliable by the scientific community, and therefore, are not admissible in court. You are not obligated to take the PBT and refusing will not result in a penalty.
Once an officer has probable cause to believe you are Driving While Intoxicated, the officer will request that you submit to a breath test and/or blood test. The implied consent laws in Texas require you to submit to a blood and/or breath test after you are arrested for DWI. Unless the officer obtains a warrant, you still have the option to refuse both the blood and breath tests despite your implied consent, but there are consequences for refusing.
When you provide a sample of your blood and/or breath, the results will be used against you in court during the prosecution of your DWI charge. Even if your results indicate that you were intoxicated, there are several reasons that the results may be inaccurate. An experienced DWI attorney will be able to identify possible errors in the results or the administration of your blood and/or breath test, and use those possible errors when fighting your DWI charge. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

AFTER THE ARREST

After you have been arrested for DWI, a magistrate will set your bail. You may need to contact a bail bondsman to post your bond. A DWI attorney can explain the DWI process and provide you with information so you know what to expect following your DWI arrest.
When you are charged with DWI, the prosecutor has access to all of the incriminating evidence against you. When you hire a DWI attorney, your attorney can also gain access to the evidence that will be used against you at trial. By hiring a DWI attorney immediately after your arrest, you provide your DWI attorney with more time to work on your case and develop a defense.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with a Texas DWI lawyer.

PENALTY RANGES FOR DWI

The penalties for a DWI charge in Texas depend partially on whether you have previously been convicted of DWI. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, you are facing the following penalties:
DWI – 1st
3 days – 180 days in Jail
Up to a $2,000 Fine
License Suspension up to 2 years
Annual Surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years
DWI Education Program
Possible Ignition Interlock Device
DWI – 2nd
1 month – 1 year in Jail
Up to a $4,000 Fine
License Suspension up to 2 years
Annual Surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years
DWI Education Program
Possible Ignition Interlock Device
DWI – 3rd
2 years – 10 years in Prison
Up to a $10,000 Fine
License Suspension up to 2 years
Annual Surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years
DWI Education Program
Possible Ignition Interlock Device
DWI with Child Under 15 Years Old
Up to 2 years in State Jail
Up to a $10,000 fine
License Suspension up to 2 years
Annual Surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years
DWI Education Program
Possible Ignition Interlock Device
An experienced DWI lawyer may be able to help you avoid a DWI conviction. Even if you are found guilty of DWI, an experienced DWI attorney may be able to keep you out of jail and minimize the other possible penalties. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

DUI

Texas, like many states, has a zero tolerance law for minors. This means that drivers under 21 years-old cannot have any detectable amount of alcohol or drugs in their system while driving. If you are under 21 and arrested for driving with a BAC over .08, you will be charged with DWI and face the consequences of a DWI charge. If you are under 21 and your BAC is under .08, you will be charged with DUI.
For a first DUI offense, you face the following consequences:
Up to a $500 Fine
License Suspension up to 1 Year
Alcohol Education Program at Least 12 Hours Long
An Additional 180 Days License Suspension if You Do Not Complete the Alcohol Education Program
Community Service
Possible Ignition Interlock Device
An experienced DWI lawyer may be able to help you avoid a DUI conviction. If you have been arrested for DUI in Texas, contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your case with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.

LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

Administrative Suspension
When you are arrested for DWI in Texas, the police officer will take your drivers license and give you a Temporary Driving Permit. Your Temporary Driving Permit is valid for 40 days after the date of your arrest. If you do not take any action, you will not be able to legally drive on the 41st day after your arrest. This suspension is an Administrative Suspension. You may face an additional driver’s license suspension if you are convicted of DWI.
Length of Suspension
The length of the Administrative License Suspension depends on whether you refused to provide a blood and/or breath sample, and whether you have previously been arrested for DWI. If you consent to the blood and/or breath test, your license will generally be suspended for 90 days if your BAC was over .08. If you refused to provide a blood and/or breath sample, your license will generally be suspended for 180 days. If you have previously been arrested for DWI, your license suspension may be extended to 1-2 years.
Fighting the Suspension
You may be able to avoid the Administrative License Suspension by requesting an ALR Hearing. You must request the ALR Hearing within 15 days from the date of your arrest to avoid the automatic license suspension. At the ALR hearing, an experienced DWI lawyer will attempt to accomplish two things: 1) prevent the license suspension; and 2) obtain information that can be used in the defense of your DWI charge at trial.
Occupational Driver’s License
If your license is suspended, you may be able to drive by obtaining an Occupational Driver’s License. This license allows you to drive to and from work, and perform essential household duties.
You should never drive with a suspended license. If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, and your license has been suspended, you need to obtain an Occupational Driver’s License before you drive again. Contact the Loker Law Firm today to discuss your license status with an experienced Texas DWI lawyer.