Driving while intoxicated is the most common crime for which people get arrested. Sometimes people mistakenly think that the charge is nothing more than a traffic ticket, and they just need to pay a fine. This could not be further from the truth. A DWI conviction imposes significant financial penalties which can easily total thousands of dollars. The financial penalties for a DWI conviction include the following:
• Court Costs
• Driver’s License reinstatement fees
• Filing costs for an Occupational Driver’s License
• SR-22 Insurance
• DPS Surcharges
• Payments for Classes
• Payments for Probation
• Payments for alcohol monitoring devices
In addition, a DWI conviction remains on your record for life which can affect your current job and any future employment.
Call me and we can begin developing strategies to prevent you from being convicted of DWI.
My first task as your attorney is to prevent your license from being suspended. In most cases, we are required to request a license hearing within fifteen (15) days of your arrest for DWI. This is the first step I take on your behalf to minimize the effects of your arrest. The license hearing provides an excellent opportunity to prevent your license from being suspended and obtain crucial information from your arresting officer that can be used later during your trial.
Your license can be suspended for either ninety (90) days or one hundred and eighty (180) days depending on whether you voluntarily submitted to a breath or blood test or refused it. The suspension period can be lengthened if you have a prior DWI arrest, conviction, or alcohol related contact on your driving history.
I have kept my fees for the license hearing reasonable in order to encourage you to have one. The license hearing enables you to take control back from the State after getting arrested for DWI.
Call me so we can take the necessary steps to prevent your license from being suspended.
If you do not request an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest, the judge suspends your license at an ALR hearing, or you enter a plea to DWI and do alternative sentencing, my office can obtain an occupational driver=s license (ODL) for you.
An ODL will authorize you to drive 12 hours a day for work, school, and household purposes. This means that you can drive legally to and from work, school, and places such as the grocery store, doctors appointments, and other places for household necessities. The hours can be the same for each day or tailored day by day to meet the needs of your schedule.
An ODL cannot authorize you to drive for commercial purposes.
I can file the ODL Petition and provide you with the Judge=s Order authorizing you to drive within 24 hours if your DWI is a misdemeanor.
Call me to begin the process for your ODL today.
When people meet with me for the first time, they often ask me what I think of their case. While some issues are apparent immediately, most of the time I cannot answer this question. That’s because I don’t have all the evidence. The question in every case is whether the evidence in the case will enable the State to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?
The evidence in a DWI case generally consists of the following:
• Recording of the traffic stop, field sobriety exercises, and arrest
• Recording of any tests performed at the jail
• Observations of the officer
• Certification of the officer to perform field sobriety exercises
• Observations of any witnesses
• Breath or blood test results
• Maintenance records of machine used to obtain breath test
• Underlying records for blood test
• Medical records
I will obtain all the evidence and evaluate the case with you. I will ask that you review the recordings from the traffic stop and jail with me so we can discuss possible defenses. I will take the time to review the evidence with you, answer your questions, and give you my assessment. I fully realize the outcome of this case has dramatic consequences in your life, and I want you comfortable and confident with the decision we make on how to proceed.
The following represents the range of punishments for various DWI offenses under the law.
DWI 1st Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to a $2000 fine
DWI 1st >.15 Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $4000 fine
DWI 2nd Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $4000 fine
DWI child State Jail Felony punishable by 180 days and up to two years in the State Jail and a fine not to exceed $10,000
DWI 3rd Third degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000
A person who is either found guilty or who enters a plea to a DWI 1st offense will generally not serve jail time in Dallas County unless they wish to do that as an alternative to probation. The typical sentence for a DWI 1st is as follows:
• probation for up to 18 months
• fine of $750 to $1000
• court costs of approximately $450
• DWI Class
• VIP Class
• community service hours
• interlock if breath or blood test score >.15
If you wish to serve jail time as an alternative to probation, some courts will permit you to serve the time through community service hours or house arrest.
The typical sentence for a DWI 2nd in Dallas county consists of the penalties listed above with the additional requirements of jail time and an interlock device. If the prior offense is within five years of the current arrest, the law requires 5 days in jail. If the prior is more than five years from the current arrest, the law requires 3 days in jail. If the prior is more than five years from the current arrest, a lot of times we can get rid of the jail requirement altogether.
The sentence for a DWI 3rd can vary by prosecutor and court. However, the typical sentence is 5 years probation with 10 days to be served in the county jail. The jail time is required by law.
A felony court will put a great deal of emphasis on treatment. Therefore, in addition to the conditions listed above, most persons on probation for a DWI 3rd are required to do either in-patient or out-patient treatment for alcohol abuse.