Denton DWI Lawyer

Denton DWI Attorney

After a Denton DWI or DUI arrest it is critical that you deal with the charges immediately by consulting with a qualified, Board Certified, Denton County DWI criminal defense attorney. The criminal charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can result in jail time, lengthy probation terms, fines, as well as unexpected consequences such as increased insurance rates and loss of driving privileges.

Based on the arrest alone, you may face a driver’s license suspension if a hearing is not requested in a timely matter. This can be a true hardship in Texas and could result in you becoming unemployed or losing housing opportunities. Contact our office to speak with an experienced Denton DWI lawyer.

Different Kinds of First Offense DWI Charges in the State of Texas

A standard DWI first-offense charge in the state of Texas is a Class B Misdemeanor. Such a conviction carries with it a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. That being said, there are some situations where you may face even more severe penalties for a DWI – even if it is your first offense. This includes:

  • DWI Assault – In the event that you cause serious bodily injury to another person while drunk driving, your charge will become a third-degree felony. That means that a conviction carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and state imprisonment for up to 10 years.
  • DWI with a Minor – If there is a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle with you while you are drunk driving, the charge is escalated to a State Jail Felony. A conviction in this case carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 2 years.
  • DWI Manslaughter – If you kill another person while driving drunk, the charge is a second-degree felony. A conviction in this case carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and state imprisonment for up to 20 years.

If you have been charged with DWI in Denton, Texas, an experienced DWI defense attorney from our law offices can thoroughly explain the charges you are facing and help you understand the potential outcomes of the case, ranging from having the charges dropped to a guilty finding.

Other Possible Mandatory Penalties

No matter what other penalties you face, you’ll also spend at least 3 – 6 days in jail if convicted of a DWI. You may also face the prospect of being supervised to perform community service as well as attend education and possibly even rehabilitation programs. It will be up to the judge in your particular case. What’s more, your license can also be suspended.

Common stipulations also included with a DWI conviction include:

  • Ignition Interlock Device – Depending on your BAC, you may be required to have a device installed onto your car that will not allow you to start the ignition until you blow into it to verify there is no alcohol on your breath. Anyone in the state of Texas who has a BAC greater than .15 may be forced to install this device, even if it’s their first offense.
  • A DWI Education Program – You may also be required to attend one of the state’s pre-approved 12-hour courses on drunk driving and alcohol. Typically, you are given 180 days from after receiving probation to complete this. Failure to complete the course in the required time limit will result in the revoking of your license. The only way to get it back if this happens is to complete the 12-hour program you were assigned.
  • Evaluation for Rehabilitation – In most cases, a conviction also means mandatory evaluation for a rehab program. The evaluation is run by an actual drug and alcohol counselor who has been pre-approved to perform this evaluation by the state. If they determine you have an addiction, you may also be legally required to go through a rehab program.

How Can I Win My Texas DWI Case?

Going up against DWI charges in Texas can be overwhelming, as the stakes are high and can lead to long periods of incarceration and hefty fines. Furthermore, your reputation can also be negatively impacted, ultimately affecting your professional and personal life. A conviction can impact your relationships, as well as your ability to find housing or a job.

To protect yourself, as soon as you have a suspicion that you may be facing DWI charges, it’s important to develop a comprehensive defense strategy. To work towards successful defense outcomes, your DWI attorney may opt to employ the following tactics based on the details of your case:

  • Challenging the Stop. In Texas, law enforcement needs to have a credible reason to pull you over and initiate interrogation and arrest. By challenging the reason for your stop or arrest, any evidence collected against you can be suppressed and thereby not used against you in court. This may ultimately be grounds for case dismissal or charge reduction.
  • Bringing the Arrest Process Into Question. During an arrest, there are specific processes and protocols that Texas state and local law enforcement must follow. They are meant to protect the individual rights of the person under arrest. If certain guidelines are breached, such as if you are not read your Miranda rights, then you can challenge the circumstances of your arrest and all subsequently obtained evidence.
  • Raising Doubts About Chemical Tests. Breathalyzers and blood tests can be challenged for their credibility, potentially getting the evidence dropped. For breathalyzers, it can be argued that the device used was faulty or that it was not properly calibrated. For blood tests, you can argue that it was handled poorly or contaminated during the diagnostics process.
  • Analyzing Implied Consent. Under Texas law, you are automatically penalized if you refuse to submit to a breath or blood test to determine your blood alcohol level. A criminal defense lawyer can determine whether proper procedure was followed according to implied consent laws.

In certain cases, it may be advantageous to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecution to ensure reduced charges and subsequent penalties. A dedicated Denton DWI lawyer from our law office can address your case questions and concerns, collect and analyze all key details of your case, and develop an optimal defense strategy to potentially have your charges reduced or even dropped.

