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DWI Frequent Questions and Answers

Arrested For DWI? We Fight For You

DWI Charges can be dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. Learn what specific DWI arrest details will determine your defense strategies and clear your record. REQUEST A FREE DWI CONSULTATION!

Can You Lose Your Driver’s License For A DWI Arrest?

Most states automatically start proceedings to suspend a person’s driver’s license immediately after an arrest for suspected DWI. Each state has a different time frame and procedure, but you will lose your license if you do not request a special hearing within a specific number of days after an arrest. In North Texas the time frame is 15 days. You have one opportunity to keep your driver’s license from being suspended. After that, it is difficult to get your license back regardless of the need or circumstances and despite the fact that a court of law may find you innocent. This is another reason why it is important to contact a DWI attorney immediately and get professional help.

Our #1 Goal is No Criminal Record & No DWI Probation

What Is DWI In Texas?

The Texas Penal Code defines a DWI, in section 49.04 as “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.”
The Texas Penal Code defines Intoxicated, in section 49.01 as “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance in the body, or having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

Is There Anyway To Fight A DWI Charge?

No matter what the situation may seem like, it is impossible to know how to fight a DWI charge without the right training. DWI is very specialized. It involves either infrared spectroscopy (breath testing) or gas chromatography (blood testing). The breath or blood test may not be admissible due to legal or scientific issues. Prosecutors do not generally collect this data (maintenance records, machine validation studies, calibration records). This is specialized data that must be obtained independently. The Coffey Firm has earned a reputation in understanding, obtaining and successfully fighting the forensics of a DWI. What may look like a totally unwinnable case may actually turn out to be a case that the state can’t meet their burden of proof.

We Have Got Your Back

When you get a DWI it is natural to feel ashamed, alone, deeply disappointed in yourself and even angry. It is also natural when falsely accused to feel deep resentment, bitterness towards the police and rage over feelings of disrespect. If you get down on yourself please know that there will always be an end to this saga. “Drink. Drive Go to Jail.” is NOT the law. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is NOT the law. Know that many good people have been where you are. If you are looking for an experienced DWI lawyer near you, know that Mimi Coffey handles most of Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and surrounding areas.

When you face a DWI charge it can be scary, intimidating, and exhausting. Throughout the process of your case, you will want a caring, knowledgeable, and hard-working team on your side. The Coffey Firm wants to help you through this process.

Each of our attorneys work hands on to ensure that you will feel comfortable, and made aware of all of your options. Our confidential evaluations are free, all you need to do is CALL US (817) 831-3100 for a FREE CONSULTATION.

Did You Know?

You can still be charged if you are under .08 despite this being the legal amount?
You can be charged for DWI based on prescription medication, marijuana, or other drugs?
Most large north Texas counties have magistrates on standby to get a warrant for blood if you refuse to give a sample of breath or blood? As a result, there is no such things as “No refusal weekend” any more.
You have a right to refuse to answer questions in a DWI? (However, you must still submit to handing over license, insurance and registration)
You have a right to refuse to perform the field sobriety tests. However, The U.S. Supreme Court does require you step out the vehicle.
The National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s standardized field sobriety tests have been subject to scientific peer review criticism? (for eg. Dr. Spurgeon Cole study, Dr. Steve Rubenzer paper)
Texas law requires submission of a margin of error for all blood tests?
There are all kinds of scientific issues and concerns with proper breath and blood testing?

The Punishment Range For A DWI IN North Texas

1st DWI: Class B Misdemeanor, 3 – 180 Days, up to $2,000 fine
2nd DWI: Class A Misdemeanor, 30 Days – 1 Year, up to $4,000 fine
3rd DWI: 3rd Degree Felony, 2 – 10 Years, up to $10,000 fine
DWI w/Child Under 15: State Jail Felony, 6 Months – 2 Years, up to $10,000 fine
** If you get charged with a DWI with a B.A.C. of over .15 you will automatically be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor**

Defending Your Reputation Is An Important Investment. You Want a BOARD-CERTIFIED Professional.

Are Blood Tests Accurate?

Blood tests are performed by gas chromatography. Accurate gas chromatography relies on validation studies that are done properly. Many validation studies across Texas do not account for other volatiles that can measure as ethanol. Blood testing is a separation science. If separation of the volatile is not done properly then the result is unreliable.

Are The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Scientific?

NO! These tests were not developed by academics or medical doctors unassociated with the government. These tests were developed by a grant from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) through the SCRI (folks who had ties to law enforcement). Cops had developed tests early on (eg. throwing coins). The SCRI just worked in conjunction with police officers in putting these and newer tests through testing. To be clear, the field sobriety tests are a product of law enforcement. They are not the law. They are not pass or fail tests, but “cues” that may or may not be relevant to intoxication.

Will I Go To Jail On A First Time DWI?

A question we hear often is whether jail time on a first DWI is mandatory. The short answer is ‘not really’. The longer answer, though, is that any conviction is technically a jail sentence. The way DWI probation works is that the court sentences you to jail time, but probates that sentence and places you on DWI probation. However, for those wishing to avoid probation on a first time DWI conviction, the law requires a minimum of 3 days. Many courts require three full days (72 hours) and will not give 2-for-1 credit on these three days.

On occasion, the court will make jail time mandatory as a condition of probation. The good news is that for a first-time DWI, this rarely occurs. This mandatory jail time as a condition usually occurs on a second or third DWI. Even then, some courts allow alternatives for this jail time, such as DWI labor detail.

