Many of us have experienced times where we’ve driven after having a drink or two, believing that we are fine to drive. However, being pulled over by a police officer and charged with a DWI can be a terrifying experience. Police officers may pull people over late at night, using another alleged violation as the reason for the stop, when the real intent is to catch drunk drivers.
A first offense comes with potential high fines and jail time
The penalties for drunk driving in Texas are more serious than you may think. In Texas, a first offense DUI conviction could result in a fine of up to $2,000 and jail time from 3 days to 6 months.
Depending on the circumstances, you may have to participate in a DWI intervention program or install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, which requires you to blow into the device before you can start your vehicle. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, your vehicle will not start.
These penalties increase if you have prior DWI convictions on your record. A third offense could result in a fine of up to $10,000 and a maximum of 10 years in state prison, along with loss of a driver’s license.
Although you may not want to, it is best to submit to any requested testing during the initial stop. Refusing testing comes with major penalties. The results of any tests could potentially be attacked as part of a defense strategy later.
No one should have to suffer these consequences because of one mistake. The prosecution must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are many potential defenses to a DWI charge.
The arresting officer may have violated your rights, such as forgetting to read you Miranda rights, or not having a valid reason to pull you over in the first place. Any equipment used to calculate your blood alcohol concentration level must be shown to have been working correctly and properly maintained.
Additionally, test results could be inaccurate and be declared invalid, leaving the prosecution with no evidence to secure a conviction. If you find yourself facing a DWI charge, do not panic, because there are experienced criminal defense attorneys who know how to analyze the situation and explore possible defenses.