COLLIN COUNTY DWI DEFENSE ATTORNEY
From the moment you see police lights in your rear-view mirror, police officers are gathering evidence to get a DWI conviction. Such a conviction and even the DWI arrest alone can have an immediate and serious impact on your life, job, family and freedom.
Texas Crimes Involving DWI And Intoxication Charges
Whether you have been arrested for your first or fifth DWI in North Texas, the law office of J. Michael Price II has the resources, experience and ability to provide aggressive and effective defense. Our office has successfully defended hundreds of DWI cases, allowing people to keep their license and freedom.
If you have been charged with DWI, call our office immediately to make sure your rights and freedom are protected. Call us today at 214-765-8000.
Possible Consequences of a DWI
Generally speaking, a first-time DWI charge in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor, which comes with possible penalties of up to $2,000 in fines and 72 hours to 180 days in jail. You also can have your license suspended for up to one year. These charges and penalties can be enhanced if you:
- Have a blood alcohol content (BAC) over 0.15 percent
- You had an open container in the vehicle
- You had a child passenger younger than age 15
- You caused an accident and injuries or death
- You have previous DWI convictions on your record
Once you finish your court-ordered community supervision or jail sentence, you can still continue to face the consequences of your DWI conviction for years to come. This is because a DWI on your record can make it difficult to find a job that requires any type of driving. You also might face child custody issues (if your child was in the car), immigration consequences for non-citizens, and more.
It is important to work to avoid even a first-time conviction. Though the penalties for your first offense might not seem all that serious, the lasting consequences will impact many aspects of your life. Always have the best possible defense against your DWI charges to avoid a conviction, or discuss the possibility of an expungement if you already have a DWI conviction on your record.
How We Can Help
DWI cases can be highly complex, but they can be beat. How we reach that goal will be determined by the specifics of your case and your situation. A few examples of the approach we can take include:
- Attack the legitimacy of the stop
- Argue against the accuracy or legitimacy of the tests
- Move to suppress certain evidence
- Seek to expose improper police procedure
- Plea to a lesser offense
- Seek alternatives or treatment options
We understand how significantly any DWI offense can affect your life. License suspension alone can make it extremely difficult to manage your life and career. The state of Texas recently passed a new law helping 1st time offenders get their DWI removed. Your first DWI could be expunged if certain criteria are met. To find out if you qualify to have your DWI removed from your record, click on the links below.
- DWI Non-Disclosure in Texas
- Can You Remove a DWI from Your Record?
- How Long is a DWI on Your Record in Texas?
Does a DWI stay on your record?
Texas historically had some of the strictest laws regarding criminal records in the United States, and there was little to nothing you could do about a DWI on your criminal record. Just a few years ago, a DWI conviction meant that you would have a conviction on your record forever.
However, in 2017, the state enacted a new law in favor of first-time DWI offenders. This law allows for the possibility of having your DWI cleared and become non-accessible to prospective employers and other private parties. The law allows first offenders of DWI to seek an order of nondisclosure from the court, which essentially seals that part of your record from public access.
While this is good news for people with a single DWI conviction, you cannot expect this to happen automatically. First, you need to wait a period of time before you can file the petition with the court. These waiting periods are as follows:
- If you successfully completed six months of probation with a required ignition interlock device, the waiting period is two years
- If you completed probation but an interlock device was not part of your sentence, the waiting period is five years
- If you served a jail sentence or received time served and you had an ignition interlock, the waiting period is three years
- If you served a jail sentence or received time served and you did not have an ignition interlock, the waiting period is five years
Next, you must demonstrate that you meet all the conditions for nondisclosure. You must follow the procedures to file your petition, which are similar to the procedures to seek an expunction. If granted, not only will the court order clear your DWI conviction, but you will be able to honestly answer that you do not have a criminal conviction on job applications and other documents. Only law enforcement will retain a record of your conviction for limited purposes. In this way, an order of nondisclosure can help your future if you have one past DWI.
What happens if this is my 2nd DWI?
While a first-time DWI can often be cleared from your record to help relieve you of the lasting consequences, everything changes with a second DWI case. The charges and potential penalties increase substantially with a second charge under Texas law. Even if you had your first DWI conviction sealed with an order of nondisclosure, law enforcement and the prosecutors will still have this record and use it to charge you as a multiple offender.
If there are no aggravating factors present in your case, a second DWI is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas (in contrast to a first DWI, which is a Class B misdemeanor). Even though it is a misdemeanor charge, the penalties can still be harsh, including:
- Jail time from 30 days to one year
- Fines up to $4,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years
- Thousands of dollars in fees to keep your license
- For two DWIs in five years, you will need an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle
If you are facing a second accusation of DWI, it is imperative that you have the strongest possible defense to limit or eliminate the consequences that you face.
Is driving under the influence of marijuana a DWI?
“DWI” refers to driving while intoxicated, which does not only mean intoxicated by alcohol. The law prohibits operating a vehicle while impaired by any type of substance, including marijuana. Marijuana can impair a driver’s judgment, reaction time, focus, and more, and you can bet that law enforcement officers take it very seriously when they believe that someone is impaired by any form of cannabis. The penalties can be similar to those of an alcohol-related DWI.
If officers believe that you are under the influence of marijuana, they can arrest you. This can be a tricky situation, as there are no roadside tests for marijuana intoxication. Generally, police officers will base an arrest on their observations, including:
- The odor of marijuana
- Seeing marijuana in plain sight in the vehicle
- Bloodshot eyes
- Slower speech or reactions
- Seeming fatigued or overly sleepy
Once arrested, police can perform blood or urine tests to determine whether you have marijuana in your system. These tests are not always accurate, and having marijuana in your system does not necessarily mean you were intoxicated at the time of our arrest, as it could be from past use. These cases can be challenged, and you want the right marijuana DWI attorney handling your case.
Talk To A Board Certified Dallas Criminal Expert Today
When you have been arrested for a DWI, you need serious legal advice you can count on. Contact our office in Dallas and Plano today online or by phone at 214-765-8000 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We will put proven strategies and the experience of an attorney that has been named a Texas Super Lawyers®, a Thomson Reuters service, from 2005-2021, as published in Texas Monthly Magazine, behind your case. Mike Price is also the ONLY Criminal Attorney in Collin County that is Board Certified by both the Texas Board of Legal Specialty Certification in Criminal Law and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in Criminal Trial Law.