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DUI / DWI in Texas
Richmond DWI Lawyer
If you’re arrested for DUI or driving under the influence, sometimes called driving while intoxicated or DWI, it can lead to a serious crime in Texas. If you’re arrested for a first DUI offense, then you may get away with just a misdemeanor charge. However, if you’re a repeat DUI offender or if you’ve been involved in a traffic accident causing injuries or fatalities, then you may face serious felony charges. That’s why it’s important to get in touch with an experienced Richmond DWI lawyer as soon as possible.
DUI/DWI accidents are fairly common in the country, but this doesn’t mean that you should take cases like these very lightly. It is important that you prioritize looking for a good DUI attorney in Texas who can help you with your case. At the Law Office of Annie Scott, our Richmond DWI lawyer who have years of experience in dealing with DWI/DUI cases.
Read on below to have an overview of what happens during a DUI/DWI arrest, the different types DUI charges, and the negative effects of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What Happens During an Arrest in a Suspected DUI Case
If the police suspect you of DUI, then you’ll be subject to a number of tests before you can be arrested. Anyone with a driving license in Texas will have to undergo a BAC test (blood alcohol test) if they’re suspected of driving under the influence.
If you’re involved in a car accident, then the police would have to establish probable cause that you were drunk at the time of the car crash. Once it has been established, the police may arrest you for drunk driving even without a warrant. You may be charged with DUI if you show signs of erratic driving, incoherent speech, or the smell of alcohol on your breath.
Factors Considered in DUI/DWI Charges in Richmond, TX
After an arrest, the police will charge you based on the following factors:
- Blood alcohol content (BAC)
- Past DUI/ DWI convictions
- Serious Injuries & Fatalities
Call an experienced Richmond DWI lawyer if you got pulled over for a DWI or DUI.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test.
In Texas, you will be charged with DUI if your blood alcohol reaches a level of 0.08% or higher or while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
In general, you’re considered “intoxicated” if you “lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties” as the result of drinking alcohol, drugs, or any other substance. They will determine through a field sobriety test if your driving is impaired with alcohol. Sometimes, breath alcohol forensic or breath analyzers are also used.
In Texas, zero-tolerance laws are implemented which means that it is illegal for underage drivers or those under the age of 21, to drive any vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their bodies.
Past Conviction Records for DWI
If you have a history of DUI/DWI convictions in the past, then you may face additional penalties on top of your most recent DUI charge. The penalties you’ll be charged with will depend on how many times you have been convicted for DUI in the past ten years.
For example, if you have committed three DUIs, then you may be sentenced to 2-10 years of imprisonment and fined with up to $10,000. You can continue reading below for more information on the different penalties for DWI.
Serious Injuries or Fatalities
If the vehicular accident proves fatal, then you may be charged with felony DUI with involuntary manslaughter or even aggravated manslaughter. Anyone who is convicted of this crime will serve up to 20 years of imprisonment.
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Types of DUI Charges
There are a number of charges that you can face if you’re arrested for DWI or DUI. This will all depend on the specific circumstances and facts that surround your case. For most drivers, their first drunk driving or drugged driving arrest will be charged as a Misdemeanor First Offense DUI, but under certain circumstances, it might escalate to a Felony DUI, a more serious offense. Below are some possible Texas DWI charges and their possible consequences and penalties for Class B Misdemeanor or for drivers with a BAC limit of 0.08%.
1st Offense DUI
For most drivers facing their first arrest for drunk driving, they will face charges for their first DUI offense. Penalties can include:
- Up to six (6) months in jail
- License suspension of 90 days up to a year
- Fines of up to $2,000
2nd DUI Offense
If you’re arrested for a 2nd DUI offense within ten years of your first offense, then you may face charges for a second DUI. It will be calculated from the date of your first arrest to the date of your latest arrest. Penalties for a 2nd DUI offense can include:
- Up to 1 year in prison
- License suspension for a minimum of 1 year
- Fines of up to $4,000
3rd DUI Offense
If you’re arrested for a third DUI offense in Texas within ten years of your first arrest, then you may face charges for a 3rd DUI offense. It will be calculated from the date of your first arrest to the date of your latest arrest. A 3rd DUI generally remains a misdemeanor offense is generally still a misdemeanor offense, and penalties can include:
- 2 to 10 years in prison
- License suspension for 1 to 2 years
- Fines of up to $10,000
Other DWI Offenses
Other offenses you may encounter with DUI offenses are:
- Refusal to submit a sobriety test: For a first offense, you may be punished with a license suspension for up to 180 days, and 2 years for a second offense
- DWI with a child passenger (aged under 15): you may face penalties of 180 days up to 2 years imprisonment in state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000
- DWI with BAC of 0.15% or more: If your BAC reaches a level of 0.15, you may face charges of up to 1 year of imprisonment, and up to $4,000.
Call Our Trusted Richmond DWI Lawyer Today!
If you’re facing DUI charges or if you have legal family concerns, you need an experienced Richmond DWI lawyer and Texas family attorney to be on your side. DUI charges may seem simple, but it can have lasting consequences. You need someone to defend your case and protect your rights. Contact our Richmond criminal defense law firm today.