Pearland DWI/DUI Lawyer
Texas police and prosecutors are extremely serious about drunk driving. Drunk driving is considered a dangerous state-wide issue, and prosecutors are not afraid to throw the book at a defendant accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Depending on the circumstances, a conviction for DWI can lead to revocation of driving privileges, hefty fines, and extensive jail time. If you have been arrested for DWI, you need a seasoned legal representative on your side as soon as possible.
Dedicated Texas DWI defense law firm Keith B. French Law, PLLC is ready to help. The Firm’s Pearland DWI/DUI defense lawyer has extensive experience defending clients against all manner of charges, along with a deep well of trial experience in private and government practice. Whether Keith B. French Law can get your charges dropped, negotiate you a favorable plea, or stand by your side through trial and beyond, Keith B. French Law is with you every step of the way. The Firm represents clients charged with all manner of vehicular offenses, including misdemeanor and felony charges.
Defining DWI/DUI Under Texas Law
Texas law prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Often referred to as “driving under the influence” (DUI) in other states, Texas law specifically prohibits “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) due to alcohol or drugs. Texas DWI laws prohibit all persons from operating any motor vehicle (car, boat, etc.) when they:
- Have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, or
- Are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol
While having a BAC of 0.08 can be used as de facto proof of intoxication and DWI, a driver can be charged with DWI with a lower BAC so long as they “lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to alcohol, drugs, or any other substance. Additionally, drivers under the age of 21 are subject to Texas’s “zero tolerance” laws which prohibit driving after ingestion of any amount of alcohol. A minor may be charged with DUI (as opposed to DWI) with any detectable level of alcohol in their system.
You Can Get a DWI Without Driving
The Texas DWI statute punishes drivers for “operating a motor vehicle in a public place” while intoxicated. The statute is not technically limited to driving, and courts have interpreted the language in the statute broadly. Getting behind the wheel and turning the engine on while intoxicated may be sufficient to trigger DWI liability, should a defendant face a particularly overzealous police officer and prosecutor.
Penalties for DWI Conviction
The penalties for DWI conviction vary depending on whether it’s a first offense, whether there were passengers in the car, whether the defendant had an open container in the car at the time, and whether anyone was injured. Multiple offenses or other aggravating circumstances can lead to serious felony charges and extended prison time.
The penalties for a Texas DWI conviction are as follows:
- First Offense: A first-time DWI conviction can lead to license suspension for up to a year, up to 180 days in jail, and up to $2,000 in fines. If the driver had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, the charges may be more severe even on a first offense.
- Second Offense: A second DWI conviction can lead to license suspension for up to two years, one month to one year in jail, and up to $4,000 in fines.
- Third Offense: A third DWI conviction is punishable as a felony. The driver may lose their license for up to two years, face up to $10,000 in fines, and be sentenced to two to ten years in prison.
- Driving With an Open Container: Possessing an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, even while the car is parked, is punishable as a misdemeanor and a fine of up to $500.
- DWI With a Child Passenger: Driving drunk with a minor under the age of 15 is punishable as a felony. Defendants face up to two years in jail, up to $10,000 in fines, and an additional 180 days without a driver’s license.
Intoxication Assault and Vehicular Manslaughter
In Texas, a driver who causes a person serious bodily injury due to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated can be charged with Intoxication Assault. Intoxication Assault is a third-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison. If the victim is killed, the driver may be charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Call Keith B. French Law to Defend Your Rights and Your Freedom After Pearland DWI/DUI Charges
If you have been charged with DWI in Pearland, contact Keith B. French Law, PLLC. Attorney Keith B. French makes sure everyday Americans get the same stellar legal defense as the wealthy elite. The Firm represent defendants charged with DWI and all manner of vehicular crimes including vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, and public drunkenness. Call Keith B. French Law today for a free consultation and find out how the Firm can protect your family, your freedom, and your future.