A first time DWI offense in Austin -- even if you have no other criminal record -- can have devastating effects upon your life. From License suspensions to probation and even jail time, a DWI does not simply 'go away' on it's own. A DWI Conviction will show up on future background checks, and potentially stop you from obtaining employment, promotions, loans/aid, and housing. The effects can be life long, since a DWI conviction has no drop-off period in Texas.
Travis County DWI stops begin one of three ways, in most cases. A traffic stop, an accident, or observed bad driving. Traffic stops are usually for non-alochol related reasons, like speeding, no headlights, or bad lane changes. Once the officer begins to talk to the driver, the smell of alcohol or interaction with the driver triggers a DWI investigation. Accidents and bad driving are similar, except that the officer may already suspect DWI or alcohol prior to contact with the driver.
The DWI Officer then notes his or her observations of the driver, such balance, speech, and their answers to alcohol related questions. Then, the three fireld sobriety tests are given, unless refused. These are the HGN test (eyes), the walk and turn, and then one leg stand. After that, the person is offered a portable breath test. Based on the results of everything, the officer makes a decision to arrest for DWI.
Austin essentially is now a "non-refusal" city. That means at any time, a person suspected of DWI can be forced to give a blood sample, if they refuse the breath or blood test when asked. Years ago, drivers could view warning signs indicating "No Refusal Weekend" on holiday and various weekends. No Refusal Weekends meant that driver suspected of DWI would be forced to give blood -- even if they refused. Most of the time, the suspected DWI driver would have to wait in a cell while the officer had the Blood Search Warrant signed by a judge or magistrate. Sometimes, officers would strap an uncooperative person to a chair, holding them down to take blood.
DWIs are priorable, meaning that each time you suffer a final conviction for a DWI, the next one can be enchanced, leading to more severe punishments. Read more about DWI-2 (second-DWI), Felony DWI (third-DWI), and also DWI w/ BAC > 0.15.
The Keates Law Firm has over 14+ Years Experience handling criminal defense cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of dismissals and acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
(2) "Intoxicated" means: (A) 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; or (B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Most DWIs are Class B Misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by probation, jail up to 6 months, or a fine of up to $2,000 -- or all three. Even a first time DWI can result in the potential for jail time, however that's far more common on a DWI-2 (one DWI Prior), or multiple DWIs. An open container of alcohol in the car adds a minimum term of six days in jail. Also, if the alcohol content is .15% or higher the DWI offense can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. There are also more severe Driver's License implications for those enchancements, including suspensions and surcharges.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines|
|3rd Degree Felony||2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
"He was more than prepared and encouraged going to trial on the DWI. Robert has truly surpassed all expectations and I highly recommend his services!" -Laura W.
"DWI dismissed. Paid $75 for a reduced traffic ticket, and was done! No jail, no probation, no comunity service. I absolutley recommend Robert. -Jonathan P.
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