Austin DWI Defense Attorney
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A DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Arrest is Stressful
Navigating a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge can be daunting. With jail time, hefty fines, and a potential driver’s license suspension looming over your head, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed. The good news is that you don’t have to face these challenges alone. A knowledgeable Austin DWI attorney can be your advocate, providing resources to help you navigate this stressful period.
Understanding the Scope of a DWI Charge
A DWI charge isn’t merely a traffic ticket—it’s a serious criminal offense. In essence, it means you’ve been accused of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The impact of such a charge on your life can be profound, but with an experienced DWI lawyer by your side, you can challenge the evidence and present strong defense strategies.
Choosing the Right DWI Defense Lawyer in Central Texas
Selecting a DWI defense attorney in Central Texas should not be taken lightly. You want a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of DWI laws, a solid reputation, and a proven track record of success. Lance Kennedy, a renowned criminal defense attorney, is one such advocate who can expertly navigate Texas law practice areas and federal law practice areas, guiding you through this intricate legal process.
Penalties for DWI in Texas
When it comes to DWIs in Texas, one frequently asked question is, “How much does a Austin DWI cost?”. To provide some insight, here are the potential penalties associated with DWI and other related 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:
- 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.
- 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:
- You drove a vehicle in a public place and did not have the normal use of your mental abilities because of alcohol or drugs.
- You drove a vehicle in a public place and did not have the normal use of your physical faculties because of alcohol or drugs.
- 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.
Critical Aspects of Your DWI Defense
When building a DWI defense, it’s crucial to scrutinize every step of your arrest. This scrutiny begins from the moment the officer first came into contact with you. Here are some ways Lance Kennedy Law will scrutinize the evidence to build a strong DWI defense for your case:
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 Driving While Intoxicated 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 Driving While Intoxicated 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.
How A DWI Charge Can Impact Your Driver’s 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.
Your DWI Lawyer in Central Texas
If you’re charged with driving while intoxicated in Central Texas—be it Austin, Round Rock, New Braunfels, or San Marcos—you need a Driving While Intoxicated lawyer who knows the terrain. Lance Kennedy is an experienced DWI lawyer who has dedicated his career to defending the rights of individuals facing DWI charges. He understands the complexities of the legal system and is committed to providing aggressive representation.
With Lance Kennedy on your side, you’re not just hiring a Driving While Intoxicated attorney—you’re hiring an experienced advocate who will fight for you every step of the way. Visit Lance Kennedy’s website for common FAQs and to know more about Lance Kennedy and how he can defend you!
The road after a DWI charge can seem daunting, but remember, you don’t have to walk it alone. Contact Lance Kennedy, your trusted DWI lawyer, for a FREE case review today. Protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome with professional, empathetic, and relentless legal representation!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a DWI charge, and what does it mean?
A DWI charge means that you’re accused of Driving While Intoxicated. In Texas, this means that you were allegedly operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. A conviction can lead to severe penalties, including jail time, fines, and the suspension of your driver’s license. Learn more about how much does an Austin DWI cost.
What are common defenses used in DWI cases?
Common defenses in DWI cases often involve challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the administration and accuracy of field sobriety tests, and the reliability of breath or blood test results.
What should I do if I am charged with a DWI in Central Texas?
If you’re charged with a DWI in Central Texas, contact a reputable Driving While Intoxicated attorney immediately. You need legal advice to navigate the intricacies of your case and to safeguard your rights.
How do you handle client confidentiality in DWI cases?
As a Driving While Intoxicated lawyer, Lance Kennedy is bound by attorney-client privilege. This means any communication between you and him remains confidential and cannot be disclosed without your permission.
What factors should I consider when selecting a DWI defense lawyer in Central Texas?
Consider the attorney’s experience in DWI cases, familiarity with local courts and legal procedures, reputation, client reviews, and their approach to your case.
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