San Benito DWI Attorney
DWIs in Texas
Because Texas has often led the nation in drunk driving deaths and accidents in the past, law enforcement and state prosecutors come down hard on anyone suspected of DWI in Texas. The penalties for a drunk driving charge in Texas can be severe, derailing your life and career, threatening your freedom and finances, and leaving you with a permanent criminal record.
Our experienced criminal defense attorney is a former Cameron County prosecutor familiar with how the local criminal justice system works especially in regard to DWI and DWI-related crimes. Our firm is dedicated to providing you with the best possible defense tailored to the specifics of your situation.
We have the experience and knowledge needed to handle all of the many factors that may have led to your arrest and can use that experience in building your defense. At Gustavo D. Elizondo, III Attorney at Law, we understand the stakes for those facing DWI charges in San Benito and throughout the greater Brownsville area.
Arrested for DWI in Texas? Schedule a free consultation with our San Benito DWI attorney now to get started on fighting the charges. Se habla español.
What are Texas DWI Laws?
Under Texas law, DWI (driving while intoxicated) occurs if:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measures .08 percent or more on a chemical test
- Your driving was impaired due to the fact that you were under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs regardless of your BAC as witnessed by law enforcement
- You have any detectable alcohol or drug in your system as a driver under the age of 21
- Your BAC measures .04 percent or more as a commercial driver while driving a commercial vehicle
You can actually be arrested for DWI in Texas even if you were not driving your vehicle down the road but were merely “operating” it in some capacity. This means you could be parked with the key in the ignition and arrested if law enforcement suspects you are under the influence.
First-Offense DWI Penalties in Texas
A first-offense Texas DWI is generally charged as a Class B misdemeanor can carry the following penalties:
- 72 hours up to six months in jail
- Fines of up to $2,000
- Community service
- DWI education and treatment program
- A license suspension of 90 days up to a year
If you are convicted of a crime, your criminal record could make it difficult to find employment, housing, qualify for professional licenses, or successfully immigrate if you are a noncitizen. If you qualify for and obtain an occupational license, you may be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device in order to drive.
If your BAC measured .15 percent or higher, jail time can increase up to a year and fines increase up to $4,000. If you were found driving with a passenger under the age of 15, you may face enhanced charges with increased penalties.
Penalties for Multiple DWI Offenses in TX
Second, third, and subsequent DWI convictions within 10 years will result in increased penalties. A third DWI in Texas within 10 years will likely be charged as a third-degree felony carrying penalties of two to 10 years in prison, fines of up to $10,000, and loss of your license for 180 days up to two years.
What is a Surcharge in Texas?
In Texas, driving surcharges existed for all drivers due to the Driver Responsibility Program (DRP). However, this was repealed in 2019. All driving surcharges have been cancelled, however there is now a new Texas DUI surcharge structure.
Texas drivers who violate the law must pay a fee on top of their criminal fines known as Texas DWI surcharge. They are as follows:
- First DWI within a 36-month period: $3,000 fee
- Subsequent DWI within a 36-month period: $4,500 fee
- Driver with breath or blood alcohol content (BAC) level over .15: $6,000 fee
Common Defenses for DWI/DUI Charges in Texas
If you or a loved one were charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas, you have the right to defend yourself against those charges.
At Gustavo D. Elizondo, III Attorney at Law our experienced San Benito DWI/DUI attorneys will listen to your situation during a free initial consultation. There are actually some common defenses against DUI charges, but the facts of your case will determine what your best defense strategy will be. Our DWI/DUI lawyers in San Benito are more than ready to argue and defend you against your criminal charge.
Although no case is the same, there are common defenses to DWI/DUI charges:
- Challenging field sobriety tests - Sobriety tests are not completely accurate and there is a lot of room for error especially if you naturally lack coordination, if you feel stressed or pressured to do the test, if you have a medical condition that may affect how you do the test, etc. Even if you perform well on the test and there are no indications that you are sober, the police may not take it as a sign of sobriety.
- Challenging a DUI blood test - Mistakes can happen. From improper blood draw, contamination, to switching or samples. The blood test may have also been obtained without proper warrant.
- Challenging a breath test - There may have been inaccurate readings or errors because it was not administered properly, or perhaps a prescription drug you took in combination with alcohol may have provided inaccurate data.
- Proving that an accident that may have been caused by DWI/DUI was not actually your fault
- Proving that the officer did not have a reasonable suspicion to pull you over while driving
- Proving that the offer performed an unreasonable search and seizure of you or your property