Aggressive Federal Intoxication Defense Lawyers
Enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage is certainly no crime. Frankly, being drunk isn’t illegal either. Many adults in Texas responsibly consume alcoholic beverages, and some occasionally choose to become intoxicated. Unless and until someone else is put in danger, that decision isn’t any of the government’s business.
You might be surprised to learn, though, that Texas has a number of statutes that criminalize intoxication in various contexts.
The severity of the charges varies, but anyone charged with an intoxication offense in Texas should take the matter seriously. Your reputation, record, and even your freedom could be on the line.
Public intoxication is a common charge in Texas, often coming at the end of a night out on the town. There is a lot of confusion about the definition of public intoxication under the Texas criminal code, though, and the police often get it wrong.
To be clear: It is not a crime to be in public while inebriated. Public intoxication charges are different from drunk driving charges in that the police can’t simply arrest you because they determine that you’re drunk. Simply being drunk in public is not enough for conviction.
Rather, the government must be able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were a danger to others at the time. “Drunk in public” is one thing, “drunk and dangerous in public” is quite another.
(Note: In a few specific places, drinking alcoholic beverages in public spaces could be unlawful.)
These charges are often misapplied, and the police themselves may be sincerely confused about when the allegation is appropriate. The Texas intoxication defense lawyers at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP can help.
In an intoxication assault case, a driver is accused of causing someone else bodily harm while driving drunk. It is a more serious charge than DUI or DWI (discussed below), though it’s certainly possible to be charged with all of the above.
Intoxication assault does not include an intent element, so the state only has to prove that you drove while impaired and that your actions caused the victim’s injuries.
These cases are similar to intoxication assault, except that in intoxication manslaughter, the victim has ultimately lost his or her life. Here again, there is no intent requirement. Rather, the prosecution only needs to prove that you drove while intoxicated and recklessly caused another person’s death.
Our Texas intoxication defense lawyers handle both assault and manslaughter cases, with the ultimate goal of having unfair charges dismissed as quickly as possible.
DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is a serious drunk driving offense in Texas. It applies when the defendant’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level is over the legal limit of 0.08. In some cases, where BAC is especially elevated (0.15 above the legal limit), enhanced DWI charges might apply.
The problem in DWI cases is that the police often rely on highly flawed field sobriety tests, including in-station blood tests and the famous Breathalyzer. These tests are notorious for producing false results, and our firm is prepared to challenge them.
In Texas, DUI, or Driving Under the Influence is distinct from DWI. Some states use those terms in reference to drunk driving in general, so it’s easy to get them confused.
Texas DUI applies specifically to drivers under the age of 21. Referring to DUI as a “drunk driving” charge is misleading, though, because the driver doesn’t have to be drunk at all.
Thanks to The Lone Star State’s zero tolerance policy, a police officer can arrest a young driver for merely having a whiff of alcohol on his or her breath. Any amount of alcohol is illegal, and even a minor blip in the BAC can support DUI conviction.
Unreliable as they are, these tests cannot capably determine whether a young person poses any danger on the roads. Our Texas intoxication defense lawyers aggressively challenge these unfair prosecutions, and we have frequently been successful in having the charges dismissed.
Additional Texas Criminal Offenses Related to Intoxication
State law enforcement officers use a robust book of statutes for pursuing people who they suspect of intoxication. Other criminal offenses related to intoxication in Texas include:
- Aggravated DWI
- Assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated
- Boating while intoxicated
- DWI with a child passenger
- Operating a plane or any other aircraft while intoxicated
- Possession of an alcoholic beverage in a vehicle
- Underage drinking
- And more
Federal Intoxication Offenses
Intoxication is primarily a state law enforcement concern. But when any of these offenses involve federal property, employees, services, or institutions – or when they cross state lines – you may very well find yourself facing serious federal charges.
Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP has extensive experience in the federal courts, and our services are available for federal matters throughout the entire United States.
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Take immediate steps to protect yourself. Contact Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP and set up a free consultation right away by calling 1-888-356-4634 or submitting our online contact form.