Can A DWI Ruin Your Life Forever?

A DWI can certainly have an impact on immigration status/deportation, your driver’s license, a commercial driver’s license, and the ability to teach driver’s education to your child, just to name a few repercussions. A conviction will cost you in insurance and can cause job loss depending on the type of job or industry. It certainly affects how people can view your character and reputation. Like most things in life, the extent of a DWI’s effects are fact and person specific. It is our job to do everything we can to help you avoid a DWI conviction.

Can I Get Off of DWI Probation Early?

Getting off of DWI Probation early is a very common question. DWI Probation can feel very different from other types of probation with all of the additional conditions. On top of that, the cost of having an interlock device builds up over time causing financial problems. Early release of DWI Probation is a complicated subject. One the one hand, the law specifically states that one cannot end probation early on an offense under sections 49.04 – 49.08 of the Texas Penal code (i.e., the DWI sections) in Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 42A.701(g). On a deferred adjudication probation, however, the law is a bit more ambiguous.

Overall, the deferred adjudication statutes will control over the other probation statutes on a deferred adjudication probation. This means that the judge may end a DWI Deferred probation early if “the best interest of society and the defendant will be served”. Further, a successfully completed deferred probation may not act as grounds to deny/suspend/revoke professional or occupational licenses/certificates (with a few exceptions) if the person is otherwise qualified. In the end, the decision to allow for early release of DWI deferred probation is up to the judge’s discretion. Many judges listen to what probation tells them, though. So, performing perfectly on probation means that probation may give the judge a good report.

How Will A DWI Affect My License?

A DWI conviction in Texas can result in a driver’s license suspension of up to two years. The length of the suspension depends on the type of conviction and whether you refused a blood or breath test:

  1. A first-time conviction results in a suspension of 90 days to one year.
  2. A second or third conviction results in a suspension of 180 days to two years.
  3. A conviction for DWI with a child passenger results in a suspension of up to 180 days.
  4. A first-time offender who refuses a blood or breath test may face a suspension of 180 days to two years.

After the suspension, you can petition the Texas DPS to reinstate your license. The process usually takes 2-3 months and requires a reinstatement fee. An experienced DWI lawyer can help make this process easier.
A DWI conviction can also result in other penalties, such as high fines, jail time, and damage to your reputation.

Can I Get A Restricted Or Hardship License After A DWI?

A first-time offender who has been accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol, who failed the chemical test, may be eligible for an Texas hardship license. This is only applicable after the first 30 days of the suspension period and the license can be suspended for a minimum of 90 days or up to two years

What If I Refused The Field Sobriety Test Or Breathalyzer?

Even if you choose not to comply with the police officer’s request for a mandatory field sobriety test in Texas, the officer still can arrest you and use a blood draw to take a BAC measurement.

What If This Is My First DWI?

A first-time DWI in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties for a first-time DWI include:

    1. A fine of up to $2,000
    2. Between 3 and 180 days in jail
    3. License suspension for up to two years
    4. DWI intervention or education program
    5. Possible ignition interlock device

The minimum jail time is three days unless you are granted probation. Jail time is not mandatory for a first-time DWI. There are many ways to avoid or reduce jail time.
If you were driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, then it is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include up to one year in jail and/or up to $4,000 in fines.

What If This Is My Second DWI?

A second DWI in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, which is a step up from the first conviction. Penalties include:

  1. A fine of up to $4,500
  2. Jail time of 30 days to 1 year
  3. A driver’s license suspension of 180 days to 2 years
  4. An ignition interlock device as a condition of bond

Bond for repeat DWI offenders in Texas normally starts around $10,000, but can be much higher depending on the circumstances of the incident and the time between prior convictions.
It is critical to seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your second DWI charge. They can give you the best chance of mitigating or avoiding these significant consequences.

What If This Is My Third DWI?

Statutory Penalties for a Third or Subsequent DWI.
A third or subsequent DWI in Texas is very serious. You will face a third-degree felony charge, punishable by: Up to 10 years in prison, or a minimum of 10 days in jail if probation is granted. A fine up to $10,000.

Can A DWI Affect My Eligibility For Global Entry?

In general, all United States citizens and lawful permanent residents possess eligibility to apply for Global Entry. This is a program through Customs and Border Protection that allows for expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. That said, Customs my deny eligibility for a variety of reasons such as providing false information on the application and a finding of customs violation for *any* country (not just US Customs violations).

However, there are 3 important reasons related to criminal defense that everyone should know. First, Customs may deny eligibility if you have been denied for the purchase of a firearm. This restriction is important because firearm restrictions may, on occasion, be a condition of a criminal charge, even if the charge is dismissed. Further, a denial of a firearm purchase may show Customs that you are not a “low-risk” traveler based on the reason for denial.

Second, Customs may deny eligibility if you are the subject of an *ongoing investigation* by law enforcement. In other words, even if the State has not yet charged you with or convicted you of a crime, a pending investigation may result in denial of Global Entry. For example, if someone called the police but they made no arrest pending investigation, that would fall under this reason for denial of eligibility.

Finally, and most importantly, Customs may deny eligibility upon conviction, pending charges, or outstanding warrant for *any* criminal offense. This means a pending DWI or a DWI conviction could result in a denial of Global Entry. By extension, this language means that even a ticket might result in denial of eligibility. This may even include deferred adjudication probation where the court makes no actual finding of guilt.

DWI Attorneys and DWI Lawyers – Call Now! Time Is Very Important