DWI, Obstruction of a Highway

DWI - Obstruction of a Highway

Obstruction of a Highway is best known in Texas as the lesser charge commonly used to reduce DWI cases. If prosecutors agree on a DWI case, they can dismiss the DWI and (in it's place) file a lesser charge, Obstruction of a Highway. Why is that better than a DWI? It's a non-alcohol offense, and does not carry the stigma and legal ramifications that a DWI does.

But if a person is originally arrested on an Obstruction of a Highway that means there is an allegation of causing a road to be impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous. There is a subsection that makes failure to move a vehicle, when asked by an officer, an offense as well.

You can read the specific Statute and Punishments for Obstruction of a Highway below.

What You Need To Know

Employers and other institutions that regularly conduct background checks are familiar with the term Obstruction of a Highway. They often hear how the DWI arrest actually resulted in an Obstruction of a Highway probation. So even the offense Obstruction of a Highway -- without any DWI facts -- can create a stigma for a person seeking employment, loans, or housing. It's often assumed that if a person has an Obstruction of a Highway on their criminal record, then they were arrested for DWI.

For that reason, if a person is originally charges with Obstruction of a Highway, it's important to try and dismiss or reduce it to another charge.

Closely Related Offenses

Other offenses related to Obstruction of a Highway can include a First Time DWI, as well as Reckless Driving. Other less serious cases also include Traffic Tickets and if the police chase a suspect, Evading Arrest

If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.

Jail Release and Bond for Obstruction of a Highway

Individuals arrested for Obstruction of a Highways are usually taken to jail following the arrest -- but beginning in 2020, there may be a cite and release for Obstruction of a Highway arrests. if taken to jail, the primary concern for the arrested and their family is to get out of jail.

Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant, which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.

Defenses for Obstruction of a Highway

Many Obstruction of a Highway cases involve a person not fully blocking a road. While the statute does not require that, the definition of 'obstruct' allows for arguments to be made concerning whether another's passage was truly unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous. The statute specifically reads, "For purposes of this section, ???obstruct??? means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous..

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.

Work with an Experienced Obstruction of a Highway Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Obstruction of a Highway 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.

Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.

How We Can Help

Many times, a person charged with a DWI is trying to get a reduced charge, which is often an Obstruction of a Highway. If a person is originally charged with Obtruction of a Highway (and no DWI involved), then the focus should be getting it either dismissed or reduced. A Dismissal will allow a person to later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Dismissal is not always a realistic possibility, but there are alternatives, such as a reduced charge or a short probation that would allow for Sealing DWI Convictions later.

Keates Law Firm has a track record of reductions and dismissals for DWI. The main hurdle is convincing the prosecutor to agree to reduce or dismiss the DWI case, and Keates Law Firm has experience in Austin's Travis County courts doing just that.

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Legal Fees are typically unexpected, so Keates Law Firm realizes that most people don't have thousands of dollars immediatly available after an unexpected arrest. Keates Law Firm offers no interest Payment Plans for legal fees for cases in Austin, Travis County. Most Payment Plans require a credit or debit card on file, with a deposit for representation. Attorney Payment Plans are paid monthly with no interest. Payment Plan Lawyers in Austin, Travis County are few, but Keates Law Firm has had success and many happy clients who appreciate spreading out legal fees over payments. Check out our Austin Attorney Payment Plans page for more details, or call for a Free Consultation.

The Law in Texas on Obstruction of a Highway

Sec. 42.03. Obstruction of a Highway.

(a)A person commits an offense if, without legal privilege or authority, he intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly: (1)obstructs a highway, street, [or] sidewalk...Full text truncated, see link below for full statute.

Obstruction of a Highway Punishments

Obstruction of a Highway is a Class B Misdemeanors, meaning punishable by probation, jail up to 6 months, or a fine of up to $2,000 -- or all three.

Penalties for DWI
Level of Offense Punishment
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens on a first DWI in Austin Texas?
A first time DWI in Austin Texas typically is a Class B Misdemeanor. The maximum punishment is 6 months in jail and/or fines up to $2,000. Depending on the facts, often times probation or a reduced charge is possible without jail. Breath or Blood results above 0.15% BAC result in an enhanced DWI, which is a Class A Misdemeanor (Maximum 1 year jail and/or fines up to $4,000). It's important to note there are other consequences of a DWI, such as Surcharges, Interlock Devices, License Suspensions, and more.

Will I serve jail time for 1st DWI in Austin Texas?
Initially, you'll be taken to jail after being arrested for a DWI. In Austin, Travis County, you generally will be released within 8-24 hours. Hiring an Attorney who handles Jail Releases can reduce the amount of time in Jail. Typically in Austin, a person will not serve jail time as a punishment for the DWI at sentencing.

Should I get a lawyer for a first time DWI in Austin Texas?
Absolutely. DWI cases are complex, with new case-law and a variety of technical breath or blood testing that needs to be reviewed. Representing yourself on a DWI is a great way to get a terrible resolution of your case -- possibly paying more in fines, court fees, and surcharges that you would have paid in Attorney Fees.

Can you drive after a DWI in Austin Texas?
After a DWI arrest, a person may drive for 40 days using the DPS paperwork given by the officer. If no ALR Hearing is requested within 15 days of arrest, the person's license will be suspended on the 41st day after arrest. The person may then drive legally, during that suspension, with an Occupational Driver's License.

Do you offer a Free Consultation on DWI Cases?
Yes. Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates.\nNo Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we can help, and give you a quote.

What Our Clients are Saying

"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 community service. I absolutely recommend Robert. -Jonathan P.

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