Arlington DWI Lawyer
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a common criminal offense, but it is somewhat unique in that it can be committed even when there is no victim involved. Despite this, though, a DWI conviction can still have severe penalties. No matter the circumstances surrounding an allegation, being accused of a DWI can be a nerve-wracking experience.
If you were charged with a DWI, you have a legal right to a defense. While you may be overwhelmed and feel pressured to act quickly, it can prove beneficial to think carefully and contact a skilled attorney before proceeding. If retained, an Arlington DWI lawyer could work tirelessly to gather evidence and build a strong case in your defense, so that you do not have to enter the legal arena alone.
DWI Law in Arlington
Texas Penal Code §49.04 prohibits driving or otherwise operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. The rule here is simple: any violation of this statute is grounds for a DWI charge.
However, there are also important nuances to this statute that an accused individual should understand, and which could be explained to them by a knowledgeable Arlington DWI lawyer. For example, there are specific guidelines for how “intoxicated” is defined, as well as how law enforcement officers can gather evidence.
What it Means to be Intoxicated
The law regarding DWI’s in Arlington considers a driver to be intoxicated by alcohol if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, if the arresting officer believes that a driver is over the limit or is too inebriated to drive, an arrest can be made on these grounds alone. This means that a DWI charge can be filed even if the driver’s BAC was actually under the legal limit.
A DWI for drugs, on the other hand, does not have a legal baseline equivalent to a BAC reading. Instead, DWI cases involving drug use often rely solely on the testimony of the arresting officer. In other words, the officer has to make a determination as to whether a driver is under the influence of drugs, often without tangible evidence.
Breathalyzers and Other DWI Tests
Grounds for a DWI charge involving alcohol is often based on the evidence provided by a breathalyzer. However, these tests can be skewed by environmental factors and may not always be accurate. Similarly, field sobriety tests can be even less reliable but are still often the legal basis for a charge in Arlington. Fortunately, experienced DWI lawyers understand the uncertainties of sobriety tests and, if relevant, could work to build a case that brings them into question.
Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Arlington
There are two separate procedures for determining consequences for DWI convictions: an administrative process and a criminal proceeding. Each of these has their own steps and unique focus, which could be explained in detail to an Arlington defendant by a seasoned lawyer.
The administrative side is run by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles and deals exclusively with a defendant’s right to drive. Because the penalties of this process are limited to a license suspension, though, it is much quicker and less formal than the criminal proceedings. While this means potential penalties are less severe, it also means a defendant has fewer chances to defend against them.
The criminal process, on the other hand, can lead to jail time and a heavy fine upon conviction. Because there is more at stake than during an administrative trial, however, defendants usually have more time to prepare for the criminal process with their attorney.
How an Arlington DWI Attorney Could Help
Being charged with driving while intoxicated can be frightening and may leave you worried about your personal and financial safety and unsure of how to proceed. Fortunately, you have rights when faced with such circumstances, and an Arlington DWI lawyer could explain them to you.
If you are facing a DWI charge, seeking dedicated legal counsel may make the difference in building a successful defense. To learn more about how an attorney could help, call today.