If you have been charged with a DWI, the legal consequences can be severe, and it is essential to have competent legal representation. However, with the help of an experienced DWI attorney in Midland, you can minimize the impact of a DWI charge. Our law firm understands the complexities of DWI cases and has the necessary experience to fight for your rights. We will work tirelessly to investigate the circumstances of your arrest, identify any weaknesses in the prosecution's case, and develop a robust defense strategy. Our goal is to provide you with the best possible outcome in your case, and we are committed to providing you with the skilled representation you need.
DWI Laws in Texas
If you are facing a DWI charge in Texas, it is essential to understand the state's DWI laws. In Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, the intoxication threshold. If you are under 21, the legal limit is even lower, at 0.02%. Additionally, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, regardless of your BAC.
Texas also has implied consent laws, which means that if an officer lawfully arrests you with probable cause to believe you are driving while intoxicated, you must take a breath, blood, or urine test to determine your BAC. Refusing to take a chemical test can automatically suspend your driver's license, and the prosecution may use your refusal as evidence against you in court.
What are the Penalties for a DWI in Texas?
The penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) depend on the severity of the offense and whether or not it is a first-time conviction. Generally speaking, the maximum penalty for a first-time DWI in Texas is a fine of up to $2,000, community service, and up to six months in jail.
For more serious offenses, such as those involving prior convictions or BAC levels over 0.15, defendants may face harsher penalties, including mandatory minimum jail sentences and license revocation for up to two years. Depending on the circumstances of each case, a judge could impose any combination of fines, license suspension, community service, and/or jail time.
In addition to criminal penalties, those convicted of DWI can face the consequences in other aspects of life, such as increased insurance rates or even loss of employment due to incorrect background checks. It is important to understand all potential outcomes so you can be prepared for any possible consequences or effects. Our experienced Midland DWI lawyer can help explain all scenarios you may face when facing charges.
Are you facing a DWI charge in Texas? Call Tommy W. Hull, PC today at (432) 223-0044 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our DWI lawyer in Midland!
DWI Driving While Intoxicated
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“Was facing a felony DWI that was enhanced. Within weeks, Tommy had my case thrown out by state.”- Anthony
It’s not uncommon for people to believe that a DWI test is irrefutable in court–that the 0.08 or higher BAC level, once recorded, the prosecutor needs to throw the book at someone. It’s a challenge for the defense, but an experienced Midland DWI attorney has at least four ways that the charges might be challenged.
Challenging Reasonable Suspicion
A police officer can’t simply pull up behind any random car and have them pull over. There has to be a credible reason for doing so. In the law, that credible reason is defined as reasonable suspicion. If reasonable doubt does not exist, all evidence gathered from that point forward–which, in a DWI case, is essentially everything–is inadmissible in court. The prosecution has no case.
Police officers can be reasonably suspicious if they see a car leaving a place like The Hemingway or Tall City Brewing at closing. Reasonable suspicion can be met if a driver commits a minor traffic violation, from rolling through a stop sign to nudging across the yellow line. Sobriety checkpoints, authorized by the police department at potential hotspots for DWI, have passed judicial muster for probable cause.
All of which is to say that reasonable suspicion is a relatively easy legal standard for the authorities to meet. But a diligent defense lawyer will ensure it was met–and higher legal hurdles are still to come.
Challenging Probable Cause
Once the officer has pulled a driver over, the police still need probable cause to order a BAC test. An admission by the driver that they’ve been drinking qualifies, so a driver invoking their Fifth Amendment rights of silence might be a prudent decision.
Slurred speech and other symptoms might be probable causes, but not automatically. People speak differently, even when sober. Someone could have reddened eyes for reasons other than consuming alcohol.
The “field test” that officers conduct is a way they can establish probable cause. Again, drivers are not obligated to “walk in a straight line” or “touch your finger to your nose” or any of the other exercises an officer might want to put them through. They can refuse the test.
If the field test is conducted, it will be recorded by a video camera on the dashboard of the police car. A defense attorney can request the video as a part of discovery and see if the officer had probable cause.
Challenging the BAC Test
Whether the test was done by drawing blood or with a breathalyzer, it’s not the infallible reading it might be perceived as. Here are just a few of the reasons why…
- A breathalyzer test can be thrown off by someone’s acid reflux or the types of medications they take.
- Breathalyzer tests could be unreliable if the driver ate bread or some sugar product.
- Blood tests must meet rigid chain of custody requirements, logged adequately at every step. If that documentation isn’t there, the test can be thrown out.
- Blood samples that stay in storage too long ferment and become unreliable.
There’s also the matter of reviewing the quality of equipment used to conduct BAC tests–equipment that must meet state standards and be regularly recalibrated.
Contact Our Midland DWI Lawyer Today
Attorney Tommy W. Hull knows that people facing DWI charges are often scared and fearful for their future. They may feel they have no option but to play ball with the prosecutor. A defense lawyer, who has also worked as a prosecutor, Attorney Hull knows that’s not the case and that people charged with DWI deserve a rigorous defense that explores all possible options.
Contact Tommy W. Hull PC today to schedule a FREE consultation with our DWI attorney in Midland!!