Drunk driving penalties in Texas are extremely harsh and designed to deter repeat offenses. Drivers who have a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration) are considered legally intoxicated and can be charged with a DWI.
DUI and DWI penalties can include monetary fines, suspension or revocation of your driver’s license, community service and jail time, depending on the circumstances. The steps immediately taken after a drunk driving arrest in Texas have a huge impact on the outcome of your case.
Whether you were wrongly accused or suffered a lapse in judgement, follow these five steps to protect your rights after a DUI/DWI arrest.
Hire an experienced DUI defense attorney
Exercise your right to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced DUI defense lawyer will outline your best strategies for building a solid defense, offer further protections from illegal searches or self-incriminations, and is your best resource for fighting a drunk driving conviction.
Take detailed notes
Being pulled over for suspected DUI is a stressful and frightening experience, but it’s important to remain calm and take some time to write down everything that happened just before, during and right after the arrest. These details should be conveyed to your attorney, who can use them in crafting a line of defense. Make a note of where you were pulled over, what time, and what type of BAC test was administered. What questions were asked by the police officer and how did you respond? Did law enforcement offer other tests besides a breathalyzer?
Identify potential witnesses
Your lawyer can assist in finding key witnesses who may be willing to testify on your behalf and strengthen your case. Witnesses may offer character testimony or speak to your condition before the DUI arrest. These could be friends, co-workers, family or anyone who was with you just before you were pulled over.
Change social media settings to private
The pictures and information you post on social media sites like Facebook can be used against you by prosecutors to turn jurors against you. Images and posts may be taken out of context, and used to damage your reputation and secure a conviction. Remove pictures/material that may be even remotely incriminating and ensure your Twitter and Facebook profile settings are private.
It takes time and resources to investigate, gather evidence and mount a compelling DUI defense. It may take anywhere from one to three months after the arrest before prosecution dismisses charges, or the decision is made to negotiate a plea deal or argue your case before a jury.
DWI defense in Dallas
If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Texas and want to protect your future and potentially keep your record clean, it’s crucial to enlist the services of a reputable Dallas DUI defense lawyer like Jeff King. Leveraging more than 15 years of experience handling complex cases, Jeff King will work tirelessly to launch a solid defense and minimize the legal ramifications of a DUI arrest.
Additional “Texas DUI Arrest” Resources:
- Texas Penal Code, CHAPTER 49. INTOXICATION AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE OFFENSES http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm
- Texas DMV, DUI & DWI in Texas http://www.dmv.org/tx-texas/automotive-law/dui.php
- Texas Department of Transportation, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/traffic/safety/sober-safe/intoxication.html