Galveston DWI Defense Attorneys
Work with a Nationally Recognized Criminal Defense Firm
A driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction carries both criminal and administrative penalties as well as the collateral ramifications of increased car insurance premiums and a permanent criminal record that may follow you forever. Zendeh Del & Associates, PLLC thoroughly understands the legal, technical, and scientific aspects of this field of law and has an excellent track record of securing acquittals for our clients. Because of the serious nature of the punishments involved, this is the kind of representation you need.
Many firms say they handle DWI cases, but our Galveston DWI lawyers are nationally recognized for their competence, skills, and proven results in trying these cases. Our attorneys even have extensive training in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and blood alcohol & breath science, which we use to determine if tests were administered lawfully and that your rights were upheld. With so much on the line, choose a Galveston DWI attorney who has the experience and knowledge to fight for you and win.
What are the DWI Penalties in Texas?
A first-offense DWI is charged as a Class B misdemeanor.
It is punishable by:
- A minimum of 72 hours jail time with a range of up to 180 days
- Fines of up to $2,000
- A license suspension of 90 days up to a year
If the offense involves an open container of alcohol, the minimum jail time may be extended to six days. A standard DWI is based on a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or law enforcement observation of impairment (even if the BAC is lower than .08 percent). If your BAC measures .15 percent or higher, the DWI is charged as a Class A misdemeanor with fines raised up to $4,000.
A state jail felony occurs when you are found driving while intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 15 at the time. A conviction of this offense is punishable by six months up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000
A third-degree felony occurs when you are arrested for DWI while having two prior convictions (in Texas as well as in other states). This conviction carries penalties of two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
What are Open Container Laws in Texas?
In Texas, a person violates the open container law if the person knowingly possesses an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle that is located on a public highway, regardless of whether the vehicle is being operated or is stopped or parked.
The Texas 15 Day Rule: What You Need to Know
If you are charged with DWI, the state may take your license even before you step foot into a criminal courtroom. That is why it is vital you understand the 15-day rule. Whether you refused a breath, blood, or urine test or you took a test and it resulted in a 0.08 BAC or higher, you only have 15 days to request, in writing, a special hearing to preserve your right to drive. If you do not request this hearing, your license will be suspended.
The 15-day rule applies in the following instances:
- You were administered a breath or blood test and your BAC was over the legal limit of 0.08
- You refused a blood or breath test
- You attempted to take a test but the police said you refused
- You were under 21 when you were arrested and your test showed your BAC was .02 or higher
Our firm can represent you at your hearing to challenge the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
What to Do When You’ve Pulled Over for DWI in Texas
- Find a safe place to pull over: Do not suddenly stop, drive erratically, speed up, or pull over when it is unsafe. The officer can make note of this in the arrest report and it can be used against you.
- Do not make sudden movements: Keep your hands on the driving wheel at the “10 and 2” position. The officer will approach your vehicle from behind.
- Be polite and courteous: Understand that everything you do or say will be captured on video and can be used against you later.
- Do not lie and politely refuse to answer incriminating questions: While you are required to give the arresting officer certain details, such as your license information and proof that you carry of auto insurance, under the Fifth Amendment, you have the right not to incriminate yourself by answering any other questions.
- Refuse field sobriety tests: Field sobriety tests are not reliable and even sober people often find them difficult to pass. Politely refuse when asked.
- Refuse a breathalyzer test: These are also notoriously unreliable, especially when they are not properly maintained or calibrated. Again, politely refuse.
- After an arrest, refuse breath and blood tests: You are not required to provide a blood sample or blow a breathalyzer test in Texas and your results may be used against you.
Once released, write down everything you can remember about your arrest: This includes notes about the following:
- Where were you were going?
- How much did you drink?
- Did you intentionally or unintentionally take any drugs?
- How long after drinking or taking the drugs were you arrested?
- What did you say to the officer?
- How did the officer behave?
- How many officer and squad cars were on the scene?
- Where you read your Miranda rights?
If you were arrested for DWI, call us at (409) 204-5566 today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost of a DWI?
Unfortunately, the total expenses related to a DWI can mount into the thousands of dollars. Aside from the fines you will be assessed upon a conviction, the following may apply:
- Legal fees
- Court costs
- Bail costs
- Driver’s license surcharge for three years
- Probation fees
- Alcohol education fees
- The costs of ignition interlock device installation and maintenance
- Increased vehicle insurance premiums
What if a person was accused of DWI in a self-driving car in Texas?
Texas’ DWI laws may eventually define and prohibit DWIs in self-driving vehicles specifically, but since they don’t exist on the market yet, the law plainly prohibits intoxicated drivers from operating a vehicle. DWI statutes may remain the same despite the anticipated future of self-driving cars.
What will happen if I refuse to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test?
You will be asked to sign a statement that you refused to take the test and your license will be suspended. The arresting officer will confiscate your license and issue you a temporary one. Under the Texas law of implied consent, by accepting your driver’s license you automatically consent to take a BAC test when requested by a police officer. Refusing to do so may have consequences if you are later convicted.
Will I be able to get my license back after I’m charged?
You will have 15 days to request a hearing before an administrative law judge in which you can challenge the suspension. Having strong legal representation from one of our Galveston DWI attorneys is important to this process.
Can I get my DWI charge reduced to a lower offense?
It will depend on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. In Texas, it is permissible for prosecutors to reduce charges in certain cases. A reduced charge will lessen the severity of the penalties you will face. Where appropriate, we can fight for a reduced charge, such as reckless driving.
How long will a DWI remain on my record?
It will remain there forever unless you petition for a record sealing or expungement through the court. You must qualify for the process and submit your application. Once your record is sealed or expunged, it will not be available for public access, such as in a background check.
Experienced & Aggressive DWI Defense in Galveston
After an DWI arrest, you will likely experience a host of emotions. As the dust settles, you might be wondering if you were treated fairly, if the charges are accurate, and how this experience will affect the rest of your life. Having a top-notch attorney on your side can protect your reputation, your driver’s license, and your future. We urge you to get in touch with Zendeh Del & Associates, PLLC so that we can fight for you.
More Than 80 Years of Combined Experience
High-Quality & Personalized Service
Thousands of Cases Won
Local Attorneys Who Know The System
Available for Calls 24/7
Former Prosecutors / Retired Judge
Trained on Field Sobriety Tests, Breath Tests, and Blood Tests