DWI Law in Houston
In Texas, a person commits an DWI offense if he is found operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. The state may prove intoxication in two ways: 1) Having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more or 2) Not having the normal use of mental and physical faculties, as determined by field sobriety tests, by reason of the introduction alcohol (or drug). You may also face a DWI charge by reason of a prescription drug even when no alcohol is involved.
You only have 15 days to get your license back.
If you are arrested, the police will request a specimen of your breath or blood. If you refuse, the officer will likely get a warrant to take a sample of your blood. The officer will take your driver’s license from you and issue you a “temporary license.” You have only 15 days from the date notice is served to request a hearing contesting the suspension of your driver’s license. If you fail to request a hearing, your license will be automatically suspended on the 40th day following your arrest.
If you request a live in-person hearing and compel the presence of the arresting officer, you may get your driver’s license back if the officer does not appear. If the officer appears, a judge may find that the officer lacked reasonable suspicion or probable cause to arrest you and order the return of your driver’s license.
Texas DWI Penalties
The penalties for DWI can be significant and are determined by a variety of factors including: your blood alcohol content (BAC); prior convictions; whether minors were present; and, whether there are injuries or deaths involved.
- First Offense – Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
- Second Offense – Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
- Third Offense – Third degree felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000.
- DWI Enhanced – If it is shown at your trial that your BAC was .15 or higher at the time of testing the charge will be elevated to a Class A misdemeanor even though it is your first offense.
A conviction for each DWI offense can result in a license suspension for up to two years, and an annual surcharge for a three-year period in order to retain your license.
If you were charged with a DWI, contact our team of experienced Austin/Houston DWI lawyers. Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys have years of experience defending the rights of clients who face charges of drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. We regularly work with prosecutors, the courts, and the police to help clients reach the best possible resolution for their charges.
The trial-tested attorneys at Tully Rinckey protect your legal rights and fight aggressively to defend you from DWI or DUI charges. Working tirelessly from discovery through appeal, we help you realize a fair outcome of your case. Let us defend you today.