DWI Lawyer Austin, TX

Helping Austinites in Challenging Times

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense that can result in severe financial, professional, and personal costs. Are you in need of an experienced DWI attorney in Austin, Texas? Look no further than Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, the leading DWI law firm in the Austin area. Our experienced DWI lawyers in Austin, TX are dedicated to providing top-notch representation for individuals charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses and second DUI cases.

We understand that a DWI charge is a serious matter and can have a major impact on your life. That’s why we strive to provide our clients with the best possible legal representation and ensure that their rights are protected throughout the legal process.

At Cofer & Connelly, we provide a wide range of services for DWI cases, including legal advice and representation in court, assistance with license suspension hearings, and assistance with other legal matters related to DWI charges. We also provide legal advice and representation for individuals charged with other traffic offenses, such as reckless driving, speeding, and driving without a license.

Austin DWI lawyers at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC

Our Austin DWI attorneys can help you handle your case. Contact us online or via phone at (512) 991-0576 to schedule a consultation with our team.

What is Driving While Intoxicated in Texas?

Under Texas Penal Code 49.04, DWI refers to the operation of a motor vehicle while being intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol. DWI in Texas carries serious repercussions, and is treated as a criminal offense by the state's laws.

Texas law defines intoxication through two distinct conditions:

1) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body


2) blood alcohol content must be 0.08% or higher

It is important to note that the first condition allows an officer to accuse you of a DWI regardless of your blood alcohol concentration. An officer only needs probable cause indicating that you are intoxicated, usually denoted through observations of the driver's appearance, odor, behavior, the presence of alcohol, and a series of sobriety tests.

The second condition is a more objective measure of signifying intoxication. A BAC of 0.08% or above can result in a DWI charge for adults, while a BAC above 0 can result in a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge for minors. Both charges can have extreme consequences.

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Do I Need a Lawyer for DWI in Texas?

A DWI in Texas can be a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. However, if you are facing a first-offense DWI, the fine may be reduced to as low as $500. It is important to note that a DWI conviction can also result in the suspension of your driver’s license, and may even require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.

Given the seriousness of a DWI charge in Texas, it is important to have an experienced DWI lawyer in Austin, TX on your side. A DWI lawyer can help you understand the law and your rights, and can provide you with the legal representation you need to protect your rights and minimize the consequences of the charge.

Contact us today to learn more about how our Austin DWI attorneys can help you with your DWI case.

DWI Penalties & Fines in Austin, TX

A Texas DWI can result in severe penalties. DWI convictions may incur hefty fines, community service time, probationary periods, license suspension, the loss of employment, or even jail sentences in some cases - with stiffer punishments for those caught driving with a BAC over 0.15%. The extent of the penalty depends on the number of previous offenses.

  • 1st Offense DWI: The first offense can result in a fine of up to $2,000, jail time between 3-180 days, license suspension of up to 2 years, and mandatory DWI education.
  • 2nd Offense DWI: The second offense can result in a fine of up to $4,000, jail time between 1 month and 1 year, license suspension of up to 2 years, and mandatory DWI education.
  • 3rd+ Offense DWI: Three or more offenses can result in a fine of up to $10,000, jail time between 2 to 10 years, license suspension of up to 2 years, and mandatory DWI education.

Fortunately, an experienced DWI attorney Austin, TX may help lessen these penalties and give individuals a chance of avoiding costly DWI mistakes if convicted.

When Does DWI Become Felony DWI in Texas?

In Texas, a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offense can become a felony under certain circumstances. Typically, a DWI is considered a misdemeanor offense.

However, it can be elevated to a felony if any of the following conditions are met:

  • Multiple DWI Offenses: If a person has been convicted of two or more DWI offenses, subsequent offenses may be charged as felonies. Specifically, a third DWI offense is typically charged as a third-degree felony.
  • Intoxication Assault: If a person causes serious bodily injury to another individual while driving under the influence, they may be charged with intoxication assault. Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony offense.
  • Intoxication Manslaughter: If a person causes the death of another individual while driving under the influence, they may be charged with intoxication manslaughter. Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony offense.
  • Child Passenger: If a person is arrested for DWI while there is a child passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle, they may face enhanced penalties, including the possibility of felony charges.

Texas Implied Consent Law

In Texas, the implied consent law refers to the legal principle that individuals who operate motor vehicles on public roadways implicitly consent to chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) if they are lawfully arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). The implied consent law is outlined in the Texas Transportation Code, specifically sections 724.011 to 724.019.

Law enforcement officers are required to inform drivers of the implied consent law at the time of arrest for DWI. This typically involves the officer reading a standardized notice that explains the consequences of refusing to submit to chemical testing.

The implied consent law allows for various types of chemical tests to determine BAC, including breath, blood, or urine tests. Law enforcement officers may request one or more of these tests.

If a driver refuses to submit to chemical testing after being lawfully arrested for DWI, they may face administrative penalties, including automatic driver's license suspension. The length of the suspension varies depending on factors such as prior DWI convictions and whether the driver is a minor.

Test results obtained through chemical testing conducted in accordance with the implied consent law are admissible as evidence in DWI proceedings.

How Much Does a DWI Lawyer Cost in Texas?

The cost of a DWI lawyer in Texas can vary depending on the complexity of the case and the experience of the lawyer. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a DWI lawyer in Texas.

Timeline of a DWI Case in Austin, Texas

The length of a DWI case in Texas can also vary depending on the complexity of the case. Generally, a DWI case can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to resolve.

Can a DWI Conviction Be Sealed in Texas?

A DWI is no small matter – it'll follow you for life unless action is taken. In Texas, a DWI conviction cannot be expunged. A conviction can't be erased from your record but with the right steps, it can be sealed and essentially become invisible to employers or other institutions conducting background checks. So don't let one mistake define who you are going forward; take the necessary measures to seal that charged DWI away forever!

How Long Does DWI Stay On Your Record in Texas?

In Texas, a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) conviction stays on your criminal record unless sealing has been approved by the court. If sealing is granted, it will remove the DWI from public view, but there can be some limitations to sealing including age restrictions and proof that no subsequent convictions have occurred since the sealing was granted. However, even if sealing is successful in Texas, the offense may remain visible for purposes of determining your eligibility for certain professional licensures, or when applying for certain jobs such as those in law enforcement or public services.

Can a DWI Charge Be Reduced in Texas?

Yes, a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge in Texas can sometimes be reduced through various legal strategies or plea negotiations. However, whether a DWI charge can be reduced depends on several factors, including the circumstances of the case, the defendant's prior criminal history, and the discretion of the prosecuting attorney.

Some common ways in which a DWI charge might be reduced in Texas include:

  • Plea Bargaining: Prosecutors may be willing to negotiate plea bargains with defendants charged with DWI. This could involve agreeing to plead guilty to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving (often called "wet reckless") or a non-alcohol-related offense, in exchange for a lighter sentence or reduced penalties.
  • Challenging Evidence: Defense attorneys may challenge the evidence presented by the prosecution, such as the results of field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests. If the evidence is successfully challenged, it could weaken the prosecution's case and lead to a reduced charge or dismissal.
  • Diversion Programs: In some cases, defendants may be eligible for diversion programs or pre-trial intervention programs that allow them to avoid a formal conviction by completing certain requirements, such as alcohol education classes or community service.
  • First-Time Offender Programs: Texas offers programs specifically for first-time DWI offenders, such as the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTIP) or the DWI Education Program. Completion of these programs may result in reduced penalties or dismissal of charges.
  • Negotiating for Reduced Penalties: Even if the charge itself is not reduced, defense attorneys may negotiate with prosecutors for reduced penalties, such as shorter probation periods, lower fines, or alternative sentencing options.

Strategic DWI Defense in Austin: Your Legal Advocates

Defending against a DWI charge in Austin can be a challenging process. Knowing the legal landscape and your exact rights is essential for effectively fighting DWI charges in Texas.

There are many potential defenses that can be used to reduce or even dismiss the charges, such as:

  • Challenging the legality of arrest
  • Faults with the Breathalyzer test
  • Officer made an error in police report
  • Lack of probable cause to perform a traffic stop
  • Questioning witness credibility and more

However, these arguments must be done on an individual basis and having an experienced DWI attorney in Austin, TX by one’s side is critical to figuring out the best course of action. A skilled DWI defense lawyer will help clients navigate between affirmative defenses which involve introducing evidence contrary to what was originally stated as well as procedural defenses that focus on any technicalities or irregularities in the proceedings. Having a lawyer on your side with extensive experience in DWI cases can be the difference between a DWI dismissal and possible jail time. Start your defense as soon as possible to fight a potential suspension of your driver's license.

To get in touch with Austin DWI lawyers who care, contact our office online or via phone at (512) 991-0576.


    For years, Cofer & Connelly, PLLC has effectively defended people charged with DWI in Texas. View our FAQ to see how we can fight on your behalf.

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