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Frequently Asked Questions about Texas DWI

Answered by Our Dallas DWI Attorney

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you likely have many different questions about your situation and available options. On this page, our knowledgeable attorney at BLWLEGAL GROUP answered several of our clients’ most frequently asked questions. If you have further questions about the answer we gave or if you do not see your question listed below, contact us today at (469) 290-0491 and schedule a free consultation. We can sit down with you and help you figure out your next best steps for moving forward.

Call BLWLEGAL GROUP today at (469) 290-0491 or contact us online to learn more about our DWI attorney in Dallas and how we can help you.

What Is an ALR Hearing?

If you have been arrested and charged with DWI in Texas, you probably either failed or refused a blood, breath, and/or field sobriety test. If this is the case, your Texas driver’s license has been suspended. In certain situations, individuals are eligible to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing, where they can contest the driver’s license suspension. However, these individuals only have 15 days from the date of their arrest to request an ALR hearing, which is why it is imperative to contact a knowledgeable DWI attorney as soon as possible if you are facing these charges. An individual can request an ALR hearing by following the instructions on their notice of suspension, but it is recommended that a lawyer handles it. When the hearing takes place, an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will hear evidence from both parties and issue a final decision which will be sent to the parties. This decision is appealable. If the ALJ finds that the Department of Public Safety (DPS) did not adequately prove its case, the individual’s driver’s license will not be suspended. If the ALJ finds that DPS did prove their case, the individual’s driver’s license will be suspended. An attorney can protect your rights and guide you throughout every step of this complex legal process.

What Is an Occupational License?

If an individual is convicted of DWI in Texas, their driver’s license is typically suspended. If this is the case for you, you likely have no way to get to and from work, buy groceries, or travel long distances. However, you may be eligible to qualify for a Texas occupational license. This type of license will allow you to do restricted driving during your license suspension so long as you follow the rules. The restrictions will limit where you can drive, when you can drive, and for how long you can drive. The process of obtaining an occupation license is lengthy and complex, which is why it is advisable to retain an experienced attorney who can guide you throughout every stage. At BLWLEGAL GROUP, our DWI lawyer in Dallas can help you apply for this license while ensuring your rights and best interests are strongly represented.

I’ve Been Charged with DWI. What Do I Do Next?

If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, hire a skilled attorney immediately and call BLWLEGAL GROUP at (469) 290-0491. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you negotiate a favorable plea agreement, communicate with court officials on your behalf, request an administrative hearing in order to challenge the suspension of your license, and may even be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed completely. It is recommended that you do not say anything to law enforcement officials until you have your lawyer present. Be polite, but remember that you have the right to remain silent. This is advisable because even if you are simply trying to explain your side of the story and convince them of your innocence, they may be able to use your words against you later on. An attorney can protect your rights, fight for your best interests, and guide you through the legal process.

What Are Blood & Breath Alcohol Tests?

Texas has an implied consent law, which requires all motorists who are legally arrested for DWI to submit to chemical testing to determine their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of drugs in their system. In order for an arrest to be considered legal, the arresting officer needs to have probable cause to believe that you are operating your motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This officer will decide which of the two tests you will have to submit to: Blood or breath. However, after you have submitted to the test, you have the right to have a blood test taken by a medical professional within two hours of your arrest. Typically, you are not forced to take a blood or breath test, but if you refuse, your license will be suspended, you will be fined, and you could face jail time if convicted. BAC testing is mandatory, however, if you have one prior DWI conviction with a child in the car, a prior conviction for intoxication manslaughter, a prior conviction for intoxication assault, or two prior DWI convictions. It is also mandatory if you are involved in an accident that resulted in death or serious injury.

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

If an officer pulls you over and suspects that you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may ask you to submit to a field sobriety test.

There are three types of field sobriety tests, which include the:

  • One-leg stand. You will be asked to stand with one foot about half a foot off the ground. Then, you will be asked to count out loud until the arresting officer asks you to put your foot down. This will last for about half a minute, during which time the arresting officer will look for any sign of impairment, which includes putting your foot down, hopping to maintain balance, using arms to balance, and swaying while balancing.
  • Walk-and-turn. This test is what it sounds like. You will step, heel-to-toe, nine times in a straight line. Then, you will pivot and do the same in the opposite direction. The officer will look for a loss of balance, an incorrect number of steps, or an improper turn.
  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus. This test involves the officer displaying a small flashlight or pen in front of your eyes and slowly moving it back and forth horizontally. The officer looks to see if your eyes jerk or if your eyes cannot follow the object.

The officer may ask you to submit to a combination of the tests or just one. However, you should be aware that you have the right to refuse any of these tests. While there are no penalties for refusal, you may experience certain consequences. For example, a jury may infer that your refusal to take a field sobriety test is evidence that you were intoxicated. An officer may also use your refusal to determine probable cause and arrest you.

I’ve Been Convicted of DWI. How Does It Affect My Criminal Record?

The penalties for a DWI conviction depend on many different factors, including how many prior offenses you have, what your BAC was, if anybody was injured or killed, and more. To determine what your penalties may look like, contact BLWLEGAL GROUP for a free consultation and speak with a knowledgeable DWI attorney in Dallas.

In Texas, a first-time conviction where you had a BAC of less than 0.15 may result in a driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days, a fine of up to $2,000, and a jail sentence from 3 days to 180 days. If your BAC is over 0.15, however, the possible jail sentence is increased to 1 year and the potential fine is escalated to up to $4,000. There are factors which increase the severity of the crime and bring about more serious penalties. For example, if this was a subsequent offense, if you had an open alcohol container in your car, or if you had a child passenger, your charges become much more serious.

Just like any other crime, DWI affects your criminal record. For example, a first-time conviction with a BAC less than 0.15 is a Class B misdemeanor. While it is not as severe as a felony, it is still extremely serious and should be treated as such. Even a misdemeanor conviction can make it harder for you to gain housing, apply for certain loans, find employment, and more. In short, it will restrict your future opportunities in various aspects of your life. This is why it is so important to retain experienced representation and fight these charges tooth and nail. Call (469) 290-0491 today and learn more about how we can help you.

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  • State Bar of Texas
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Skilled Legal Counsel From BLWLEGAL GROUP

  • Unique understanding and skills from a former prosecutor
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We are eager to put our experience, intense knowledge of the law, and hands on approach to every case to fight for you. You deserve that.