December 20, 2014

Dallas DWI Lawyer

Tough DWI Attorney in Dallas & Fort Worth Texas

Driving While Intoxicated / DWI

You might receive letters from attorneys offering to handle your DWI Case for a few hundred dollars, but if you hire them, you may get less than you deserve. Any lawyer can enter a guilty plea on your behalf. DWI charges are serious and carry long-term negative consequences. The Dallas DWI Lawyers at Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law have more than 40 years of experience successfully defending people in the DFW metroplex and throughout the entire state of Texas against DWI, DUI, BUI,  and other alcohol-related charges.

Choosing a criminal defense attorney is one of the most important decisions you will make in your case. Whether you have been accused of a crime or are simply being investigated, your rights and freedom are in jeopardy. It is important to have the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in Texas DWI laws as early as possible.

To discuss your DWI DUI defense or criminal charges with an experienced Dallas DWI Attorney, call Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law to schedule a confidential consultation at (214) 740-9955.

Experienced Dallas DWI Lawyers

We have extensive experience defending against drunk driving charges. The DWI Criminal Defense Lawyers of Clancy & Clancy have concentrated in Criminal Defense and DWI Defense cross examining government prosecutors countless times.

Most DWI Attorneys start talking about a plea bargain at the first meeting. Few attorneys actually take DWI cases to trial before a judge, and even fewer have tried DWI cases to a jury. Our experienced DWI defense attorneys prepare every case as if it were going to trial.

What is a DWI?

DWI is defined as operation of a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. You are deemed intoxicated if you do not have normal use of your mental and/or physical facilities because of alcohol and/or drugs in your body and/or if you have a blood alcohol concentration of at least 0.08 in Texas.

The definition of intoxication is typically the most contested issue in a DWI trial. Our trial lawyers know how to cross-examine the state’s witnesses and scrutinize the evidence on this technical issue.

In addition to a breath or blood test, the officer will ask you to perform field sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse the breath and/or blood test and any field sobriety tests. You can be assured that the officer will have an in-car video recorder that will videotape you. Anything you do or say can be used against you in court. The field sobriety tests have not been found to be accurate determinations of intoxication. Many factors can cause a person to fail these standardized tests, which must be administered as stated in the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration manual. Our skilled team of Texas DWI attorneys will scrutinize these procedures as performed in your arrest.

CLASS C ALCOHOL RELATED OFFENSES

A Class C Offense in Texas does not require any jail time if convicted, but does carry a maximum fine of $500. The following are the most common

1) Person Younger than 21 Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
In Texas, a person younger than 21 years of age who operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol on his or her breath may be charged with a DUI. This may be determined by a breath test or the officer’s opinion that he or she smelled alcohol on the person’s breath. A person does not have to be intoxicated to be charged with a DUI.

Driver’s License Suspension for Underage (Under 21) DWI or DUI Charge

  • If person under 21 fails a breath or blood test or is not offered a test: 60 days
  • If person refuses to give a breath or blood test: 180 days

What is the Punishment in Texas for a Person Younger than 21 Convicted of a DUI?

1st and/or 2nd Offense (Class C Misdemeanor): 0–$500 fine; alcohol class; community service hours. Deferred disposition probation is also an option.

2) Public Intoxication

A person of any age who appears in a public place while intoxicated to the degree that the person may endanger himself or herself or another person may be charged with public intoxication(PI). A public place is defined as any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes streets, highways, sidewalks and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, office buildings, transport facilities and shopping areas.

3) Minor in Possession of Alcohol (MIP)

A Minor in Possession of Alcohol charge (calledMIP in Texas for short) It is illegal for a person under age 21 to possess alcohol unless it is within the scope of employment, within the visible presence of a parent or under the supervision of a police officer. If convicted, a first or second offense carries a fine up to $500. The third offense carries a fine up to $2,000 and a sentence of up to 180 days in jail.

Driver’s License Suspension for Conviction of a Class C Offense:

  • 1st Offense — One Month
  • 2nd Offense — Two Months
  • 3rd Offense — Six Months

Other Serious Alcohol Related Offenses

Intoxication Assault

If a person commits an offense operating a motor vehicle in public while intoxicated and causes serious bodily injury to another, they may be charged with Intoxication assault. This can happen while operating aircraft, watercraft, or amusement park rides in addition to automobiles. Intoxication Assault is considered a third-degree felony, equivalent to an individual’s 3rd DWI offense.

Intoxication Manslaughter

Intoxication manslaughter occurs when a person under the influence operates a vehicle in a public place, and causes the death of another by accident or mistake. This crime is considered a second-degree felony. Keep in mind that a vehicle can be considered a deadly weapon, which will disallow any chance of probation and escalate your charges.

DWI with a child passenger

If a person is a caught driving under the influence with a child under the age of 15 in the car, they may be charged with child endangerment as well as DWI. Child endangerment is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 up to two years in a state jail and loss of driver’s license for 180 days.

What will happen to my driver’s license after a DWI arrest?

If you fail a breath and/or blood test, your driver’s license may be suspended for 90 days. If you refuse to provide a breath and/or blood test, your driver’s license may be suspended for 180 days.

ALR Hearing

You have the right to contest a driver’s license suspension within 15 days of being arrested for a DWI. If you do so, you will keep your driver’s license while you await your ALR hearing date. At the hearing, a judge will determine if the police officer had reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle and probable cause to make the arrest. If the judge finds in the state’s favor, your driver’s license will be suspended at that time according to the statutory requirements.

