Austin DWI Lawyers
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- Tillman Braniff: DWI CASES CAN BE FOUGHT AND WON!! In fact, simply giving up and pleading out to a DWI conviction guarantees drastic and unfortunate consequences: 1. A first offense is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, up to a $2000 fine, or both. Keep in mind that final convictions NEVER go away. 2. An arrest for DWI triggers a driver's license suspension from the DPS, called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). A first offense with a breath test of .08 or over results in a 90-day suspension, whereas a breath test refusal warrants a suspension of 180 days. 3. If you are convicted, your insurance will find out, and you will be paying through the nose as a high-risk driver, or worse yet, dropped. 4. In addition to the ALR suspension, if you are convicted, the DPS will issue you a surcharge for the privilege of keeping your license. It lasts for 3 years, and begins at $1000/year for a first offense if you submitted a breath sample. If you refused, or are a repeat offender, you can expect to pay $1500/year. Even worse, if you gave a breath or blood sample that was .16 or over (twice the legal limit), you will be charged $2000/year. HOW TO FIGHT YOUR DWI: The most important aspect of a DWI case, or any other criminal case, is the difference between the standard for the officer to arrest, compared with the standard for a judge or jury to convict. -An officer needs only PROBABLE CAUSE to arrest you for a DWI; -A jury must be convinced BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that you are guilty in order to convict you. Even further, they must agree UNANIMOUSLY. It's easy to see that there is a huge difference between the two standards, which leaves a lot of room for discussion at trial. The initial focus of any DWI is the initial stop itself. An officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence or that you are committing a traffic offense. If the resasons for the stop are deemed insufficient, the entire case may be thrown out. From the moment the police cruiser's lights come on, the camera is on YOU. If your appearance is reasonable, the videotape of the stop can be invaluable evidence on your behalf. Many cases rest solely on the accused's performance on videotape, answering questions and performing field sobriety tests. The best policy is to identify yourself, and then politely refuse to answer questions or submit to any tests or searches until you can speak to your lawyer. You may be taken to jail, but there will be little on video that can be used to convict you. If you have already been arrested for DWI, please call our office to speak with an attorney. A DWI conviction can mean loss of a job, higher car insurance, DPS license surcharges, and most importantly, a conviction that never goes away. There are many ways to fight a DWI, and we will be happy to meet with you to go over your case and answer any questions you may have.
- Byrne, Matthew: # DWI (driving while impaired or over .08 BAC, "drunk driving") and associated proceedings such as ALR driver's license hearings # DUI (underage drinking and driving) # Drug Crimes, for example: Possession, Trafficking, Distribution, Manufacturing, Paraphernalia # Public Intoxication and Minor In Possession # Assault and Battery # Domestic Violence and Family Violence # Theft, Fraud, Forgery, Burglary, and Robbery # Official Misconduct # Weapons charges # Probation and parole violations, modifications, and early discharge # Warrants and Bond Forfeiture Withdrawals
- Botsford & Roark: DUI, DWI and all criminal law matters
- Butler, John: Jail Release Obtaining release from jail is, of course, often the first goal. Getting a personal bond approved by a judge, help in obtaining a bail bondsman, and seeking reduction of the bond amount are some of the services we provide. Jury Trials and Trials before the Court If you are tried and found guilty, you have only thirty days to begin the appeal process in State Court, only ten days in Federal court. Prompt action, attention to detail, and a thorough knowledge of the law are essential to successfully represent a client in the appeal process. Driver's License Suspensions and Occupational Licenses A person's driver's license can be suspended for many reasons in Texas these days: too many traffic tickets, lack of liability insurance, or a DWI arrest or conviction, to name a few. Driving with a suspended license can lead to yet another suspension, as well as another criminal case to defend. Challenging a suspension at a contested hearing and obtaining an occupational license are an important part of my practice. Expunctions and Orders of Nondisclosure When a criminal charge is dismissed, or when a defendant is found not guilty at trial, the case can generally be expunged. All records of the incident are removed from government records and the person arrested is legally entitled to deny that the arrest and charge occurred. Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure sets out the procedure for, and effect of, an expunction. When a person successfully completes a deferred adjudication probation, the records can often be sealed. This is done with an Order of Nondisclosure. While the records are not eliminated, as with an expunction, they are not available to the public, which can be a blessing, especially when applying for employment. Section 411.081 of the Texas Government Code sets out the procedure for an Order of Nondisclosure.
