Dallas Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated in the Dallas area, you may be feeling uncertain about your future; retaining the legal advice of one of our Dallas criminal lawyers could be critical to any possible reduction or elimination of the charges brought against you. Call (214) 845-7007 to set up your consultation today.
Under Texas state law, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense. The consequences of a DWI conviction can be life-altering, often resulting in license suspension, substantial fines, probation, or even prison time. At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, our driving while intoxicated lawyers in Dallas understand how allegations against you are likely to be prosecuted and therefore, how to best defend against them. Mark T. Lassiter is one of the most respected and widely-recognized Dallas DWI defense lawyers in the state, and he knows what it takes to mount a strong, effective defense against the charges you are facing.
Types of DWI and Alcohol Charges We Can Handle
There are a wide range of alcohol-related charges that individuals can face, all of which carry potentially devastating consequences if an individual is convicted. Make sure you have the representation necessary to protecting yourself and your future when facing the following alcohol offenses:
- Driving while Intoxicated (DWI)
- Driving under the Influence (DUI)
- Boating while Intoxicated (BWI)
- Intoxication Assault
- Intoxication Manslaughter
Whether it is for a first or repeat offense, if you have been arrested and charged with an alcohol-related crime, you need an experienced Dallas DWI lawyer in your corner fighting for you.
Driving While Intoxicated Penalties in Dallas
A driving while intoxicated conviction in Dallas can carry with it a frightening array of consequences. If you are found guilty of driving while intoxicated, a judge may sentence you to one or more of the following, depending on various aspects of your case:
- Fines of up to $2,000 for first-time offenders and up to $10,000 for repeat offenders
- Jail time of up to 180 days for first-time convictions and up to 10 years for repeat convictions
- License suspension of up to one year for first-time DWI offenders and up to two years for repeat offenders
- Annual fees to retain your driver’s license ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 for three years
Moreover, a driving while intoxicated conviction may have serious personal and professional consequences, some of which may be exceedingly difficult to overcome. Contacting a driving while intoxicated attorney as early on as possible is essential to the success of your defense.
Consequences of a DWI Conviction
Other issues that may result after being convicted of a DWI charge range from civil proceedings in any family related matters (if you are a parent) to detrimental effects on your personal and professional reputation. If you have children, it is possible that Child Protective Services (CPS) may investigate you and start an inquiry regarding your drinking habits, especially if you are already in the middle of a divorce or a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. Calling a DWI attorney to assist you with your defense is a key to preventing a conviction, thus decreasing the possibility of these additional civil-case issues.
Furthermore, if you have personal and professional goals, a DWI conviction can lead to the delay or derailing of these ambitions. For instance, if you are seeking professional license in a particular field (such as law or medicine), you may find it difficult to obtain the license and end up facing a more unstable and uncertain future than the one you planned for yourself. If you want to keep all of your personal and professional opportunities open and available to you, call (214) 845-7007 today to speak with an attorney from the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter about your case.
Protecting Your License After a DWI Arrest
When a person is arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense in the state of Texas, they frequently risk losing their license. Unfortunately, being unable to legally drive can have serious effects on your life, including making it difficult, if not impossible, to get to and from work. Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your license or retain the right to drive legally, including:
- Driver’s License Hearings
- Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
- Occupational Driver’s Licenses
While there are things that can be done to protect your license, you only have a limited amount of time to take action, making it critical to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible.
How Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter Can Help
While you may be tempted to handle a DWI case on your own, this area of law (and this type of charge) can get complicated very quickly. Understanding your rights, what the law requires, what the judge has discretion in ordering as a punishment, and what the difference is between a good offer and a bad offer from the prosecutor are all aspects of a DWI defense strategy that only a trained and experienced attorney can offer. Only a DWI attorney who knows these nuances will be able to protect your interests adequately. Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter can help you strategize for the best defense in your case or negotiate the best offer applicable to your situation. Take the following examples into consideration and see for yourself how having a DWI attorney is in your best interest:
- Plea Bargaining Assistance: Many prosecutors will offer a charge called “Obstruction of Highway” if they feel that a DWI case is not strong enough to stand on its own and result in a DWI conviction. When they have these doubts, they will offer those charged with DWI the option of pleading guilty to the less severe crime of obstruction of a highway. But why should you accept a plea bargain for this crime if the prosecutor thinks there may be issues with the case at hand? This is when our office can step in to negotiate on your behalf and help you avoid convictions for any charges, DWI or otherwise.