DWI Implied Consent Laws in Texas

In Texas, there are specific implied consent laws that assume an individual who has a state driver’s license will consent to a sample of their breath or blood being taken if an officer suspects that they have been operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Refusal to submit to such a test could result in an automatic driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 180 days, regardless of whether the individual is prosecuted or not.

If you have refused a breath or blood test during a Texas arrest, then there are certain defense tactics that a criminal defense lawyer may be able to employ. There is a specific procedure that law enforcement must follow in order to take a bodily sample from you, including giving an informed consent speech that involves the following information:

  • A specimen sampling refusal can be admissible against the individual later in court if a prosecution is brought forward.
  • A refusal will automatically lead to a minimum of 180 days of Texas driver’s license suspension, regardless of whether a prosecution is brought forward or not.
  • A refusal of a specimen sampling may trigger the officer to work towards getting a warrant so that they can take the sample under a court order.
  • If the arrested individual is 21 and over and agrees to undergo a breath or blood sampling and the analysis finds that they were above the legal limit, then they will automatically lose their license for 90 days, regardless of whether the arrest leads to a prosecution.
  • If the arrested individual is under the age of 21 and agrees to undergo a chemical test and it is found that they have any detectable level of alcohol, they will automatically lose their driver’s license for a minimum of 60 days.
  • If the arrested individual is found to be a resident of the area without a credible driver’s license and denies the test, they will be barred from being issued a driver’s license for the same time period as what their suspension period would have been had they had the adequate driver’s license.
  • From the date that the arrested individual was notified of their driver’s license suspension or denial period, that individual only has 15 days to request a hearing to dispute it. The officer must also state that in order to request the hearing, the headquarters in Austin must receive a written demand for the hearing.

Furthermore, it is required that if a blood specimen is taken, it must be handled according to Article 38.50, Code of Criminal Procedure. It’s important to note that this consent information must be delivered both in writing and orally. A dedicated Denton DWI lawyer from our Denton County firm can analyze the details of your sample specimen refusal or submittal process and work to determine whether or not your personal rights were breached.

Civic Consequences of a DWI Conviction in the Denton, Texas Area

Beyond the criminal charges, many independent civil charges will be imposed if you are convicted. These include, but are not limited to:

  • A Suspended License – If your BAC was higher than .08, if you refused to take a blood or breath BAC test, or upon conviction of your first DWI, your license will be suspended. This is a separate process that you can appeal, but that you only have 15 days to file. This is one the primary reasons you need to act quickly if you are accused of a DWI, you may lose your license if you do not act fast enough.
  • A DWI Surcharge – This is imposed by the Department of Transportation in the State of Texas. The fees are $1,000 each year for a total of three years upon a first DWI conviction. The amount is doubled to $2,000 if BAC is higher than .16. Failure to pay your annual fee within 30 days will result in the revoking of your license.
  • If your license is suspended by the court, which can range from 90 days to a year, the reinstatement process will cost at least the $125 reinstatement fee, and possibly more if you are required to complete other requirements by the court.

At the Law Office of Earl Dobson, we have experience dealing with DWI and DUI cases and all of the consequences that will come with it. Earl Dobson is Board Certified in criminal law and has handled thousands of DWI cases during his 20 year legal career. Earl Dobson was the chief prosecutor in a Criminal Court with emphasis on intoxication impact cases. You will receive a straightforward, honest and accurate evaluation of your case and a plan of action on what would be the best route to follow through the Denton Court System.

You Only Have 15 Days To Protect Your Drivers License in Denton County After A DWI Arrest

In the State of Texas, you have exactly 15 days to request a hearing to determine the fate of your driving privileges. Contact us today to find out more about how to save your license. Please call or e-mail us today to set up a free consultation and evaluation to discuss your options. Fill out the contact form to the left, or call the phone number at the top of the page to set up an appointment. In the consultation we will discuss:

  • The effects of a breath test refusal
  • What strategies we should employ and chances for success at trial
  • Negotiating a plea bargain and the effects that come from pleading guilty
  • Whether there was probable cause for a traffic stop when you were pulled over and if the arresting officer followed proper procedures
  • How to obtain a temporary license or work license if your license is suspended.

Start Fighting Back Against Your Denton, TX DWI Charges

Texas DWI laws are harsh, especially implied consent laws and the criminal code for punishing driving under the influence. If you are facing DWI charges in the state, you may be feeling that your situation is hopeless. Fortunately, there are multiple strategies that can be employed to fight back against your charges, both in and out of court.

By working with an experienced and knowledgeable DWI defense lawyer from The Law Office of Earl Dobson, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with care and understanding. Contact our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation.

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