Ellis County DWI Defense Attorney
Protecting Your Rights & Future in Ellis County, TX
Being arrested for DWI can be a frightening experience. You may be unsure of what to do next or how to protect your rights. At The Law Office of Michael J. Crawford, PLLC, our criminal defense attorneys understand the challenges you are facing and are here to help. Our Ellis County DWI defense lawyer has extensive experience handling these types of cases and can provide the strong representation you need. We will work diligently to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
What Is the Difference Between DUI and DWI in Texas?
In Texas, the terms “DUI” and “DWI” are used interchangeably. However, the state’s legal code does not actually use the term “DUI.” Instead, it uses the term “DWI,” which stands for “driving while intoxicated.”
Under Texas law, you can be charged with DWI if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If you are under the age of 21, you can be charged with DWI if you have any detectable amount of alcohol in your system. Additionally, you can be charged with DWI if you are caught driving under the influence of drugs, including prescription medications.
What Are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Texas?
The penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Generally, a first-time DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000. However, if your BAC was 0.15% or higher, you may face enhanced penalties.
Other potential penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas include:
- Driver’s license suspension
- Ignition interlock device (IID) installation
- Community service
- Required DWI education classes
- Increased auto insurance rates
- And more
If you have been charged with DWI in Ellis County, it is important to take the charges seriously. A conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, including your ability to get a job, find housing, and more. Our Ellis County DWI defense lawyer can help you understand the potential penalties you are facing and work to build a strong defense on your behalf.
What Are the Field Sobriety Tests for DWI in Texas?
When a police officer pulls you over on suspicion of DWI, they may ask you to perform a series of field sobriety tests. These tests are designed to measure your coordination, balance, and ability to follow instructions. However, they are highly subjective and can be influenced by a variety of factors, including the weather, the surface you are standing on, and more. As such, they are not always accurate indicators of intoxication.
The three standardized field sobriety tests used in Texas include:
- Horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN): This test measures the involuntary jerking of your eyes as they move from side to side. If you are intoxicated, your eyes may jerk more than usual.
- Walk-and-turn: This test requires you to take nine steps in a straight line, turn on one foot, and take nine steps back. If you are intoxicated, you may have difficulty maintaining your balance or following instructions.
- One-leg stand: This test requires you to stand on one foot for 30 seconds. If you are intoxicated, you may have difficulty maintaining your balance.
If you fail a field sobriety test, the officer may arrest you on suspicion of DWI. However, it is important to remember that you are not legally required to submit to these tests. In fact, it is generally in your best interest to politely refuse to perform them. This is because the results of the tests can be used against you in court, even if you are not intoxicated. Additionally, if you refuse to perform the tests, the officer may not have enough evidence to arrest you.
What Are the Chemical Tests for DWI in Texas?
If you are arrested on suspicion of DWI in Texas, you will be asked to submit to a chemical test to measure your BAC. The results of this test can be used as evidence against you in court. If you refuse to submit to the test, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 180 days. If you have previously refused to submit to a chemical test, your license will be suspended for two years.
The three types of chemical tests used in Texas include:
- Breath test: This test measures the amount of alcohol in your breath. It is the most common type of chemical test used in Texas.
- Blood test: This test measures the amount of alcohol in your blood. It is the most accurate type of chemical test used in Texas.
- Urine test: This test measures the amount of alcohol in your urine. It is the least accurate type of chemical test used in Texas.
It is important to note that the results of a chemical test are not always accurate. The equipment used to administer the test may be faulty or improperly calibrated, or the person administering the test may not have been properly trained. Additionally, the test may have been administered too long after you were pulled over, which can result in an inaccurate reading. Our Ellis County DWI lawyer can review the results of your chemical test and determine if it was administered properly.
How Can an Ellis County DWI Lawyer Help Me?
If you have been charged with DWI, you may be unsure of what to do next. You may be tempted to simply plead guilty and accept the consequences. However, this is not always the best course of action. A DWI conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, including your ability to get a job, find housing, and more. Additionally, a conviction can result in increased auto insurance rates and other financial hardships.
By hiring an experienced Ellis County DWI lawyer, you can benefit from:
- Case evaluation: Our Ellis County DWI lawyer can review the specific details of your case and help you understand the potential penalties you are facing. We can also help you understand your legal options and what to expect in the coming weeks and months.
- Investigation: Our defense lawyer can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your arrest. This may include reviewing the results of your chemical test, interviewing witnesses, and more. We will work diligently to uncover any evidence that can be used to challenge the charges against you.
- Defense strategy: Our Ellis County DWI attorney can help you build a strong defense strategy. This may include challenging the results of your chemical test, arguing that the traffic stop was illegal, and more. We will work diligently to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
- Legal guidance: We can guide you through the legal process and help you make informed decisions every step of the way. We will keep you updated on any developments in your case and are here to answer any questions you may have.
- Strong representation: Our lawyer is not afraid to take a case to trial. We will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case. Whether you are facing your first DWI offense or have been charged with a felony DWI, we have the experience and resources to help.
If you have been charged with DWI, it is important to take the charges seriously. A conviction can have a lasting impact on your life, including your ability to get a job, find housing, and more. Our Ellis County DWI lawyer can help you understand your legal options and work to build a strong defense on your behalf.