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Can You Dismiss a DWI in Texas?

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

Can You Dismiss a DWI in Texas?

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Law enforcement in Texas arrests tens of thousands of people each year for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. It is one of the gravest crimes that police throughout the state assertively target and meets some of the strictest penalties under Texas state law.

However, if you are arrested for DWI, you have the right to defend yourself and protect your drivers license and driving record. Your first move can be to hire an experienced Texas DWI lawyer to determine if you can get the charges against you reduced or dropped.

The Legal Basis for a DWI in Texas

Law enforcement in Texas must utilize a number of factors to determine if you meet the criteria to be arrested for a DWI. Any or all of these criteria must be satisfied before a police officer can place you under arrest for and you can be formally charged with this crime.

To start, you should note that drivers of any age can be arrested for DWI in Texas. Even if you are a teenager, you can still be arrested for driving under the influence and face significant legal consequences.

However, one of the bases for you being arrested for DWI in this state involves the arresting police officer determining whether or not you have use of your full mental and physical capabilities while driving. If you exhibit behaviors like swerving erratically in traffic, for example, you could exhibit that you are not in charge of your faculties and subject to being pulled over for DWI. 

Law enforcement in Texas must also determine if you were driving your vehicle in a public location. If you were driving while under the influence on city roads or on state highways or interstates, you could be pulled over and placed under arrest for DWI. 

Finally, if your blood alcohol content is higher than 0.08 percent at the time that you are detained, you will be placed under arrest for DWI. To make this determination, the police officer that pulled you over may administer a field sobriety or Breathalyzer test, which will reveal if you are intoxicated or what your blood alcohol content level is.

Once you are placed under arrest for DWI in Texas, you will be taken to the nearest law enforcement center and booked into city or county jail on this charge. You then will be arraigned, find out how much your bail will be set and may be given the opportunity to post bond to be released before your next court date.

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Punishments for DWI in Texas

The court in charge of your case will use a number of factors to determine what kinds of punishments that you will face if you are convicted of DWI. The Texas judge assigned to your case may consider factors like:

  • Your age
  • Physical health
  • Your employment
  • Any professional licensing, like a CDL, that you possess
  • Your prior criminal history
  • Whether or not you are charged with dangerous driving
  • Whether or not anyone was injured or killed

Even first-time offenders of DWI in Texas can face significant consequences. You could be sentenced to up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $2000. You also might have your license suspended for up to 180 days and may have to pay court costs and other fines totaling as much as $10,000.

Even more, your Texas DWI conviction may stay on your driving record indefinitely. It can negatively impact your ability to obtain employment, particularly if you apply for a job in industries like teaching, security, law enforcement or transportation.

Even so, you do not have to accept the DWI charge or possible punishments without defending yourself. You have the constitutional right to retain legal representation and fight the charge against you in court. You can also pursue possibly having the charge against you dropped or dismissed entirely.

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Challenges to Texas DWI

After you are charged in Texas with a DWI, you have the legal right to challenge it. You also have the right to retain a DWI lawyer to help you with this legal process.

The process begins by requesting what is known as an Adjudicated License Revocation hearing. Your attorney will request that this hearing be held within 15 days. It will be held separately from your trial to decide the outcome of your DWI.

During the hearing, you will appear before a judge who will hear what challenges that you have to your DWI charge. Based on the evidence that you present or questions that you raise, your judge will decide if your license should be revoked or suspended.

For example, one of the contentions that you can make during this hearing or your DWI trial involves whether or not the arresting officer had due cause to pull you over. If their reasoning is weak or can be questioned easily, the judge may side in your favor, reinstate your license and drop or reduce the DWI charge against you.

Likewise, you and your attorney can argue that the arresting officer did not administer the field sobriety or Breathalyzer test properly. If the test was given incorrectly, it may have reached the wrong conclusion about whether or not you were legally intoxicated at the time of your arrest.

Your attorney may even point out discrepancies in the officer’s testimony to the judge during your hearing. If your attorney can prove that the officer gave confusion, conflicting or wrong information about your DWI or arrest, they may convince the judge to dismiss the DWI and reinstate your license.

Finally, you may have your DWI dismissed if your attorney can prove that you were not read your rights during your arrest. If you were not properly Mirandized, you might have a solid case for getting the DWI charge dropped entirely.

It takes a certain amount level of legal prowess to utilize these challenges to your advantage in court, however. Instead of attending your hearings alone, you should hire an experienced Texas DWI attorney like Greg Tsioros to represent and argue for you. Tsioros has the skills and knowledge of the state’s DWI laws to challenge the charges against you and request that the court drop them.

A DWI in Texas may be successfully challenged in court if you know what questions to raise and what evidence to present to the judge. Your first move, however, should involve hiring a competent DWI lawyer to assist you. With your attorney’s help, you may avoid harsh penalties that can come with being convicted of DWI in Texas.

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