Hiring Jeff Kennedy turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. Mr. Kennedy was able to have my case dismissed. Yes, outright dismissal of the charge!

A.C.

We did exactly as Jeff instructed and the case was dismissed. There are no words to explain how happy we are with his performance.

Anonymous

Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car.

Anonymous

Hiring Jeff Kennedy turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

A.C.

We did exactly as Jeff instructed and the case was dismissed. There are no words to explain how happy we are with his performance.

Anonymous

Jeff was able to get my twice the legal limit BAC thrown out and he kept me from having an interlock device put on my car.

Anonymous
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September 26, 2020

Fort Worth DWI Lawyer

Don’t take chances with your future after a drunk driving arrest. Instead, protect yourself by working with a DWI lawyer in Fort Worth.

Many people make the mistake of viewing a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge as a type of traffic offense. Although this is true in some states, in Texas, drunk driving is a criminal offense. It carries harsh penalties that can impact your life for years to come—possibly for the rest of your life. Once a DWI goes on your record, it is there to stay.

Many people sign a plea agreement for their DWI because they think they can later get it expunged. This was only recently made possible in Texas in certain cases. But it’s still neither easy nor guaranteed. In many cases, a DWI conviction will remain on your record forever. In some cases, you may be able to get the DWI sealed. That means that not all employers will be able to see it.

This is not guaranteed, though. A judge makes the final decision on whether to seal your record. Also, even with record clearing, some employers will still be able to see the DWI. There are also many requirements you will have to meet before your DWI record can be sealed.

Getting your DWI dismissed can save your reputation, finances, driving privileges, and in some cases, even your freedom. From the moment you get pulled over and arrested, clearing your name needs to be your number one priority. In addition to the legal penalties you will face, you will also be dealing with lifelong struggles for you and your family.

Beating a DWI in Fort Worth isn’t easy, however. That is why you’ll want an experienced Fort Worth DWI lawyer on your side.

At The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy, that’s exactly what you’ll find. We can help you build the case that gives you the best chance of getting your drinking and driving charge dismissed. We can look at your case to find errors. And that can mean avoiding a conviction and all of the negative effects that come with it.

Fort Worth and Texas Drunk Driving Laws

In Fort Worth and throughout Texas, anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08 percent or higher can be arrested for DWI. This even applies to minors. Minors caught driving with a BAC of less than .08 percent will instead be charged with the lesser offense of driving under the influence (DUI).

In most cases, a breath or field sobriety test will be employed. However, Texas is also known for no refusal weekends. This is when police can quickly obtain a warrant for a blood draw if they have reasonable cause to suspect someone of drunk driving.

Can you be charged with driving while intoxicated if you are under the legal limit? Yes. You can. If a police officer believes your driving is impaired to the point of recklessness, you can still be charged with DWI.

Of course, DWI doesn’t just apply to alcohol use. You can also be charged if caught driving while intoxicated by a controlled or illegal substance. This might mean prescription drugs or marijuana. In the case of illegal drugs, odds are good that you’ll also be charged with a drug offense.

It’s never a good idea to take a DWI charge lightly, even if it’s a misdemeanor charge. Sadly, many people have the mistaken belief that misdemeanor offenses can’t affect their futures. They are wrong. Misdemeanor DWI crimes can do almost as much damage to your life as felony crimes can.

You could go to jail, receive heavy fines, lose your license, and be placed on probation where your privacy will be forfeited. However, you might not have to deal with any of these issues when you fight and beat a DWI charge with help from a Fort Worth lawyer.

Why Fight a DWI Charge in Fort Worth?

The penalties that come with a DWI conviction can be painful and long-lasting. The legal punishments are serious. Texas tends to take a hard line on drunk driving.

The penalty imposed by a conviction will depend on whether you have any prior drunk driving convictions on your record. Your charge can also be aggravated if there were any children in the vehicle while you were driving while intoxicated.

Also, if you injure or kill someone, you can be charged with intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. These are both serious felony offenses.

If you aren’t certain what you should expect, a DWI defense lawyer from our Fort Worth law firm can help you determine what you’re up against.

If you get convicted for DWI at least twice within five years, the court might also require the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This won’t allow you to start the car without first passing a breath test. Also, if your BAC was higher than .15 percent, you’re facing a Class A misdemeanor. That comes with a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.

