If you’ve been charged with a DWI in the state of Texas and want to take on the case without a DWI lawyer, here’s the reality you could face.
Almost everyone knows the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, yet many people still take that risk. Receiving a DUI or DWI conviction can cause you to spend thousands of dollars on fines.
If you or a loved one has received a DUI or DWI, continue reading below. We will go over what a DUI is, how to fight a DWI case on your own, and the benefits of teaming up with a DWI lawyer.
What Is a DUI?
The acronym DUI is short for “driving under the influence.” A DUI charge is similar to a DWI, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. The acronym DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.”
A person who is under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter medication, or illicit drugs can receive a DUI or DWI conviction.
Federal law states that a driver whose blood alcohol concentration or BAC is at or above 0.08% can receive a DUI or a DWI. If you are under the legal drinking age and caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can receive a DWI regardless of your BAC.
It is also important to note that you can also receive a DUI if you are found under the influence in a parked car. An officer may be able to argue that you had an intent to drive while under the influence even if the vehicle is not in motion.
If you are planning on pleading guilty for your DUI or DWI charge, you don’t necessarily need a lawyer. If your case involves any injuries, there is a higher chance for a conviction and for jail time. At this point, people usually hope that the court will be lenient and that they will receive a lower sentence.
Defendants usually plead guilty in cases that have indisputable evidence that they were under the influence. For example, if an officer witnesses the defendant driving erratically or if the BAC was way above 0.08%.
Even if you plan on pleading guilty, it may be a good idea to still consult with a lawyer about your case. A DWI lawyer may be able to look over your case to see if there is a chance to have a reduced charge.
Making Your Best Argument
If you are looking to defend yourself for your DWI or DUI charge, you will want to make the best legal argument possible.
If you weren’t read your Miranda Rights at the time of your arrest, you could have your case thrown out. Another argument that you can make is if the officer made you do a sobriety test that they created independently.
You can also make an argument if they made you do a test you couldn’t do because of your disability or other medical condition. There is a chance that you could fight your DWI case on your own, but it is always best to consult a lawyer for more advice.
To talk about the different scenarios of DWI defense, here’s a video featuring a member of our team at Scott M. Brown & Associates to discuss just that. If you need a staunch advocate and an experienced attorney, call us today to discuss your case.
If you are worried about the cost of hiring a personal attorney, you can opt to have a court-appointed lawyer. These public defenders handle different types of criminal cases, including DUIs.
Although these lawyers are familiar with the district attorneys and the judges, they may not be your best form of defense. Public defenders don’t have the time or resources to spend one on one time with you.
If you have work or other pressing matters that prevent you from showing up in court, you will have to rearrange your schedule. Your court-appointed lawyer cannot take your place. You also don’t get to choose which public defense attorney you get to work with.
People who receive a DUI or DWI can face severe penalties such as imprisonment or hefty fines. Typically, your first offense will include community service, high fines, and fees, probation, or a short jail sentence. If you have received a conviction more than once, you can face longer jail time, and your driver’s license can be revoked.
Regardless if it is your first or second time facing a DUI conviction, if your case includes property damage or harm to other people, you can expect more severe penalties.
These types of cases are harder to defend on your own, so you may want to do a lot more research on your own. It may also be better for you to partner with a DWI lawyer to help sort your options.
Driving Record Impact
Having a DWI will definitely impact your driving record if you receive a DWI or DUI conviction. In Texas, your DWI will permanently stay on your driver’s record unless you have it expunged.
Anyone who runs a background check on you will be able to see your DWI or DUI charge. That includes any landlords, business partners, or employers.
If you are looking to apply for a job that provides for driving or traveling, you may not receive the job offer. Even if your job doesn’t include traveling or driving as the central part of your position, you can still be denied employment.
There are exceptions to your case that may qualify for you to have your case sealed. You may also hear a sealed DWI case as a nondisclosure, but they are the same thing. Having your DWI sealed will keep your DWI hidden from employers or landlords.
You may be eligible to have your DWI sealed if:
- It was your first offense
- Your BAC was below 0.15%
- You completed the two year waiting period
- You paid all the court fees and fines
It is important to note that if your first offense included aggravating circumstances such as causing serious harm to another person, you would not be able to have your DWI sealed.
DWI or DUI convictions can also affect your insurance rates. Depending on your insurance carrier, they may either raise your rates or drop your policy.
If your insurer agrees to keep you as their insured, they will require you to obtain an SR-22. An SR-22 is a certificate filed with your state to prove that you carry the state minimum coverages required by law.
Your insurance company will file the document with your state on your behalf. Because you have a DWI or DUI conviction, you can expect your rates to increase. Most policyholders with an SR-22 on file have to pay double if not triple what an average driver would have to pay for insurance.
Why Hire a DWI Lawyer
When you hire the best DWI lawyer, you will have a great advocate on your side because they are very knowledgeable in DWI cases. Not only do they have a better in-depth knowledge of DWI cases, but they also have the resources to get you a better plea bargain.
If you can’t make it to your court dates, your attorney’s legal team will be able to show up on your behalf. Another great benefit of hiring a DWI lawyer is that they can spend more time with you and answer any questions or concerns.
Court proceedings can be long and confusing, and having your lawyer explain what is going on or what you can expect is a great asset. If you have concerns about DWI lawyer costs, you can always reach out to attorneys who offer consultations. They will be able to go over the costs of hiring them for their services.
Your lawyer has years of experience negotiating reduced sentences or having DWI cases dismissed. If you aren’t too familiar with court proceedings or proper negotiation tactics, you can face serious jail time or other penalties.
License Suspension Negotiation
When you receive a DWI conviction, you can have your license suspended for a short or extended amount of time, depending on the court. Your DWI lawyer is knowledgeable about how the court system works, so they know what to do for you, only to have your license suspended for a short amount of time.
Hire a DWI Lawyer Now
Although it is possible to fight a DUI case on your own, it is not recommended. When you partner with a DWI lawyer specializing in DWI cases, you can rest assured that they will do the best they can to get you your desired result.
If you are looking for “best DWI lawyer Dallas” or “DWI lawyer Austin TX,” contact us now to review your case today. Our team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and our consultations are always free.