Every state has laws about drunk driving and it’s important to know the laws of your state. A DWI in Texas means “driving while intoxicated.” In today’s blog, Sugar Land, Texas DWI lawyer Adam Capetillo explains some of the concerns you should have about getting convicted of a DWI in Texas. Being charged (arrested) for a DWI in Texas can be a problem but being convicted will bring serious immediate consequences and often long-term hardships. You will want to avoid a conviction for this reason.
DWI is the crime of driving a motor vehicle while being intoxicated. Per Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, a person is legally intoxicated if they do
(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.
What If I Get Pulled Over For a DWI in Texas?
You can be charged with a DWI if a law enforcement officer suspects you of DWI. This is their opinion unless you give them a reason to show them that their suspicion is likely true such as taking a breathalyzer test or voluntarily telling them that you have been drinking.
As soon as you are pulled over, if you are concerned about a DWI, be cooperative by providing the necessary documents but do not try to talk your way out of it. That officer may appear friendly, but they are already suspicious, and you need to assume you are likely to be arrested. Probably the less you say or do, the better.
If You Get Arrested, Call a Lawyer As Soon As Possible
If you do get arrested, the officer must read you your Miranda Rights. You should simply “remain silent.” If they question you about drinking or taking a controlled substance or drugs, you should state politely that you want your lawyer present during questioning.
Your Miranda Rights are:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to consult with a lawyer before questioning and to have a lawyer present during questioning.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to represent you free of charge prior to any questioning.
Reasons to Avoid Conviction
Sadly, a conviction for DWI will impact your life beyond jail time and fines, which can be significant. Loss of driving privileges can be part of any conviction of a DWI in Texas, including first-time convictions.
Jail Time and Fines: If you are convicted of a first offense, you can be punished with a jail sentence of up to 180 days in a county jail and a maximum fine of $2000. If your BAC is over 0.15, it is a class A misdemeanor, and the punishment is even greater. A third (or more) offense is a third-degree felony and is punishable by two to ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Loss of Driver’s License: Your driver’s license can be suspended – meaning no driving allowed – for days or even years. The loss of your driving privileges will hinder for ability to get to work and other responsibilities such as picking up your children or driving family to medical appointments.
Social Stigma and Mental Health: You may suffer social embarrassment and ostracization. You may also suffer mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
Criminal Record: A criminal record can affect your ability to get or keep a job, exclude you from certain professions, and affect your ability to get a loan or rent an apartment.
It is best to avoid a conviction. If you decide you have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse, you can address it privately with your own physician or get into a rehabilitation program.
You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer to Fight DWI Charges
Don’t try to defend yourself from DWI charges alone. You need to get a criminal defense lawyer with experience in fighting DWI charges. If you have been arrested for a DWI in Sugar Land or the Fort Bend County area, reach out to Criminal Defense lawyer Adam Capetillo.
Your Sugar Land DWI Lawyer – Adam Capetillo
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas, call Adam Capetillo 24/7 – 346-249-5544! He will answer the phone. He states, “I am available to my clients 24/7 and will be able to give you well-informed legal advice. When you call my firm, you can trust that you will speak directly with me, Attorney Adam Capetillo.”