Texas DUI Attorneys

Texas DUI Attorneys

Get Help From a Texas DUI Lawyer or Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI in Texas (Driving Under the Influence), there are two things that you need to consider:

Take your DUI charge very seriously.

A conviction for a DUI in Texas will have long lasting consequences. A criminal record can affect your employment, your future and your personal freedom.

Hire an experienced Texas DUI Lawyer or DUI Attorney who is experienced in all of the Texas DUI laws.

Understanding the different Texas DUI laws and courtroom proceedings can be a challenge. Hiring a qualified Texas DUI attorney or DWI lawyer from DUI.com whose practice concentrates on drunk driving defense can make a difference in the outcome of your DUI charge. Again, for a Texas DUI lawyer or attorney, call 1-800-852-8005 or simply click the county above to find the right Texas DUI attorney that really knows drunk driving defense and the Texas DUI law.

Each Texas DUI Lawyer at DUI.com offers an initial review of your drunk driving charge. Your inquiry is both free and confidential.

To begin fighting your DWI/DUI charge, use the drop down list above to locate a Texas DUI Lawyer in your county who knows the Texas DUI laws. But do it now, as time is very critical in your DUI defense case.

The Law on Texas DUI/DWI

In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with DUI/DWI with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration). However, a person is also intoxicated if impaired due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger, you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle.

What Happens if You’re Stopped

If you’re stopped, be ready to show your driver license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your driver license will be automatically suspended for 180 days.

Punishment for DWI varies depending on the number of convictions:

First Offense

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Three days to 180 days in jail
  • Loss of driver license up to a year
  • Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

Second Offense

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • One month to a year in jail
  • Loss of driver license up to two years
  • Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

Automatic License Revocation

The ALR law took effect January 1, 1995. ALR is a civil, administrative process unrelated to criminal court proceedings.

How ALR Works:

  • A law enforcement officer determines that there is reasonable suspicion to stop a driver and probable cause to arrest the motorist for drunk driving.
  • If the officer has reason to believe that the driver is impaired, a set of field sobriety tests is administered. If the driver performs poorly, the driver is arrested for DWI.
  • Once at a police station or sheriff’s office, the driver is asked to take a chemical test to measure his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. This is usually a breath test.
  • The officer serves the offender with a notice that his driver license will be suspended if he or she refuses to take the test or fails it (registering a .08 BAC or greater).
  • The officer confiscates the Texas driver license and issues a temporary driving permit.
  • The offender has 15 days from the date that the suspension notice is received to request a hearing. If no hearing is requested, then the suspension goes into effect on the 40th day after notice was served (usually 40 days after arrest).
  • The driver pays a $125 fee to reinstate the license after a period of suspension.
  • The ALR process also applies to individuals arrested for boating while intoxicated (BWI) who refuse to take a chemical test.

Suspension Lengths:

The offender’s license is suspended for failing the BAC test for:

  • 90 days, if a first offender;
  • One year, if previously suspended for failing or refusing the test or previously suspended for DWI, intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter conviction.

Chemical Test Refusal

A blood or breath test refusal or failure. If a person refuses or fails a blood or breath test following an arrest for driving while intoxicated, the person may receive a license suspension of 90 days up to 2 years. If the driver holds a Commercial Driver License, a breath test refusal or failure will result in an automatic one year disqualification.

The offender’s license is suspended for refusing the BAC test for: 180 days, if a first offender; Two years, if previously suspended for failing or refusing the test or previously suspended for DWI, or intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter conviction.

To reinstate the suspended license the person arrested must obtain proof of insurance (form SR-22) from your insurance company and submit to the Texas Dept. of Public Safety (DPS). The SR-22 is required for two years from date of conviction.

If a Repeat Offender’s DWI education program has been required by the convicting court, certificate of completion must be forwarded to DPS prior to the expiration of the suspension to prevent an additional revocation period.

Alcohol related offenses by a Minor. Persons under 21 years of age who are convicted of the following offenses will receive a 30 day license suspension for the first offense, 60 days for a second offense, and 180 days for a third offense.

Purchase of alcohol by a minor, Attempt to purchase alcohol by a minor, Consumption of alcohol by a minor, Possession of alcohol by a minor, Misrepresentation of age by a minor, Public Intoxication by a minor


Out-of-State Offenses

Suspended driving privilege in another state/jurisdiction. A person who has a suspended driving status in another state is not eligible for the issuance of a Texas license. If an adverse driving status appears in another state after the issuance of a Texas license, the Texas license is subject to cancellation. Texas Transportation Code 521.201, 37 Texas Administrative Code 15.87 (2).

Reinstatement Requirements

To prevent or lift cancellation of a Texas license due to an adverse driving status in another state, the driver must obtain a clear status from that state’s respective driver licensing agency. Upon confirmation of the clear status from the out-of-state licensing agency, contact must be made with Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Headquarters at 512-424-2600 in order for the clearance / compliance to be applied to the Texas driver record. For this type of cancellation, documents submitted to DPS from an out-of-state COURT are NOT acceptable as proof of compliance. Compliance must originate from that state’s driver licensing agency. An unpaid traffic citation in another state. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) may revoke a person’s license if the person has not complied with the terms of a traffic citation received in another state.

