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Lubbock DWI Lawyer

Understanding Texas DWI Laws

Alcohol and car keys - Lubbock DWI Lawyer

The state of Texas considers DWI as serious offenses. While many people may assume that DWI is limited only for vehicles on the road, the same laws apply to other intoxication-related charges such as boating while intoxicated, flying while intoxicated, as well as intoxicated assault and intoxicated manslaughter.

The punishment for DWI and other intoxicated-related charges ranges from:

  • Probation
  • Lengthy incarceration
  • Steep fines
  • And driver’s suspension

Additionally, a DWI record can impact job opportunities, insurance rates, and other rights. Whether this is your first, second, or even third DWI offense, make sure to contact the Law Office of Cynthia Mendoza immediately.

Since 2006, our Lubbock criminal defense attorney has been representing clients in a wide range of intoxication-related charges. We have extensive trial skills and in-depth knowledge of the court system to ensure the most favorable outcome possible.

Give our Lubbock DWI attorney a call at (806) 424-0900 to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your Texas DWI case.

What Are the Penalties for DWI in Texas?

The penalties for DWI and other intoxicated-related charges may vary depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. The prosecution may even request enhancements on your sentence if you have been arrested for DWI with a child passenger or felony DWI.

The penalties are as follows:

  • First DWI violation- Class B misdemeanor with penalties including 3 to 180 days imprisonment in county jail, up to $2000 fine, and driver’s license suspension
  • First DWI violation with a BAC of .15 or higher- Class B misdemeanor with penalties including up to a year of imprisonment in county jail, maximum of $4000 fine, and driver’s license suspension
  • Second DWI violation including boating or flying while intoxicated- Class A misdemeanor with penalties such as 30 days to 1 year imprisonment in county jail, maximum of $4000 fine, and driver’s license suspension
  • Third DWI violation including boating or flying while intoxicated- Third-degree felony with penalties such as 2 to 10 years imprisonment in state jail, maximum of $10000 fine, and driver’s license suspension
  • Intoxication assault- Third-degree felony with penalties including 2 to 10 years imprisonment in state jail, maximum of $10000 fine, as well as other enhancements
  • Intoxication manslaughter- Second-degree felony with penalties including 2 to 20 years imprisonment in state jail, maximum of $10000 fine, as well as other enhancements

Texas DWI Frequently Asked Questions

If a police officer asks me to perform field sobriety tests, am I obligated to comply?

When it comes to field sobriety tests, such as the horizontal gaze nystagmus or the walk-and-turn, you are not legally required to perform any of these exercises if a law enforcement officer asks you to. That said, it is important to know that just because you refuse these tests does not mean you will not still be arrested.

In fact, oftentimes, an officer has already made up his or her mind to arrest you and is only asking you to perform these tests to build a case against you. Given that you are likely to be arrested either way, it is in your best interest to politely decline to perform any field sobriety tests.

Do I have to submit to a breath test if a police officer asks me to?

Under Texas law, those who refuse to submit a sample of their blood, breath, or urine, could potentially lose their license for 180 days or more. If you submit to any of these tests and fail, you will lose your license for 90 days, possibly longer. If convicted, you might have to have an alcohol testing device installed in your car at your own expense.

However, if you are asked to submit to a breath test by the roadside, you should know that handheld machines are not certified for use in Texas and differ greatly from the ones used in police stations. If you submitted to one of these tests and blew a positive test result, your Lubbock DWI attorney might be able to challenge those results.

Do first-time DWI offenders receive jail time if convicted?

In most cases, first-time DWI offenders in Texas receive probation with no jail time. The penalties are harsher in cases that involve injuries sustained in drunk driving accidents or if the drunk driver had a minor present in his or her vehicle at the time.

What does probation for a DWI entail?

If you are put on probation for a DWI offense, you will likely be:

  • Unable to consume drugs or alcohol
  • Go to bars or be around criminals
  • Miss probation meetings
  • Fail to pay legal fines
  • Or commit another crime

Other requirements you might also have to meet as part of the conditions of your probation include:

  • The completion of a DWI program
  • Attendance of a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) panel
  • And community service

Does a police officer have to read my rights to me if I am arrested for a DWI?

Generally, an officer will not read you your Miranda rights if you are stopped for a DWI offense until after they administer the standard field sobriety tests and the blood or breath test. This does not mean you cannot remain silent. Instead, law enforcement simply does not want to remind you of these rights and the courts allow it.

Therefore, if you are in your vehicle and are asked if you have been drinking, remember that your response can be used against you, so providing any information can provide evidence against you in court. While you are not legally obligated to answer any questions, keep in mind that it is always important to be polite. Behaving aggressively or rudely will not help you.

What happens if I have prior DWI convictions on my record?

Subsequent DWI offenses in Texas pack:

  • Stiffer penalties
  • Higher fines
  • And longer confinement

Any individual who has two or more DWI convictions can potentially be charged with a felony, which can result in 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

How long will a DWI conviction remain on my record?

In Texas, expungement and record sealing is allowed under certain circumstances. If you are arrested for a DWI and never charged or convicted, you could potentially have the arrest expunged from your record.

If you are convicted of a DWI, you may also be eligible for an expunction under certain limited circumstances. It is critical to hire skilled legal representation to effectively fight these charges.

Put Nearly 15 Years of Experience on Your Side

At the Law Office of Cynthia Mendoza, we know that no matter how commonplace a DWI charge is, it can still be a frightening experience. If you find yourself in this situation, put our Lubbock criminal defense lawyer on your side.

As a client of our firm, you can trust that your case will be given the personal attention it deserves. We will take time to address any of your questions or concerns and help you understand your rights. More importantly, we will work tirelessly to build a solid defense strategy geared towards the positive results that you need.

To secure the services of our Lubbock DWI lawyer, schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Cynthia Mendoza at (806) 424-0900.

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