DWI

McKinney DWI Attorney

Defending Those Who Are Facing Drunk Driving Charges in Collin County

If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), it is important to consult with a criminal defense firm as soon as possible. At Underwood & Associates, we have handled thousands of cases and have vast experience fighting DWI charges. To learn more about your rights and options, take advantage of a free 15-minute consultation over the phone (consultation fee applies to Family Law consultations). After reviewing the specifics of your case, our DWI lawyer in McKinney can determine which defense strategy is right for your situation.

Have you been arrested for a DUI? Call Underwood & Associates today at (972) 449-7091 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our DWI lawyer in McKinney.

Texas DWI Laws

In Texas, drivers who are 21 years of age or older are considered legally drunk when their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08% or more. Drivers of commercial vehicles may be charged with DWI if their BAC is at least .04%. If you are under the age of 21, it is unlawful to have any trace of alcohol in your system while driving a motor vehicle.

What To Do If You Get a DWI in Texas

If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you will need to take the following steps to ensure that your rights are protected:

  • Know that you have the right to refuse to take a field sobriety test, but this probably won’t prevent you from being arrested.
  • Be polite to the officer, even if you refuse to take a field sobriety test.
  • Call a lawyer before giving any statements to the officer; you have the right to remain silent and have your lawyer present when you are interviewed by the police.

Texas DWI Consequences

A DWI arrest is a far more serious matter than receiving a traffic ticket. You must respond appropriately to protect yourself from a series of severe consequences, such as:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • and driver’s license suspension

Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to respond to DWI charges. There are several mistakes people make that make conviction much more likely. It is helpful to be aware of these mistakes so you can avoid making them yourself.

Do You Get Enhanced Penalties After Your First Conviction?

A DWI conviction can affect you for the rest of your life. It will show up on a background check with a variety of agencies, including the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), permanently. If convicted for a second DWI charge, no matter how much time has passed, the law allows your first DWI conviction to be used to enhance the penalty ranges for the new charge. A third DWI is a third-degree felony.

What Happens on 2nd DWI in Texas

In the event of a second DWI offense (DWI-Repeat Offender), the penalties are severe. As a Class A Misdemeanor in Texas, a second offense of DWI is a criminal offense.

  • Penalties: Fines up to $6,000.00 and jail terms up to 12 months are the maximum penalties. It is a permanent offense, carries a 3-day jail sentence (even if probation is granted), and suspends the driver's license.
  • Interlock Device: All DWI 2nd charges require an ignition interlock device as a condition of bond. This means that as a condition of release from jail, a person must agree to install a deep lung device in all accessible vehicles.
  • Enhancements: DWI charges can also be enhanced by certain factors. The enhancements result in harsher penalties, including longer terms of incarceration, thousands of dollars in fines, and the loss of basic constitutional rights.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI conviction is a stain that lasts a lifetime unless your record is sealed or expunged. Having a DWI on your record can affect various elements of your life, both personally and professionally. Potential employers, landlords, and even educational institutions routinely conduct background checks. It can also create obstacles in securing employment opportunities and housing, and it may even affect your educational pursuits. The repercussions are serious, making it crucial to address the situation promptly and strategically with our McKinney DWI lawyer.

Protect Yourself With an Experienced Lawyer

The laws pertaining to DWI charges are complex and frequently changing, as is the science of breath alcohol testing devices, alcohol absorption rates, and human metabolism-related issues. You need proven, aggressive, and experienced representation to effectively deal with these issues. If the right defenses and objections are not raised at the right times, they are lost. A good case can quickly become a bad one if you do not have a skillful DWI attorney in McKinney to protect your interests.

In any criminal case, it is you against the state of Texas. The state has nearly unlimited resources when it comes to prosecuting you. It makes sense that you should hire the best, most experienced DWI attorney you can afford. Be realistic. Be prepared to pay a fee that allows your chosen counsel to put forward the necessary time, effort, and expertise to offset the prosecution’s almost limitless pockets. Look for a reasonable fee, preferably set forth in a written contract for representation, not just the cheapest lawyer you can find. In the courtroom arena, just as in every other area of life, you get what you pay for.

Defenses Against DWI Charges in Texas

Some common defenses against DWI charges may include:

