What You Need To Do To Minimize The Penalties For A DWI
A DWI charge can drastically change the course of your life. Finding employment, keeping your job, and going to jail are some of the future prospects you face.
Wouldn't it be great if you could minimize DWI penalties and continue your quality of life?
Your direct actions can reduce DWI penalties and help you avoid living with extreme consequences.
What is DWI?
In the great state of Texas, DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. If you've been charged with a DWI, then you had a .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or higher.
First-time penalties include the following:
- Suspension of your license up to a year
- Up to 180 days in jail
- An annual fee up to $2,000 to keep your driver's license
- An additional fee up to $2,000
Second-time convictions escalate the penalties:
- Suspension of your license up to two years
- Up to a year in jail
- Annual fees for three years up to $2,000 to keep the license
- An additional fee up to $4,000
The more times you're convicted of a DWI, the worse the penalties become. There are also aggravating factors including other previous criminal convictions and having a child in the vehicle.
Your ultimate goal is to reduce the DWI so you can forget worrying about these penalties.
Reduce the DWI Penalties
If the case against you is strong with overwhelming evidence, your only hope may be to ask for a lighter sentence.
With excellent representation, a judge may be inclined to reduce your sentence if it's your first conviction.
The biggest concession you want the prosecution to make is to waive any jail time. In return, you may have to plead guilty to the DWI.
Prosecutors may make more concessions to guarantee a conviction and move the case along.
Ask for smaller financial penalties, a shorter license suspension, or community service in lieu of any other sentencing.
Reducing the Charges
There are times that the evidence collected against you isn't strong. Different circumstances can affect why you were charged from the beginning.
Here are a few mitigating factors that may aid in reducing your charges:
- Clean criminal record
- BAC levels are at or below the legal limit
- Improper police procedure
- DWI didn't result in an accident
- You refused a breath or blood test
- You are polite and respectful with law enforcement
- Possible misconduct
While these circumstances don't automatically mean you'll get your charge reduced or dismissed, a competent attorney can argue in your place to increase the likelihood.
If the police officer that stopped you failed to follow proper procedure in gathering evidence or reading your rights, you could have the case dismissed.
Did your DWI arrest result in an accident or injury? If you answered no, there's a possibility the prosecution will reduce your charges to public intoxication.
The advantage for you means that you can someday have the lesser charges expunged.
Refusing to take a breath or blood test means the police do not have a sample to back up their charge.
Even if you did agree to a field sobriety test, any failure to follow proper procedure on their part is favorable for you.
Always be respectful and polite to any law enforcement during an arrest or investigation. Even if you are refusing to answer questions or take tests, remain civil - this might assist you in court.
Take note of illegal searches, inappropriate questions, or any misconduct by the police.
It might be difficult to prove these allegations, but if they did it to you, there may be a discipline record or other complaints filed against them.
Fight the Evidence
Remember, it's the burden of the state to prove you were driving while intoxicated. They must show a jury or judge that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Any weaknesses in their case need to be exploited and explored to the fullest. Even a bad memory or recollection by the arresting police officer can cast doubt on their ability to convict you.
Field sobriety tests aren't always accurate, and if a device isn't perfectly calibrated, it can cause someone to fail.
Question the manufacturer about their coding and calibration of any breathalyzers or blood-alcohol machines.
In most cases, a company will refuse due to the proprietary nature of the machine; however, it will look good for you in front of a jury.
As soon as you exploit the weak chain in the prosecution's case, you should expect plea deals and reduced charges to come.
You can accept plea deals, but a strong lawyer can help push for charges to be dismissed entirely.
Call a Lawyer
Fighting the charges alone can have disastrous results. You might even make things worse for yourself. A good lawyer can question all parties involved with your arrest from the officers to lab technicians.
Your lawyer will be able to properly file motions that can assist your case. These motions can include suppressing incriminating evidence, asking for disciplinary records of police officers, and getting the radio calls right before you got pulled over.
Your chances of reducing your charges or sentence are greatly improved with the help of a DWI attorney.
You can help your case by doing research and finding discovery, but don't try and question people or investigate on your own. Not only will you mess up the work your lawyer has done, but you could be arrested for tampering with evidence or witnesses.
Let the professionals do their job fighting for you so you can focus on your personal life.
Defend Your Rights and Life
Don't settle for the negative impacts that a DWI charge can have on your life. Defend yourself to avoid the harshest DWI penalties.
Understanding the charges you're up against will increase your chances of protecting the life you have.
If you are ready to discuss your case with the best Texas attorney, contact us today.