And if your DWI arrest occurred when you had a child in the vehicle, you could be charged with a state jail felony. This will result in up to a $10,000 fine, up to two years in jail, and a 180-day license suspension.

Finally, if your DWI is a felony, a conviction could mean that you’re no longer legally allowed to own or purchase a firearm in the state of Texas.

More Reasons to Challenge a Fort Worth DWI

The legal consequences of a DWI conviction are just one factor to consider. The impact of a DWI conviction can extend deep into your personal and professional lives, as well.

In addition to the possibility of having to take driving- and alcohol-related classes, your car insurance rates are all but guaranteed to see a massive increase. This means that you could be paying out of pocket for that drunk driving arrest for years to come.

A DWI can also put your job and reputation at risk, especially if your arrest occurred while you were on the clock or in a company vehicle.

You will also likely struggle to secure employment. Most employers run background checks before hiring. If you are applying for a position in which you will need to drive, you could be denied employment. You could also be barred from working in certain industries that don’t allow criminal records of any kind.

Because of the fines you will be hit with, and because of your inability to secure decent employment, your entire financial life can be harmed. These effects could last for years. And you won’t be the only one affected by your finances. Your DWI will also affect the people who are closest to you.

They will be impacted by your financial situation. They will likely be forced to transport you because you lost your license, which could be a huge burden for them. They will suffer embarrassment due to your criminal history. They will likely suffer in many other ways if you end up going to jail or prison in Fort Worth because of your DWI.

Finally, a DWI might be used against you in a family law dispute if you ever get divorced or need to fight for custody of your children. A DWI may make you look like an alcoholic and unable to take care of your kids. Your conviction could destroy your family life.

These are all painful real-life consequences of a drunk driving charge. A DWI lawyer from our Fort Worth firm is here to help you avoid them.

Many people who failed to fight their DWI charges say that it is their biggest regret. If they could do things over again, they would fight their charge in order to be saved from all the ways the conviction has affected their quality of life.

Should You Try to Fight Drunk Driving Charges without a Lawyer?

A lot of people think that it’s a good idea to handle criminal DWI charges without legal assistance. Perhaps they think that they will do a better job defending themselves because it’s their own lives on the line. Maybe they really believe that they can’t afford to pay a lawyer, so they try to go it alone. It’s almost never a good idea to defend yourself.

You simply don’t have the legal knowledge, education, and experience to do so effectively. Also, you are likely to be emotional during the process. That means you might not be taken seriously in court. Even lawyers almost never try to defend themselves. It’s just not a good idea.

If you are not inclined to hire a lawyer because you don’t think you can afford one, try talking to one at our Fort Worth law firm during a free case review. Lawyers at our office are often willing to work out payment arrangements with you so you can retain the services of a lawyer while staying within a budget.

Here’s why you should choose to work with a DWI lawyer instead of attempting to defend yourself in Fort Worth:

  • Your lawyer handles intoxicated driving cases on a regular basis. That means they can see angles and patterns you can’t.
  • They know the laws. They know what defenses work. They know your rights.
  • It would take you years to know what your lawyer knows. And it’s not feasible for you to learn everything you need to know in the short amount of time given to you before your day in court.
  • Your lawyer probably has connections with the court that you don’t have. Even though it might seem weird to you, defense lawyers do know judges and prosecutors and can work out deals with them because they have built relationships with them. You don’t have those resources.
  • Lastly, you may not know all the defenses for a given case. You might be focused only on the innocence defense. But there might be other ways to get your DWI case dismissed so you would never even need to step into a courtroom. You most likely won’t know how to get evidence thrown out or how to get your case dismissed.

How Can You Assist Your Fort Worth Lawyer with Your DWI Case?

Even though it’s most likely not a good idea to try to defend yourself, you can do a few things to help your case.

Many people harm their cases through the actions they take after their arrest. For instance, a lot of people ignore their right to remain silent and answer all of the police officer’s questions without a lawyer present. You don’t have to do this. You can remain silent and wait until you have a lawyer with you. You could inadvertently say something that can be harmful to your case.

One way you can help your case is by not making things worse. Don’t argue with the Fort Worth police or become hostile. This can hurt your case. It also makes you look bad if your case does go to trial. Be polite to the police and others you come in contact with during your arrest or before trial. But always remember your rights.

Another way to help your case is to gather evidence in your defense. If you think something will help your case, make a note of it. Get statements from witnesses and keep any records or phone recordings you think could be helpful. You never know what will help your case. Over-documenting is much better than under-documenting.

