(512) 565-8844

New Braunfels DWI Lawyer

<< Back to Practice Areas

A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Arrest is Stressful

You face jail time, high fines, and losing your driver’s license. Fortunately, there are many ways an experienced New Braunfels DWI lawyer can defend a DWI case.

I Can Help

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with driving while intoxicated in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.

Penalties for DWI in Texas

Here are the possible penalties for DWI and other intoxication offenses:

  • DWI 1st Offense—probation; 3 to 180 days in jail; up to a $2000 fine; possible driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days.
  • DWI 2nd Offense—probation; 30 to 365 days in jail; up to a $4000 fine; driver’s license suspension of 180 days to 2 years.
  • DWI 3rd Offense—probation; 2 to 10 years in prison; up to a $10,000 fine; driver’s license suspension from 180 days to 2 years.
  • DWI. Child Passenger– probation; six months to 2 years in state jail; up to a $10,000 fine; driver’s license suspension from 180 days to 2 years.
  • Intoxication Assault—probation; 2 to 10 years in prison; up to a $10,000 fine; possible driver’s license suspension of 90-365 days.
  • Intoxication Manslaughter—probation; 2 to 20 years in prison; up to a $10,000 fine; possible driver’s license suspension from 180 days to 2 years.
  • Furthermore, with a DWI conviction, the Texas Department of Public Safety can charge you a surcharge of $1000 to $2000 a year for three years to keep your driver’s license.

Understanding the Law on DWI in Texas

The core DWI law is found in Texas Penal Code Section 49.04 and reads:

A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

This definition requires us to define “intoxicated.”

Penal Code Section 49.01 defines “intoxication.” The State can prove it in two ways:

  1. The State can prove that you did not have the “normal use of mental or physical faculties” because of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance.
  2. Or the State can prove you were intoxicated because your blood alcohol as measured by a machine or blood test was over the legal limit of .08.

So, the State can prove its case against you by showing one of three things:

  1. You drove a vehicle in a public place and did not have the normal use of your mental abilities because of alcohol or drugs.
  2. You drove a vehicle in a public place and did not have the normal use of your physical faculties because of alcohol or drugs.
  3. While driving a vehicle in a public place, your blood alcohol level was over the legal limit as measured by a breath or blood test.

Defenses To DWI Charges

A. The Stop

  • Your defense starts with the way the officer made contact with you. For example, if the officer pulled you over in your car, he must have had a legal reason to stop you.
  • If your attorney can prove the officer did not have a legal reason to pull you over, the case can be dismissed (even if you scored horribly on the breath test).

B. The Field Sobriety Tests

  • Your defense will also include challenging the field sobriety tests and the administration of them by the police officer. The standard field sobriety tests are horizontal gaze nystagmus, one-legged stand, and walk and turn.
  • The officer who gave you the tests must have followed the proper procedure developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Often, police officers fail to administer the tests properly. Thus, we can challenge that the tests do not accurately reflect intoxication.

C. The Breath or Blood Test

  • Cases are usually easier to win if there is no breath or blood test. However, there are ways for your lawyer to challenge the accuracy of both tests. For example, the breath test machine may not have worked correctly during your test. Or, with a blood test, for example, drawn blood must be immediately refrigerated, or the defense can question the accuracy of the test.

D. The Video

  • Usually, police equip their patrol cars with video and record field sobriety tests. We will want to watch the video and see how you look. If you appear sober in the video, you have an excellent argument for having your DWI dismissed.

A DWI and Your Drivers License

As noted above in the penalties section, the State can suspend your driver’s license upon conviction for DWI. This suspension occurs after your case. It is part of the punishment.

Furthermore, the State can also suspend your driver’s license if you refused to take a breath or blood test during your arrest or if you failed the breath or blood test. Thus, if the police arrest you for DWI, you will be contending with two cases: Your criminal prosecution AND a driver’s license suspension case.

The driver’s license case is known as the ALR or administrative license revocation proceeding.

This suspension becomes active 40 days after the refusal or failure unless you request a hearing within 15 days of their request.

For someone over 21 years old, the driver’s license suspension based on a refusal to take a breath or blood test is 180 days. The suspension for someone who took a breath or blood test and failed the test is 90 days.

I Can Help

Contact me for a free case review if you are charged with driving while intoxicated in Comal County or other Central Texas counties such as Hays County, Guadalupe County, Travis County, or Bexar County.

DWI FAQs

Am I eligible for DWI Expunction?

In Texas, a person who completes regular probation is not eligible for expunction or nondisclosure. Furthermore, other final criminal convictions cannot be erased from a criminal record.

For example, a DWI conviction can never be expunged or sealed. If the court gave you as your punishment time served in jail or a prison sentence, you have a final conviction that cannot be sealed or expunged.

Tell your friend or family member not to answer any questions about the incident and to ask for a lawyer, which should stop any police questioning.

What immediate action should I take?

In short, post bond, interview lawyers, go to court, stay out of trouble, assess the evidence, and stay determined and be patient.

Need Help With Your Case?