Summertime is hot in Houston, but if you have been arrested for drunk driving, the weather won’t be the only thing bringing the heat. A DWI case in the state of Texas is complex and a timely response is vital. If you have been arrested for DWI in the Houston area, you should seek the assistance of a qualified Houston DWI attorney as soon as possible.
When you are pulled over for suspected drunk driving in Texas, there are actually two separate and distinct cases against you. The first is a civil case and deals only with your driver’s license. This case is referred to as administrative license revocation (ALR), and means that your driver’s license could be suspended for between 90 days and two years depending on the circumstances of your case.
This suspension is not automatic. At the time of your arrest, you should be issued a temporary permit to drive. This permit is effective for 40 days following your arrest. After 40 days, your license will be suspended for the period determined in your case. However, you can contest the ALS and retain your driving privileges. If you wish to do this, you must act quickly. You will only have 15 days following your DWI arrest in which to file an appeal. If you do not act within this time, you will waive your right to appeal and your license will be suspended.
The second case pending against you if you have been arrested for DWI in Texas is a criminal case. This case is filed because you were found operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Your BAC is typically determined through the use of a breath test. If you refuse to submit to this test, your license will be suspended automatically.
However, Texas law enforcement agencies have recently started pursuing policies of “no refusal” which allow them to seek search warrants for a blood sample when a driver refuses a breath test. The search warrant allows them to obtain this blood sample even if you do not consent.
Most DWI cases in Texas are misdemeanor cases, but if you had a child under the age of 15 in the car with you at the time of your arrest, the charge against you is a felony. DWI charges that are the third or greater offense are also felony charges. The penalties for Texas DWI are severe and are also varied based on the circumstances of your case.
In addition to the suspension of your license you may face significant fines, mandatory alcohol treatment programs, license fees for the following 3 years, and even incarceration. These consequences will affect both you and your family for a long time. Take action now to ensure the best possible outcome in your DWI case by hiring a reputable Houston DWI lawyer.