Federal DWI Defense Lawyers Defending Drunk Driving Charges across the US
We’ve all heard the stories, seen the ads, and heeded the warnings about the dangers of drunk or impaired driving. All too often, drivers are putting their own lives (and those of others) at risk by having some drinks and then hopping behind the wheel of a vehicle.
That’s why the authorities in Texas have been trying to curb and crack down on drunk driving in recent years.
But in their effort to solve such an enormous problem, police cast a wide net. Too often, innocent people stand wrongly accused of drunk driving because of errant test results or illegal police tactics.
Among the many techniques adopted in Texas are the DUI and DWI checkpoints. As you may have seen yourself, state officers and even volunteers will blockade a stretch of road and require all of the drivers to stop and speak with an officer.
While the Constitutionality of those checkpoints has been hotly contested – and the courts have handed down very strict procedures that the state must follow – these checkpoints remain an extremely aggressive go-to tactic for state and local police. Indeed, checkpoints are weekly events in some parts of our state.
No one wants to see innocent people get hurt because of drunk driving. But being unfairly accused of a crime is an injustice all its own.
In most cases, police assess potential impairment by testing a driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level. But even in the 21st century, BAC testing technology isn’t very effective. The “breathalyzer” and other field sobriety tests are notoriously fickle and unreliable.
Innocent or not, if you’re facing a DWI charge, you stand to lose a lot.
The penalties for DWI in Texas include jail time, large fines, and the loss of your driver’s license. Of course, you might also find that your reputation has been forever tarnished, particularly in the event of conviction.
A drunk driving record could affect your current and/or future employment. Your auto insurance premiums could suddenly rise astronomically, too. A criminal driving record – or even the mere suspicion of one – could haunt you for a long time to come.
Our experienced team of Dallas DWI defense lawyers has frequently been able to get these charges dropped, keep driving privileges intact, and protect our clients’ reputations. Let us fight for you.
Our experienced federal DWI defense lawyers know how to handle your case and defend you in court. We will do everything in our power to get the charges against you dropped, keep your reputation intact, and empower you to move on with your life. Call us today.
Contact Oberheiden, P.C. online today.
What Constitutes a DWI?
If you’re used to hearing DWI referred to as DUI instead, or if you’re familiar with both terms but aren’t sure about the distinction between them, you aren’t alone.
Because drunk driving is typically handled at the state level, the states use their own rules and terminology. Texans who’ve lived in multiple states, or who might only be visiting here, are understandably confused by our state’s rigid drunk driving definitions.
In the State of Texas, DUI and DWI are different crimes. DWI pertains to drivers of any age who are found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Contrary to popular belief, in this case DWI stands for “driving while impaired” and not “driving while intoxicated.”
(DUI, meanwhile, is a separate charge reserved for drivers under the age of 21. It uses its own BAC standards and sentencing scheme, so it’s important to understand whether you’re dealing with a DUI or DWI in Texas.)
As in many states, the legal limit in Texas is a 0.08 BAC for adults – meaning that you must blow 0.079 or below in order to avoid DWI charges.
But a BAC of 0.08 or higher isn’t always the end of the story. A number of factors might have resulted in an errant reading, including known defects in the tests themselves. Readings that are close to the 0.08 cutoff are especially vulnerable to error.
Additional Factors Relating to DWI in Texas
DWI is typically handled as a misdemeanor in Texas. That said, certain factors can elevate the severity of the charge, including:
- Having a BAC above 0.15
- Having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle
- Causing bodily harm (or death) to someone else while driving impaired
- Having a child under the age of 15 in the car at the time of the accident
Federal DWI Charges
Specific conditions could make DWI a federal offense. Most often, federal charges will apply if the crime is committed on federal property. A common example involves drunk driving through a national park.
If you believe there is any chance that your case might involve federal charges, you need to seek experienced representation from a federal criminal defense law firm right away.
Talk to Our State & Federal DWI Defense Lawyers Today
Time is of the essence. An early and proactive defense is in your best interest. Contact our office for a free consultation right away by calling (214) 692-2171 or submitting questions on our online form.