Are you facing a Texas DWI conviction?
If so, the financial burden might be the least of your worries. In addition to a hefty fine and higher insurance premiums, you could also spend time in jail and lose your license.
Your first course of action should be to hire legal representation. Having a skilled and experienced attorney on your side can help you navigate these important next steps.
As you prepare to make your case, it’s important to have access to accurate information. Today, we’re setting the record straight on seven myths surrounding the state’s DWI laws, so you can move ahead with confidence.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
1. You Have to Take a Test at the Scene
Texas law enforcement personnel use the Intoxilyzer 5000 to administer breath tests. They might also ask you to take a blood test or a field sobriety test.
The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08. If a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of DWI, you’re within your rights to refuse the test.
You might still face an arrest and driver’s license suspension, but if you blow above the limit, the consequences could be worse.
2. The Intoxilyzer 9000 is Always Accurate
If you do take the breathalyzer test and blow above the limit, you might think there’s no way to fight the result.
However, the Intoxilyzer 9000 isn’t foolproof and is more antiquated than similar machines. That means it can create false-positive results, especially if the administrator isn’t skilled at operation.
Another cause for concern? The manufacturer behind the machine won’t release the specific code that it uses to calculate BAC levels, raising doubts about its authenticity. An experienced lawyer can help you use this knowledge to strengthen your case.
3. If My BAC is Good, I’m in the Clear
One of the most common myths surrounding DWIs in Texas is that if your BAC is below .08, you can drive away without a problem.
In this state, a police officer has to arrest you before requesting a breath or blood test. This is because they’ll consider more than just your BAC if they investigate you under suspicion of DWI.
If you exhibit signs of impaired physical or mental function, an officer can also request that you take a field sobriety test. They could then use these subjective results against you, leading to a conviction.
4. You Have to Answer All Questions at a Traffic Stop
If the police pull you over while you’re driving, you might feel the need to give a lengthy answer to every question they throw your way.
However, your right to remain silent also includes traffic stops, so take caution and exercise it. As you do, keep in mind that Texas has a Failure to Identify law. This requires you to share your real name, residence, and date of birth if you’re lawfully arrested.
You don’t, however, have to tell anyone where you’ve been, where you’re heading, or any other details that could incriminate you.
5. Your Third Offense is the Same as Your First
Texas law scales DWI punishments based your number of convictions.
If it’s your first offense, you could face the following consequences:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Three days to 180 days of jail time
- Loss of driver’s license for up to one year
- An annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to keep your driver’s license
While those outcomes are grim enough, it only accelerates as you incur multiple convictions. By your third offense, you’re looking at:
- A $10,000 fine
- Two years to 10 years in prison
- Loss of driver’s license for up to two years
- Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to keep your driver’s license
If you’re convicted of two or more DWIs in five years, you’ll have to install a special ignition device in your vehicle that will prevent it from operating if you’ve been drinking.
6. You Can Hire Any Lawyer for a DWI Case
This isn’t the time to contact your neighbor’s favorite real estate lawyer. Instead, your best and strongest defense against a DWI charge is a capable criminal law attorney who has experience dealing with cases like yours.
Before you partner with a legal team, make sure that there are experts on staff who are well-versed in defending drunk driving charges. They will be able to help you every step of the way, leading you toward the best possible outcome.
7. Texas DWI Cases are Impossible to Win
Thinking of pleading guilty to get the case over with? We urge you to reconsider.
It’s possible to win a Texas DWI case, but you can’t do it alone. These cases are defensible if you have a proven local trial lawyer on your side. An experienced DWI attorney will review your case forward and backward, starting with the police report.
Your lawyer can look for any instance where your rights were violated, and get that related evidence thrown out of the courtroom. Sometimes, they can even get the judge to dismiss your case altogether.
Hire an Experienced Texas DWI Attorney Today
The process of fighting a Texas DWI conviction can be overwhelming, especially for the misinformed.
If you’re facing these charges, a skilled attorney can make all the difference in your outcome. To discuss your case and find legal support, contact Scott M. Brown & Associates.
Call our Pearland location at (832)-956-1048 or our Angleton location at 979-849-8526 today!