You can also help yourself by not signing a plea deal without speaking to a lawyer first. Now is the time to be smart and make good decisions. The first plea agreement is most often not the best deal you can get. Plea bargains are called bargains because it’s a negotiation. Don’t sell your future short.

Finally, one way to greatly increase the outcome of your case is, of course, to hire a defense lawyer. Your DWI lawyer in Fort Worth will help you in so many ways, such as giving you legal advice, getting you out of jail, helping to get you a temporary license, and defending you against a DWI charge.

Are Field Sobriety Tests Foolproof in DWI Cases?

Standard procedure for a traffic stop in which an officer believes you may be intoxicated is field sobriety testing. Most people have heard of field sobriety tests and at least know about some of them. For instance, you may have heard of the walk-and-turn test, where you are instructed to walk in a straight line. This tests your balance and coordination.

Many people think that these field sobriety tests are ironclad evidence against them. So, if they stumble during the walk-and-turn test or they “fail” one of the other tests, they think they will be arrested and convicted of a DWI crime. The problem is these tests are not perfect.

There are many reasons a person can fail one or more of the field sobriety tests. This can lead to the arrest of an innocent Fort Worth citizen.

For instance, if you are doing the walk-and-turn test, you might stumble or lose your balance for reasons that have nothing to do with being intoxicated. What if you stumbled because you are naturally clumsy? What if you have a disorder that inhibits your balance and coordination? What if the pavement was uneven or full of debris?

There are many ways to challenge field sobriety tests. You should never accept a DWI crime on your record simply because the police officer said you failed these tests. Field sobriety tests aren’t perfect evidence. And these tests can be thrown out. At the very least, doubt can be cast on the results.

Your DWI lawyer in Fort Worth will study the evidence against you, including field sobriety tests, and find ways to challenge or disprove it.

The Right Defense for Your Fort Worth DWI Case

Many people get arrested for driving while intoxicated when they are innocent of the offense. Just because a police officer pulls you over and believes that you are driving drunk doesn’t mean that you were. Even when a police officer testifies that you were intoxicated, that doesn’t mean they are always right.

So many Fort Worth citizens accused of a crime they didn’t commit simply plead guilty because they don’t know how to fight the offense and they fear what could happen if they fail to prove their innocence. It’s sad to think that people allow DWI crimes to be permanently affixed to their criminal records when they didn’t commit the crime.

You need to know that there are defenses against DWI charges, but the only way to beat a charge is to fight against it. Signing a plea agreement is admitting guilt and that crime will remain on your record forever. A Fort Worth intoxicated driving lawyer can investigate your DWI charge and find the best possible defense for you.

It doesn’t matter if your arrest involved a field sobriety test, breathalyzer, or blood draw—odds are that there’s a way to challenge the case against you. For instance, breathalyzer tests can be faulty, which means that it could give a reading that shows you’ve been drinking alcohol when you really haven’t.

Also, laboratory testing centers often make mistakes when handling blood. They could have made errors testing your blood; they could have accidentally mixed up vials of blood; or, they could contaminate the sample in some way, and affecting the accuracy of the sample.

Our DWI lawyers have the experience needed to identify the evidence or case flaws that can be used to get your DWI dismissed. A few examples of possible defenses against the conviction of a DWI crime are listed below:

  • Fumes in the air or substances on your clothing might have interfered with the breathalyzer
  • Rocky ground threw off your balance during a field sobriety test
  • Lack of probable cause to justify pulling you over or issuing a warrant for a blood draw
  • A rights violation committed by the officers who arrested you, which might see critical evidence declared inadmissible
  • Laboratory errors making your sample inadmissible
  • Evidence showing your identity was used in the commission of a crime
  • Evidence showing you were taking legal medication and were not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time of the offense
  • Proof the officer made procedural or evidence errors such as chain of custody issues, which could lead to a dismissal of your charge

Can I Refuse to Submit to a DWI Chemical Test in Texas?

Refusing to submit to a chemical test is in your right, but you need to understand the consequences you’ll face if you refuse. If you refused a chemical test already, a DWI lawyer may still be able to help. When you refuse to submit to chemical testing, you are violating a law known as implied consent.

The implied consent law basically asserts that you consented to submit to chemical testing by obtaining a license in the state of Texas. This means that your refusal will come with automatic consequences.