- Bristol Myers: After You Have Been Stopped… * Be polite * Have your drivers' license, registration, and insurance ready * Keep your hands on the steering wheel where the officer can see them as they approach your vehicle * Be aware that you are being videotaped and do not do anything that you would not want a jury to see * Keep quiet; respond to officers' questions politely but do not admit to anything or volunteer any information that could be used against you later After a DWI Arrest… * Exercise your right to remain silent and contact a lawyer as soon as possible * Request a drivers' license hearing within 15 days of your arrest to avoid an automatic suspension of your license
- Blackburn, Ben: Being charged with drunk driving is a serious offense and one that can have ramifications on your future ability to obtain a driver’s license, get car insurance, or even hold a job that involves transportation. Our drunk driving defense attorneys have extensive experience in counseling clients arrested for: * DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) * OWI (Operating While Impaired) * DWI (Driving Under the Influence) * UBAL (Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level) * OUIL (Operation Under the Influence of Liquor) Punishment for DWI varies depending on the number of convictions: First Offense * A fine of up to $2,000 * Three days to 180 days in jail * Loss of driver license up to a year * Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license Second Offense * A fine of up to $4,000 * One month to a year in jail * Loss of driver license up to two years * Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license Drunk Driving Defense * DWI, DWI defense * Investigation of every part of the traffic stop and arrest * File all appropriate motions to reduce or drop charges * Court representation * Defense of all related traffic violations * DLAD appeals driver’s license restoration process DWI/DWI and Traffic Violations in Texas Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs (“DWI/DWI”) is a serious offense, and DWI/DWI arrests must be addressed immediately. Rights can be lost without prompt action. Our criminal defense attorneys proceed quickly and effectively after a DWI/DWI arrest, protecting your rights, your freedom, and your driving privileges.
- Buford & Gonzales: All DWI lawyers know about MADD’s influence upon DWI/DUI proceedings and are very familiar with the local players. MADD has paid delegates in every major jurisdiction who attend court hearings and, some would say, attempt to bully or pressure prosecutors and judges into treating DWI/DUI offenders more harshly. The following information was excerpted from “Mothers Against Drunk Driving: A Crash Course in MADD,” by David J. Hanson, Ph.D. It is a scathing expose into what goes on with MADD at the policy level with citations and all. Read and learn.
- Bertolino Law Firm: If you have been charged with a crime, the criminal defense attorney you choose is important. You want an aggressive criminal defense attorney who knows the criminal justice system. You want an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows the best way to approach and manage your case. You want an aggressive criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to seeking the best possible result for you. You want a defense lawyer who works hard to prevent charges and convictions by bringing strong defenses early in the process.
- Allen, Kucera & Moore:
1. Don't wait - call a lawyer immediately.
2. Don't talk to police investigators or anyone else.
3. Write down all the facts about your case. You might forget important facts by the time your case goes to court.
4. Fight to save your Drivers License! Demand an ALR (Driver License) hearing immediately. DPS (Department of Public Safety) says you must request a hearing within fifteen (15) days of your arrest or you lose your license without any hearing. Read the wording on the "Notice of Suspension".
5. Have an experienced lawyer review and evaluate the facts.
6. Know your rights. Were your rights violated?
7. Get all available police reports. Any mistakes?
8. Find out if the breath test (or blood) was legal or reliable. Get all breath machine test records.
9. Check for illegal arrest.
10. Prepare for court. Find out what to do and say. Know what to tell the judge. Know your defenses. Know the law.
- Bass & Smith: Under Texas law a person commits a criminal offense if he or she (1) drives or operates a motor vehicle (2) in a public place (3) while intoxicated.
1. What is the difference between driving a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle?
Everyone knows what it means to "drive" a motor vehicle. But a person can be guilty of DWI even if he or she is not actually driving an automobile. Under Texas law, a person is deemed to be "operating" a motor vehicle if the person is exerting any control over the vehicle. Thus, an intoxicated person who is parked on the side of a public roadway with the engine of the vehicle still running may be guilty of DWI even if the transmission of the vehicle has been moved into the parked position. Having turned the engine on, so the argument goes, the person continues to exert control over the vehicle until the engine is turned off.
2. What is considered to be a public place.
Under Texas law, "Public place" means any place to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access and includes, but is not limited to, streets, highways, and the common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment houses, office buildings, transport facilities, and shops. Thus, under Texas law, a person who, while intoxicated, "operates" a motor vehicle in the parking lot of the apartment complex where he or she resides has committed the criminal offense of DWI.
3. When is the driver or operator of a motor vehicle legally intoxicated?
The driver or operator of a motor vehicle is deemed to be legally intoxicated if:
(1) he or she does not have the normal use of his or her mental or physical faculties by reason of the consumption of (a) alcohol, or (b) a controlled substance, or (c) a drug (including prescription or over-the-counter medications), or (d) any combination of 2 or more of substances a, b, or c, or (e) any other substance;
(2) he or she has an alcohol concentration of at least .08 grams of alcohol in (a) 210 liters of his or her breath, or (b) 100 milliliters of his or her blood, or (c) 67 milliliters of his or her urine.