- Arrest Analysis: There are often deficiencies or problems with an arrest that can make it possible to mount a successful defense against a DWI charge. Arrest analysis includes putting into question the field tests performed upon being pulled over by a police officer, probing into the maintenance and calibration of breathalyzer equipment at the police station, and presenting alternative theories for why a police officer may have observed common symptoms of intoxication where no intoxication existed. Hacking these arguments on your own can prove to be overwhelming and difficult. Contacting an attorney who makes this their job and knows what a “good arrest” versus a “bad arrest” looks like is the best way to help you successfully defend against DWI charges by questioning the nature of the arrest.
- Interlock Device Installation Prevention: Many people are unaware that if you have been convicted of a DWI two or more times in the past five years, a judge can order the installation of an interlock device on your car’s ignition switch. The device detects, through breath, whether or not you are legally intoxicated and prevents you from starting your car. Putting up the best defense is always important, but it becomes even more critical if you are a repeat offender. Trying to defend against such a charge yourself, whether it is your first DWI or your third, is taking the risk that you will be convicted again and have this punishment ordered, in addition to the penalties applicable to your repeat offender status.
- Avoiding Child Endangerment Escalation: If you were caught driving while intoxicated with a passenger who is under the age of 15, it is possible for charges of child endangerment to be added to your case. If this happens, you may face higher fines of up to $10,000, lose your license for 180 days, and serve jail time of up to two years. Finding yourself in this situation can get very complicated, and you will need an experienced attorney to navigate the murky waters to avoid any further escalation, if possible. Contacting the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter to handle your case can help mitigate the sentencing and charges, as applicable to your situation.
These are just some of the ways a driving while intoxicated case can be addressed, attacked, and handled. Knowing what to expect in this area of law when you are not an attorney is a challenging undertaking, and any attempt to mount a defense on your own may lead to conviction and more severe penalties. Contact the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter at (214) 845-7007 as soon as you are charged with driving while intoxicated to ensure that you have an experienced, knowledgeable lawyer in your corner to protect your rights.
5 Tips for DWI Defense in Texas
If you’ve made the mistake of having one too many drinks before getting behind the wheel, there is a likelihood of getting charged with a DWI. An officer may have you do a field sobriety test or blow into a breathalyzer to test your blood alcohol content (BAC) if they pull you over. You may go to jail and have a DWI on your record if you exhibit clear signs of intoxication or your BAC is above the legal limit.
While a DWI is definitely not an ideal situation, there are options at hand to help you. When you use the right strategies post-DUI, you can minimize the negative impacts that this situation will have on your future. Here are 5 tips to minimize the impact of your recent DWI in Texas:
When pulled over, don’t be your own worst enemy
The evidence is about to pile up against you the moment you’re pulled over after drinking unless you consciously decide not to work against yourself. The officer will ask you questions and may ask you to perform some field sobriety tests, like walking the line, but remember that you always have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. Be cooperative, but don’t give the officer any evidence that they can use against you later.
Hire a good DWI attorney
This may go without saying, but your first step in minimizing the negative impacts of your recent DUI is hiring a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to back your case. Do your research to find a DUI defense attorney in Texas that has a track record of good results and will help defend your rights. Once you’re arrested, it’s your constitutional right to speak to an attorney (legally known as the Right to Counsel). If this right is denied, the entire case will be thrown away.
Gather all your evidence
A strong defense will have strong evidence, so make sure to gather all the evidence that will support your case as soon as you can. Things like the police tape and blood testing procedure can have an impact on the final charges, whether for or against you. Make sure your attorney is well-versed in the use of evidence in a defense case and has a history of success in these types of cases.
Present a quick plea
Oftentimes, if you read your plea case out quickly and concisely, it can help avoid more serious charges. It’s often more beneficial to plead guilty and accept lesser charges than to fight against all charges, which can lead to more serious repercussions if ultimately charged guilty.
Make sure you hire ONE attorney!
Be aware that some law firms or offices will assign multiple attorneys to your case. You might be talking to a different attorney each time you go into the office, and have someone new representing you in court. You may even be working with a green attorney who has never worked on a DUI case before. Make sure that the attorney you start with is experienced with these kinds of cases and is the same one who will be standing up with you in court. You might pay more, but it will ultimately be worth it to reduce your charges.
Contact a Dallas Driving While Intoxicated Defense Lawyer Today
While the law outlines DWI charges in black and white terms, they are not as clear-cut when it comes to strategizing defenses. With all the variables the charge presents, the various ramifications one can incur, and the fact every person’s case is unique, you should contact an attorney to assess your situation and defend you and your interests.
At the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter, our Dallas DWI defense attorney understands the impact a DWI conviction can have on an individual and his or her family. However, you do not have to face these potential consequences alone; call (214) 845-7007 today to speak with one of our driving while intoxicated attorneys today to begin building your case.