Reinstatement Requirements

Proof of payment for the out of state citation must be submitted to DPS. Proof of payment includes receipt from court, copy of money order or cashiers check, or copy of cancelled check (front and back). Upon revocation, a reinstatement fee will be required prior to the renewal/issuance of a driver license.

Out-of-State Offense. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) may suspend a person’s license upon receipt of a notice of conviction of an offense committed in another state that, if committed in this state, would be grounds for suspension.

Source: http://www.dot.state.tx.us, http://www.txdps.state.tx.us


Probation:

Frequently, your jail sentence may be probated for one year. $1,500.00 of your fine is often probated, and your driver’s license suspension is often probated. This means that you will not have to do the 180 days in jail if you fulfill certain requirements for one year, that you will only pay $500.00 of the fine if you fulfill certain requirements for one year, and your driver’s license will not be taken from you if you fulfill certain requirements for one year.

This “deal” is a contract between you and the court. The contractual terms are simple. The judge promises not to put you in jail, not to make you pay the entire fine and not to take away your driver’s license. In exchange, if you agree to the probation, you are usually agreeing to fulfill certain requirements such as the following:

  1. report once a month to a probation officer.
  2. not to commit any further crimes during the term of probation.
  3. to pay a monthly supervisory fee to the probation office (approximately $40.00).
  4. to perform a specified number of community service hours during the term of your probation (between 24 and 80 hours) (community service is volunteer work to benefit the community).
  5. to attend DWI awareness classes dealing with the effects of alcohol or listening to victims of DWI related tragedies.
  6. to abstain from consuming alcohol for the term of your probation.
  7. to pay your non-probated fines and court costs.
  8. 8) to submit to a breath test by law enforcement or court personnel upon request.
  9. to install an alcohol ignition interlock device on your car and only drive a car equipped with such as device.
  10. to make a $50.00 donation to M.A.D.D. and/or Crime Stoppers.
  11. to remain within the county of your residence unless given permission by the court to leave it.
  12. any other requirements the court sets for you.

These requirements may vary, and the Judge is not required to offer probation.

Texas Implied Consent Law: If arrested for DWI, you may refuse to take the requested test. However, such a refusal can result in the following penalties:

  • Suspension of your driving privileges for 180 days if this is your first arrest for DWI. An ALR hearing is a civil action separate from the criminal case where the Department of Public Safety will attempt to suspend your license for your refusal or failure to take the offered test.

DWI Under 21:

The law states that a minor commits an offense if he or she operates a motor vehicle in a public place while having any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system.

If you’re under 21, here’s what happens the first time you are stopped for drinking and driving.

  • 60-day driver’s license suspension
  • up to a $500 fine
  • 20 to 40 hours of community service
  • mandatory attendance in alcohol-awareness classes

If you’re under 21, here’s what happens the first time you are found in possession of alcohol.

Any amount of beer, wine or liquor will trigger these penalties.

  • 30-day driver’s license suspension
  • up to a $500 fine
  • 8 to 12 hours of community service
  • mandatory attendance in alcohol-awareness classes

First Offense Under 18: If you are under age 18 the court will require your parent or guardian to be present with you at every court appearance. Furthermore, the parent or guardian can be forced to attend by the court. Upon conviction, a minor may be fined, and will be required to complete a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 40 hours community service related to education about or prevention of misuse of alcohol. Additionally, the minor will be required to attend an alcohol awareness program sponsored by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse within 90 days. Furthermore, if the minor is under age 18, the court may require the minor’s parent or guardian to attend the program with the minor. If the minor fails to complete the alcohol awareness course within the 90 day period the court may impose an additional license suspension up to six months. For a first offense the minor may receive deferred adjudication, however, an order of deferred adjudication for DUI is considered a conviction. If the minor receives only one conviction for DUI (while a minor), that conviction may be expunged from his record after his 21st birthday.

If you’re under 18, here’s what happens if you’re stopped for drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or greater.

Some people, particularly teenagers, can reach a .08 BAC with two or three beers an hour.

  • up to a $2,000 fine
  • 72 hours to 180 days in jail
  • driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year

Other Possible First Offender Penalties:

First Offense DWI with an open alcohol container:

  • All the penalties referenced under First Offense (above), plus:
  • A minimum 6 days in jail.

DWI with a child passenger:

To drive while intoxicated if there is another person in the vehicle who is under 15 years of age is a state felony. Punishment is confinement to state jail for any term of not more than 2 years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.

DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury occurred:

This crime is called intoxication assault, and upon conviction you may serve a minimum of 2 years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000.00. (3rd Degree Felony).

DWI where a death has been caused:

This crime is intoxication manslaughter. Upon conviction you might have to pay a maximum fine of $10,000.00 and/or be imprisoned from 2 to 20 years (Intoxicated Manslaughter or Manslaughter with use of Deadly Weapon are both 2nd Degree Felonies).

Click on your county below or by calling 1-800-852-8005 to find a Texas DUI lawyer, but hurry time is important.

Select the county where your DUI/DWI in Texas occurred: