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.
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 a 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 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.
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.
How Long Does a DWI Case Take in TX?
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.
Defense for DWI Charges in Austin, TX
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.