  • Challenging the Traffic Stop: Law enforcement must have a valid reason to pull you over. If the stop was arbitrary or lacked proper justification, it may be possible to challenge the entire arrest.
  • Questioning Field Sobriety Tests: Field sobriety tests are often administered by officers to assess a driver's level of impairment. However, these tests are subjective and can be influenced by various aspects such as weather conditions, physical limitations, or pre-existing medical conditions.
  • Contesting Breathalyzer Results: Breathalyzer tests are commonly used to measure blood alcohol content (BAC). Although, these devices are not infallible and can deliver inaccurate results for various reasons, including improper calibration or usage.
  • Establishing Rising BAC: The concept of "rising blood alcohol content" is based on the fact that alcohol takes time to be absorbed into the bloodstream. If you consumed alcohol shortly before driving, your BAC might have been within legal limits at the time of driving but exceeded the limit by the time the test was administered.
  • Proving Lack of Intoxication: A fundamental element of a DWI charge is proving that the driver was intoxicated. This may involve challenging the observations made by law enforcement officers, such as red eyes or slurred speech, and presenting evidence that demonstrates an alternative explanation for these behaviors.
  • Examining Arrest Procedures: Law enforcement officers are required to follow specific procedures during an arrest. Any deviation from these procedures could lead to a dismissal of charges.
  • Inadequate Miranda Warnings: If law enforcement fails to provide Miranda warnings during custodial interrogation, any statements made by the accused may be inadmissible in court.

Contact us today to speak with our DUI lawyer in McKinney.

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What Happens If You Refuse a Blood or Breath Test?

When you were arrested, if you refused to take a blood or breath test, or if you submitted to a breath or blood test - that indicated a BAC great than .08%, the police probably confiscated your license. The back of the yellow statutory warning forms they gave you (or should have given you) informs you that you have the right to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license by requesting an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest.

If you do not make this request or fail to make it within the prescribed period, you cannot operate a motor vehicle anywhere from 90 to 180 days for a first-time offense unless you have petitioned for and received an Occupational Driver’s License (ODL) from the court. If you do not seek an ODL and you choose to drive during the period of suspension, you are committing another criminal offense at the class B misdemeanor level, equal to a first-time DWI offense. If you are caught, you will be re-arrested and must post bond all over again and have yet another charge to face in court.

Can You Still Drive After a DWI in Texas?

If your license is suspended in conjunction with a DWI arrest, you have no right to operate a motor vehicle, period. As noted above, an arrest for driving while your license is suspended (DWLS) falls into the same penalty category as a first-time DWI offense. If convicted of DWLS, you face a minimum driver’s license suspension of one year (on top of any suspension you are already serving), plus you will have to pay additional fines and court costs, and you could be sentenced to as much as six months in jail. Contact us to see if you are a candidate for an ODL. An ODL is a provisional license granted by the court that allows you to drive legally during the suspension period.

Should I Accept The First Plea Bargain Offer?

Usually, the first plea offer made by the prosecution on a DWI case is not a “bargain” at all. It is just a way for them to get a conviction on your case with virtually no effort on their part. Do not have any delusions that your case will be dismissed or possibly reduced to some lesser-included, non-alcohol charge – you have a better chance of winning the lottery. By taking the first plea offer made by the state, you will probably wind up paying higher fine amounts, having more community service hours to do, and a longer period of probation to deal with than a seasoned trial attorney would have been able to negotiate on your behalf.

Remember, you pose no threat to the district attorney. You do not know how to handle a criminal case, and the prosecutor knows this, so he or she has no incentive to offer you a great deal. An experienced McKinney DWI lawyer – especially a seasoned trial attorney with a proven track record of success – will almost always be able to get you a significantly better plea offer.

Consequences of Missing a Required Court Date

If you miss a required court date, even if your McKinney DWI lawyer is present on your behalf, the judge will revoke your bond (including cash bonds) and issue a warrant for your arrest. So, the next time you are pulled over for some minor traffic violation, instead of just getting a ticket, you will be taken to jail, booked again, and have to post yet another bond, usually at twice the amount of the original one, in order to guarantee your future appearance in court.

Communication Between You and Your Attorney

All communications between you and your DWI attorney in McKinney about the facts of your case are considered privileged and are protected under the law. Nobody is entitled to know what you tell your attorney. However, anything you say to a friend, a co-worker, or an acquaintance is not privileged and can be used against you in subsequent proceedings.

DWIs are expensive, cumulative, and complex in nature. You need an experienced McKinney DWI attorney who knows the law, the judges, and the prosecutors to handle it for you. Even if you decide not to hire Underwood & Associates, you should find and retain an attorney with whom you feel comfortable, who you trust, and who you believe will represent your best interests. Take it from us – you will be glad you did!

Contact Our DWI Lawyer in McKinney Today

Will Underwood knows the intricacies of DWI law. He understands the science behind the testing instruments, the techniques utilized by the police to create an appearance of intoxication, and the courtroom tactics employed by the prosecutors. The depth and breadth of his knowledge, experience, and expertise in this area of law place Will Underwood in a unique position to provide the best possible defense to those charged with a DWI offense.

Whether it’s your first DWI offense in Texas or you have already received multiple DWI charges, it’s extremely important to hire our McKinney DWI lawyer to represent you and fight for your rights. At Underwood & Associates, we can also help keep you apprised of what happens when you get a DWI in Texas and what to expect next in the process.

Contact Underwood & Associates today to get started on your defense with our McKinney DWI attorney.

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