Arlington DWI Lawyer
Don’t think that getting arrested for DWI makes a conviction automatic. Find out how to beat your drunk driving charge by consulting with an Arlington DWI defense attorney.
Although driving while intoxicated (DWI) is often stigmatized, the truth is that it’s not difficult to get charged with drunk driving—it can even happen when your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the legal limit!
Sadly, even a first-offense DWI can wreak havoc on your life and future. You’re likely looking at a fine, a drivers license suspension, possibly even jail time, and more. While many people want to simply plead guilty and put the arrest behind them, the truth is that doing so will cause the DWI to linger and affect your life for years to come, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Avoiding the negative consequences of a drunk driving conviction means fighting the charge and avoiding a conviction in the first place. If you’ve been charged with DWI, an Arlington DWI lawyer from our firm can help you beat the charge so that you can get your life back to normal.
Harsh Penalties for DWI in Texas
Any time someone is in trouble with the law, it’s important to know exactly what’s at risk. This is especially true when talking about drinking and driving charges, as people often underestimate just how harsh and pervasive the consequences of pleading guilty to DWI can be.
In Arlington and the rest of Texas, the penalties for drunk driving depend on how many DWI convictions are already on your record. If this is your first offense, you’re looking at a Class B misdemeanor with a fine up to $2,000, a jail sentence of up to 180 days, a license suspension of one year, and a three-year annual surcharge of up to $2,000 to retain your license once reinstated.
Even if you’re convinced your sentence will be lenient for a first-time offense, it’s still a good idea to fight for a DWI dismissal or acquittal. You never know when you’ll be pulled over and charged for DWI again, and a second DWI offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a fine up to $4,000, a jail sentence of up to one year, a license suspension of two years, and a three-year annual surcharge of up to $2,000 to retain a reinstated license.
Finally, a third or subsequent DWI offense is a third-degree felony with the punishment to match. You face a fine up to $10,000, a prison sentence of between two and ten years, a license suspension of two years, and a three-year annual surcharge of up to 2,000 to retain a reinstated license.
An ignition interlock device (IID) is also possible with a DWI conviction if you’ve received two or more in the last five years. This will require you to take and pass a breath test when you want to drive, otherwise the IID will prevent your car from starting. Needless to say, all of this can greatly impact your life, which is why it’s within your best interests to fight your drunk driving charge with help from an Arlington DWI attorney.
Further DWI-Related Charges in Texas
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to get charged with crimes related to drunk driving in addition to the DWI itself. Texas has a number of alcohol-related offenses you can be hit with, including the following:
- DWI with a Child Passenger – State jail felony
- Intoxication Assault – Causing a motor vehicle accident while intoxicated that leaves someone else with serious bodily injury; third-degree felony
- Intoxication Manslaughter – Causing a motor vehicle accident while intoxicated that kills another person; second-degree felony
- DWI with BAC of .15 Percent of More – Class A misdemeanor
- Open Container in Vehicle – Class B misdemeanor
Additionally, DWI isn’t just limited to the influence of alcohol. You can also be charged with drunk driving if you were intoxicated by marijuana, prescription drugs, or other illegal or controlled substance. This could lead to additional charges of possession or paraphernalia, as well.
Finally, Texas also has a separate driving under the influence (DUI) law for anyone under the age of twenty-one caught driving with alcohol in his or her system. This is a Class C misdemeanor, but a minor with a BAC of .08 percent or more will be charged with DWI like anyone over the age of twenty-one would.
Don’t Let a DWI Change Your Life for the Worse
A DWI and any of the related offenses described above can forever change the course of your life—and for the worse. In addition to the legal penalties above, you’ll likely also be required to take an alcohol awareness course of some sort, which will cost you further time and money.
You can also expect a DWI conviction to dramatically increase the price you pay for car insurance. After one or two DWI convictions, the cost of driving can become ridiculously expensive as you get locked into high-risk driving pools.
Finally, DWI is a criminal offense—it’s not a traffic offense. A conviction means that you’ll have a criminal record with all the baggage that comes with it. Working with an Arlington DWI lawyer gives you the best chance of avoiding the legal penalties, as well as the additional damage that could be done to your future opportunities and quality of life.
You Can Beat a DWI in Arlington
Breath test, blood test, or field sobriety test, it doesn’t matter. No method of gauging someone’s level of intoxication is foolproof. An experienced DWI lawyer can almost always find a way to challenge the drunk driving charge against you.
Even if you were forced to take a blood draw on one of Texas’ infamous No Refusal Weekends, there might still have been procedural errors committed by the arresting officers that get the blood results declared inadmissible in court. Even on these weekends, the police still need probable cause to pull you over.
Breath tests and other sobriety tests can often be challenged, as well. Perhaps there were environmental factors that interfered with the breathalyzer, such as fumes in the air or on your clothes. Or maybe the officer wasn’t clear about the instructions given for a balance test.
Whatever way your sobriety was tested, a lawyer from our office will investigate to determine how strong the case against you is and advise you accordingly.
Connect with a DWI Attorney in Arlington, Texas
Don’t assume that you have to plead guilty and accept the consequences of DWI. The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy can help you fight the charges against you so that you can clear your name and get back to living life the way you want to—and without a DWI on your record.
Explore the legal options available for your defense today by scheduling a free, confidential consultation with an Arlington DWI lawyer from our firm. Just complete our online contact form below or call us directly at 817-605-1010.