Aggressive DWI Attorneys in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area

Pinkerton Law Firm

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I Fight to Protect the Rights of Clients Charged with DWI in the Dallas and Fort Worth Area

Dallas DWI and DUI Attorney.

Fortunately for people accused of DWI in Texas, there are many ways that a DWI defense lawyer may be able to mitigate the consequences that you are facing.

In certain cases, a skilled lawyer may even be able to have the case against you dismissed or dropped by the prosecution.

The most effective way to ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible after is to call an experienced attorney as soon as you can after a DWI arrest.

  • Evidence of Intoxication
  • DWI Penalties
  • DWI Crimes
  • Refusing Chemical Testing


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What is DWI under Texas Law?

While drunk or drugged driving is illegal across the United States, each state has specific laws defining the offense and its associated legal penalties. In Texas, the general drunk driving law is found in Texas Penal Code Title 10, Chapter 49. The statute defines the term “intoxicated” in two distinct ways:

  • Not having the normal use of your mental and physical faculties due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol; and/or
  • Having a BAC of .08 percent or more. 

For certain classes of drivers, the BAC limit is lower. For example, drivers who are under 21 years of age are prohibited from driving with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, and commercial drivers are subject to a .04 percent legal limit.

Evidence of Intoxication

When investigating a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, law enforcement officers can use a variety of methods to gather evidence of intoxication and impairment. Objective measures of a person’s blood, breath, or urine can be used to determine a driver’s BAC. It is important to note, however, that a BAC above the legal limit is not necessary to legally accuse someone of DWI in Texas; instead, probable cause indicating that you are intoxicated is enough for an officer to arrest you.

Among the kinds of observations, an officer can consider in determining whether a driver is intoxicated include observations about the driver’s appearance and behavior, the presence or odor of alcohol, and the driver’s performance on a variety of field sobriety tests.

DWI Penalties: Minors

For the purposes of driving while intoxicated (DWI) and other laws involving alcohol, Texas law defines anyone under the age of 21 as a “minor.”

Minors are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their systems.

For a first offense, minors who are caught driving after drinking any alcohol face fines, probation, loss of their right to drive, mandatory enrollment in an alcohol education class, community service, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.

These penalties increase significantly with each subsequent offense, and in many cases can include jail time. Fortunately, an experienced Texas DUI defense lawyer can often minimize these and other long-term consequences that minor DUI offenders may face.

DUI Penalties: Adults

The penalties in Texas associated with driving while intoxicated (DWI) have grown increasingly harsher, so read up...

1st DWI Charge / Offense – After your first DWI offense in Texas, you may be fined up to $2,000 and spend between three and 180 days in jail. Additionally, your license may be suspended for up to two years, and there may be an annual surcharge of as much as $2,000 to keep your license for three years. Finally, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car and attend a DWI intervention or education program.

2nd DWI Offense / Charge – After a first offense, the penalties associated with a second DWI in Texas increase significantly. A second DWI offense could result in fines of up to $4,000 and a jail sentence of one month to one year. The license suspension associated with a 2nd DWI charge can last up to two years, and there may be a three-year annual surcharge of up to $2,000. In addition, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and attend a DWI intervention or education program.

3rd DWI Charge / Offense – The fine associated with a third or subsequent offense in Texas can be up to $10,000. In addition, offenders may be sentenced to 2 to 10 years in state prison, and have their license suspended for up to 2 years. There may also be a surcharge of up to $2,000 assed per year for three years. Finally, there may also be a requirement that you install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and also that you participate in a DWI intervention or education program.

DWI Crimes and Injury to Others

The Texas legislature has defined certain crimes involving DWI that involve injury or the risk of injury to others. These include:

  • DWI with a child under 15 in the vehicle;
  • Intoxication assault; and
  • Intoxication manslaughter.

These offenses are prosecuted under different code sections than DWI law and expose offenders to much more serious consequences. Additionally, there are other “enhanced offenses” defined by the law, including injuring a firefighter, peace officer, or other emergency medical personnel, or causing a traumatic brain injury that results in a persistent vegetative state.

Penalties for Refusing Chemical Testing

Anyone who operates a motor vehicle in Texas is subject to the “implied consent” rule, which holds that by obtaining a driver’s license and operating a motor vehicle, you have consented to a chemical test if a law enforcement officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because of this rule, you can lose your license if you refuse such testing. This suspension is completely separate from the criminal part of a DWI case and can result in a license suspension of 90 days to two years.

Drivers will not lose their license immediately after a refusal takes place – after a refusal, you have 15 days to request an administrative hearing regarding your suspension. You should hire an attorney to request an ALR hearing, at which you can dispute your license suspension.

If you miss the 15-day window of opportunity to request this hearing, an automatic suspension begins 40 days after your refusal. The administrative hearings are handled by the State Office of Administrative Hearings and can be requested online.

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