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Posted on in DWI

Karnes County dwi attorneySo people use these terms interchangeably but really in Texas, they're very different things. DWI is an acronym for "Driving while Intoxicated." While DUI stands for "Driving Under the Influence."

Which charge is worse?

DWI is much much worse than DUI. In the DWI case the state has to prove intoxication which is a high standard. They have to prove that you either had a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.08 or that you had lost the normal use of your mental or physical faculties. Conversely, in a DUI, all the state has to prove is that someone under the age of 21 had any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. The idea here being that people under the age of 21 aren't supposed to be drinking alcohol at all. So even a sip of alcohol and then getting behind the wheel can have you be found guilty for DUI.

What are the punishment differences?

So in Texas a DWI, even for a first-time offender can result in up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. While in a DUI, the state is limited in their punishment options. The maximum punishment is a $500 fine, some community service hours, may be an alcohol awareness class, but certainly no jail time at all.

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Posted on in DWI

Texas DWI attorneySure, so we've all seen this on TV and in movies. This is where an officer suspects somebody of driving while intoxicated. They pull them over, they're on the side of the road, they're gonna ask you to perform a series of tests to try to determine whether you're intoxicated, whether it'd be safe to be driving or not.

What are the three types of field tests?

So in Texas, officers use three basic field sobriety tests and as a former DWI prosecutor, I can tell you that these tests are designed for you to fail. The first test is going to be the one leg stand. In this test, the officer is going to ask you to lift one of your feet six inches off the ground and begin to count. The officer during this test we'll be watching you for swaying, watching you for losing your balance, watching really everything you do for any signs of intoxication. The second test is the walk and turn. In this test, the officer is going to ask you to imagine a line on the ground, follow that line nine steps, do a turn, do nine steps back. Same thing as the first test, he's looking for swaying, he's looking for using your hands for balance, he's looking for you taking the wrong amount of steps. The third test is the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test or the HGN. This is where an officer uses the pen and asks you to follow with your eye. The officer is looking for involuntary twitching of your eyeball. If your eye is twitching, he's going to count that as a clue, as a reason why he believes that you're intoxicated. All three of these tests are called Divided Attention Tests, meaning they're asking you to do one thing physically, while also giving you something to do mentally. It's the same as when you initially get pulled over. First thing the officer is gonna do is ask you to pull out your driver's license while simultaneously asking you where you're coming from. The idea here is to give you something to be thinking about while also physically asking you to do something, trying to come up with signs of intoxication, trying to make it appear as though you're confused or stumbling or intoxicated.

What happens if I don't do well on a test?

So a lot of people don't do well in these tests. Whether it's because of age, nervousness, or even an old injury. There's a thousand reasons why people don't do well on these tests. That being said, it's not the final word intoxication and a good lawyer can educate both the judge and a jury about the pitfalls and the problems in these tests and why your failure to do well might not necessarily be due to intoxication and might be due to one of many other reasons.

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Posted on in DWI

Wilson County Drunk Driving Attorney

What is the definition of "Driving While Intoxicated"?

So in Texas DWI is an acronym for "Driving While Intoxicated." Now we've all heard the phrase don't drink and drive. Believe it or not, that's not actually the law. There's a lot of phrases people use like being hammered, being drunk, being tipsy that actually have no legal meaning. In Texas, the key term is intoxication. The law says you cannot be intoxicated and drive a vehicle on a public roadway.

What are the definitions of intoxication in Texas?

So in Texas intoxication has three distinct definitions. The first is the loss of your mental faculties, the second is the loss of the normal use of your physical faculties, and the third is having a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.08.

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Wilson County DWI AttorneySo, this is not the time to be looking at general practitioners or family law lawyers that do a little criminal defense on the side. DWI law is incredibly complicated and constantly changing. You're going to want to look at people who specialize in criminal offense and who specialize in DWI defense. You're going to want to look at reviews, awards, more specifically you're going to want to look for people who used to be DWI prosecutors. People who are used to working on the other side of the table, people who used to work with police officers and judges in prosecuting DWI cases.

How long do I have to get my DWI taken care of?

Expect to move quickly. You have 15 days following your DWI arrest to challenge your license suspension. What this practically means is that if you want to continue driving, you need to move quickly in hiring that DWI or criminal defense attorney. A good DWI lawyer will start working on your case immediately, both in crafting a defense as well as devising a plan to keep you driving.

I don't have a lot of time. How do I get through this charge?

So the truth is DWIs simply take a while. Crowded court system, over crowded dockets, lab results taking longer than they probably should -- all complicate and lengthen the DWI process. Now, look, DWIs are part of life. We've represented doctors, nurses, teachers, who've all had DWIs; and the truth is, you're going to get through it. People do get past a DWI arrest, but you need to have patience. Most DWIs should and aren't resolved quickly, but hiring an experienced criminal defense and a DWI attorney is a great first step in putting this problem behind you. DWIs happen, but if you act correctly and you hire the right representation, you can often minimize the penalties and the effect it will have on your life and your future.

Wilson County Felony DWI Attorney

What is the difference between DWI and DWI with a child passenger?

So the Texas Legislature has continually added additional and stricter DWI offenses. In 2003 they added DWI with a child passenger and they enhanced the punishment range on this offense from a traditional misdemeanor offense to a state jail facility offense. Now a state jail offense in the state of Texas is punishable by up to two years in the state jail facility, with a minimum confinement of 180 days and up to a ten thousand dollar fine. It's important to note with this offense that it doesn't matter if the child is a member of your family, it doesn't matter if anybody was hurt or injured, the allegation alone that you had a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle, and you were alleged to be intoxicated is enough to support this felony offense.

What are other complications involved with DWI with a child passenger?

So DWI with a child passenger is just a bad scene all around. We've certainly seen situations where somebody is drinking wine at lunch, there's a minor fender-bender, the police get called and all of a sudden you have a serious felony DWI charge. Even worse still depending on the jurisdiction, child endangerment charges may be filed against you; and even worse CPS or Child Protective Services may get involved. All these things could affect your future, your freedom, even your parental rights. DWI with a child pastor is such a serious charge that it's important to be aware of the issues in the law surrounding it.

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