Occupational Driver’s License

If your driver’s license is suspended, you may be eligible for an occupational driver’s license, which allows you to drive 12 hours per day, seven days a week, for travel to work, school and household duties; therefore, you will never fully lose the ability to drive! The lawyers at Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law can inform you if you qualify for an occupational driver’s license.

Requests for an occupational license must be made to the county of district court where the individual lives or to the court of original jurisdiction where the offense occurred. If it is decided that you are eligible to apply for an occupational license, a court order will be issued to you. You must submit this court order and a few other required items to the DPS before you’ll be issued an occupational license. The court order you receive may be used as a driver’s license for 30 days while your occupational license request is processed.

There may be a waiting period of 180 days for intoxication-related driver license suspensions, but it is best to talk to your attorney and see what your options are.

Blood Alcohol Content and How it’s Tested

DWI occurs when a person drives with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more in their body. If you are arrested, you will likely be subject to blood alcohol testing. This is done in a number of ways, from breath samples, to blood and urine samples. For anyone under 200 lbs, may only take 3 or 4 drinks to push your BAC over the legal limit of .08. If you choose to drive after you’ve had a couple of drinks and are pulled over, it is possible that your BAC will be high enough for you to be charged with a DWI.

Urine testing is the least accurate and is not particularly convenient for officer and person alike. Breath testing is the most convenient form of BAC testing, but has been the topic of heated debate for quite some time. Because of lack of reliability in breath analyzers, evidence gained through breath testing is likely to become useless in court. Blood testing is thought to be the most accurate means of BAC testing, but is rather inconvenient for officers to obtain.

No Refusal Weekends in Houston Texas

There are certain times during the year where law enforcement may conduct No Refusal Weekends in order to crack down on drunk driving. No Refusal Weekends usually take place during holidays like New Years or 4th of July and require everyone pulled over for suspected drunk driving to undergo BAC testing. If the driver refuses, they may be subjected to a warrant for a blood sample test. Some areas like Texas have started to enforce No Refusal laws all the time.

Texas Field Sobriety Tests Used for DWI Arrests

Some people get pulled over for suspicion of a DWI/DUI when in fact they are just overly tired, ill, distracted, or under extreme duress.  These tests are used to by police officers / law enforcement to determine whether the suspect is in fact under the influence or intoxicated…

1.Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus

Nystagmus is an involuntary bouncing or jerking of the eyeball that is caused by a disturbance of the inner ear system or the oculomotor control of the eye. Substances that hinder your nervous system, like alcohol and drugs can result in Horizontal gaze nystagmus. As the degree of impairment becomes greater, the nystagmus will become more pronounced. It is one of the many ways that officers can determine whether or not a person is driving under the influence.

2. Walk and Turn

Walk and turn testing is a “divided attention” test that are easily performed by those not under the influence of something. This test requires the individual to follow instructions while performing simple physical movements. In the walk and turn test, the individual is directed to take nine, heel-to-toe steps along a straight line. Once the steps have been made, the individual must turn their foot and return in the same manner.

3.One Leg Stand

In the One Leg Stand test, the individual must stand with one foot six inches off the ground and count aloud by thousands. Officers will look for an inability to balance in determining whether or not the subject is intoxicated.

Police Can Make Mistakes:

Stopping Someone Based on an Anonymous 911 Call

The officer should observe for himself separate reasons to pull you over. An anonymous 911 call alone should not subject a person to being pulled over.

Stopping a Vehicle without any Proof of Violation

Police officers cannot pull people over because they simply feel they should. Being pulled over for speeding requires additional proof, and any stop or arrest that occurs without proof will render evidence inadmissible in court.

Mistakes with BAC Testing Equipment

Breathalyzers often pick up traces of alcohol in food and other edible substances and produce incorrect reading. Every-day items like Listerine, and chewing gum may alter the reading of breath analyzing equipment. Different lifestyles, such as smoking, dieting or something uncontrollable like diabetes can also lead to abnormally high readings.

Portable Breath Test devices (PTB) are small electronic alcohol breath testers that are carried by officers in the field to help them determine if a driver is intoxicated. These devices are not approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety for use in criminal prosecutions and are not considered accurate or reliable for the detection of intoxicated drivers.

 

Contact a Dallas DWI Lawyer

For additional information about state and federal criminal laws, or to discuss your matter in confidence with an experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer, schedule a confidential consultation by calling us at (214) 740-9955. If you prefer, visit our Contact Us page and fill out a short, confidential form and we’ll get back to you asap.

Our skilled DWI Defense Attorneys and Drivers License Suspension Lawyers can help you – Call today.

Available 24/7

Located in McKinney Place in Dallas, Texas, the criminal defense lawyers of Clancy & Clancy Attorneys at Law defend individuals facing DWI charges and all alcohol-related charges.  These  include: drivers license suspension, occupational driver’s license, underage drinking, public intoxication, driving under the influence, dui, driving while intoxicated, dwi, dwi conviction, alr hearing or DWI arrest throughout North Texas, including individuals throughout the communities in and around the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex, such as Dallas, Fort Worth, Arlington, Plano, Garland, Grand Prairie, Mansfield, Mesquite, Irving, Oak Cliff, University Park, Highland Park, Frisco, Allen, McKinney, Flower Mound, Southlake, Keller, Grapevine and Lewisville. Clancy & Clancy represents individuals charged with state or federal crimes in and around Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Henderson and Tarrant Counties.

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