Following a refusal, your license will be immediately suspended. You can get it back, however, if you attend the hearing and convince the judge that you had good reason for refusing the chemical test. A lawyer can help you with your hearing.

Additionally, refusing a chemical test doesn’t mean that the officer who pulled you over can’t charge you with a DWI. Some people believe that if they refuse to give a sample, the officer won’t have enough evidence to charge them with a DWI.

This is not always the case. If the officer still believes there is enough evidence against you that you were driving while intoxicated, you can still receive a DWI charge. Talk to your DWI lawyer about any questions concerning refusal and implied consent.

What If Your Fort Worth DWI Case Does Go to Trial?

If you have a fear of the courtroom, you are far from the only one. Many people who are innocent of the crimes charged against them actually sign plea agreements to avoid the hassle of going to court. Another reason that people admit to a DWI they weren’t guilty of is because they are scared they will be convicted in court anyway.

You know that you’re innocent and there’s not enough evidence to convict you, but you are afraid that the criminal justice system won’t work the way it should and you will still be convicted. You are afraid of being convicted of a more serious charge and so you agree to a plea agreement because it seems like a better option.

If you are innocent of a crime, you probably shouldn’t sign a plea agreement. Even if you believe the prosecutor has a strong case against you, there may still be options for avoiding conviction.

In the end, you need to know that the burden of proof rests with the prosecutor’s office. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime of driving while intoxicated. If they don’t have enough evidence, or some of the evidence gets thrown out, your lawyer may be able to get the charges dropped before ever going to court.

If your case does go to court, your lawyer will be prepared. They will have gathered all the evidence in your defense possible and will put up a fight for you. Some things are worth fighting for, and your future is one of them.

Fort Worth DWI FAQ

An arrest for intoxicated driving will lead to a number of questions that deserve answers. In the section below, we’ve addressed a few common concerns, but if you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our office so you can speak with one of our lawyers about your unique situation.

Can I get the record of a first-time DWI that resulted in jail or probation sealed in Fort Worth?

Previously, this wasn’t an option in Texas. However, a recent law has now made this a possibility, and the good news is that it’s even retroactive. If you meet all of the necessary criteria for a DWI nondisclosure approval, you would then be allowed to say that you’ve never been convicted or even arrested for drunk driving.

What happens if I caused a car accident while driving drunk in Fort Worth and someone else got hurt?

In this situation, you could be charged with intoxication assault, a third-degree felony offense. If someone died in the crash, you could instead be charged with intoxication manslaughter, an even more serious crime.

Can I be charged with DWI while operating a boat?

Yes, boating while intoxicated (BWI) is illegal in Texas. It carries the same penalties upon conviction that DWI does, which means that you’ll want to challenge the charge and seek a full dismissal or acquittal.

Can minors in Texas be charged with a DWI?

Minors in Texas can be charged with a DWI if they exceed the legal limit. Minors can also be charged with a DUI, which is driving while under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence can be charged to a minor who is driving with any alcohol in their system, even if under the legal limit. This charge comes with legal penalties similar to those of a DWI.

Should I sign the first plea agreement offered to me by the prosecutor for a DWI?

It’s never a good idea to sign any plea agreement without speaking to a lawyer first. Your lawyer may be able to get you a better deal or get the charge dropped entirely.

Facing criminal charges can be scary, so it’s tempting to sign a plea agreement that seems more favorable than the charge you are faced with. However, your plea deal will still leave you with a crime on your record, and you don’t want to accept a plea deal unless there are no other options for you.

Connect with a DWI Lawyer in Fort Worth

When you’ve been arrested and charged with intoxicated driving, you need The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy on your side. We have extensive experience handling DWI cases and we know how to build a powerful, compelling case that will give you the best chance for getting your drunk driving charge dismissed.

To discover how we can help you, contact us to set up a time for a free, confidential consultation with a Fort Worth DWI lawyer. Just complete the form at the bottom of the page or call us directly at 817-605-1010 to begin.

Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy


CONTACT US & GET THE DEFENSE YOU DESERVE

Contact us today for a free strategy session on how we can help you win your case.

* All Fields Required

Or Call 817-605-1010

CONTACT US &

GET THE DEFENSE YOU DESERVE

Contact us today for a free strategy session on how we can help you win your case.

* All Fields Required

Or Call 817-605-1010