Under Texas law, a person may pass a breath test or a blood test and still be convicted of DWI if, while the person was driving or operating a motor vehicle, the person, because of a prescription medication, an over the counter medication, or ANY OTHER SUBSTANCE, did not have the normal use of his or her mental or physical faculties.
- T.J. Biczo: DWI is a serious offense, and you need an experienced attorney on your side.
- Betty Blackwell: As with any criminal offense, DWI charges carry different consequences based on the situation. For example, if its your first alcohol-related offense and you fail a breath test or blood alcohol test, yourdrivers license will be suspended for 90 days. If you refuse to take one of these tests, the suspension increases to 180 days. That is why its so important that you contact askilled Texas DWI attorneywith comprehensive knowledge of the Texas state laws regarding drunk driving charges. FIRST OFFENSE Even a first-time offender faces serious penalties. Conviction carries a possible two year probationary sentence, up to a $2,000.00 fine and the possibility of an additional license suspension of up to one year. In addition to being expensive, probation remains on your record forever, without any hope of expunging, or sealing, of that record. REPEAT OFFENSES If this is your second DWI offense, the punishments are even harsher. Following the initial arrest, Texas state law requires that the repeat offenders vehicle be equipped with an interlock device, which you must blow into each time you want to start your car. It will not start if any alcohol is detected. A conviction carries mandatory jail time even if probation is granted, and up to a two year suspension of your drivers license. As of September 1st, 2005 Texas DWI laws become even more severe. Dont be left to defend yourself against your serious DWI charge alone.
- David Botsford: You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
- Bratton Firm: In order to help police officers effectively determine the BAC of drivers stopped for DUI, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) battery in 1981. The SFST is composed of the following three tests: 1. HGN 2. Walk-and-Turn (WAT) 3. One-Leg Stand (OLS) Presently used in all 50 states, the SFST battery has become the standard in most law enforcement agencies for making DUI determinations and arrests. In fact, research sponsored by the NHTSA to reevaluate the accuracy of the SFST battery in 1998 confirmed that the combination of the three standardized tests increases the accuracy of an officer's BAC estimates and results in more DUI arrests.
- Bristol Meyers: Oftentimes being thorough means asking the questions nobody wants to answer. You need to know that if you're under arrest or investigation, the police and prosecutors are not your friends, and they're not my friends either. Many other criminal defense lawyers began their careers as prosecutors, working hard to put people on probation or into jail or prison. They advertise this fact as if it's a good thing, implying that they have better relationships with the prosecutors and can "get you a better deal." But what happens when aggressively fighting your case means your lawyer has to play hardball with an "old friend" from the prosecutor's office? Can you really be sure YOUR best interests are being zealously represented? Are those tough questions going to be asked?
- Frank Bryan: There is no substitute for jury trial experience. Jury trial experience gives an attorney a sense of what a jury would do under a set of specific circumstances. This perspective is invaluable to a person charged with a criminal offense. You would not likely choose a surgeon who has performed few surgeries to operate on you. In the same way, it is important to hire a skilled trial attorney to be your advocate with a jury.
- Buford & Gonzalez: Often times a Drunk Driving charge will bring with it charges for a related traffic crime such as reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter. There is an entire body of law that regulates the operation of motor vehicles on the streets and highways. The laws related to operating a vehicle can be difficult to interpret and apply. It is important to contact an experienced DUI lawyer if you have been charged with a Drunk Driving related traffic crime.
- Oscar Buitron: You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.
- Austin DWI Attorney: POSSIBLE PUNISHMENTS CIVIL COURTS If convicted of a DWI offense for the 1st time the Department of Public Safety seeks to suspend the driver's license for no less than 90 days and no more than a year. If this is a second alcohol related incident, the DPS will seek license suspensions of no less than one year. CRIMINAL COURTS If this is a first time arrest for DWI, it will be classified as a Class B misdemeanor. The punishment range for a Class B DWI is not less than three (3) days in jail and a two thousand dollar ($2000) fine. As with DUI, alcohol education classes, community service, probation and court costs are all possibilities when facing a DWI conviction. In addition, according to recent Texas laws, the DPS is required to collect a surcharge from individuals convicted of a DWI. For those who either did not provide a sample or provided one of 0.15 BAC or less the surcharge is $1,000 per year for three years. For those who had a 0.16 BAC or higher the surcharge is $2,000 dollars per year for three years. To make sure you are as educated as possible have a defense attorney inform you of how to build a strong defense.