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DWI Defense In Texas

An arrest and conviction for DWI can result in serious consequences and may impact your career, your driver’s license, and impinge upon your freedom. Hiring an experienced, qualified lawyer to help you navigate the process is the best opportunity for you to limit the consequences of a DWI.

DWI V. DUI In Texas

People often misunderstand what a DWI is or confuse it with DUI. It is important to understand the difference.

DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated and occurs when someone drives in a public place while they are intoxicated. DUI means Driving Under the Influence and (in Texas, at least) occurs when a minor is driving with any detectible amount of alcohol in their system. So, the distinction is: only someone under 21 years of age can commit DUI in Texas.

The definition for Intoxication in Texas is: not having the normal use of your mental or physical faculties due to the ingestion of alcohol, a drug (regardless of whether it is prescribed or not), a dangerous drug, or a combination thereof.

The definition of public place is very broad, but includes almost any place that is open to the public to drive, including parking lots, schools, and roadways.

DWI Consequences

A first DWI offense can be either a Class A or B misdemeanor depending upon whether a breath or blood specimen was obtained that showed an alcohol concentration over .15 grams.

A Class A misdemeanor carries up to a year in the county jail and up to a $4,000 fine. An interlock device in your vehicle may be required for a Class A DWI.

A Class B misdemeanor carries up to six months in the county jail and up to a $2,000 fine.

A DWI arrest, after one prior conviction for DWI will be classified as a Class A misdemeanor regardless of the blood alcohol concentration and may require 72 hours in jail as a condition of probation if convicted.

A person arrested for DWI after two or more DWI convictions may face a Felony DWI charge that would carry between two and ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

In addition to the risk of jail or prison time, a DWI arrest may trigger the Department of Public Safety to seek a driver’s license suspension.

The Trial

Probable cause is not sufficient for a conviction. At trial, the State must prove the elements of DWI beyond a reasonable doubt. This level of proof does not have a definition in Texas, but a skilled DWI lawyer can assure that it is difficult for the State to attain.

DWI trials are much more complicated than they may appear. Just because a lawyer is licensed in Texas does not mean he or she is qualified and competent to handle your DWI case.

DWI lawyers have training and experience with field sobriety testing, breath testing, and blood testing. None of these tests are fool proof and they often can be challenged by a skilled attorney.