Understanding Galveston DWI Charges
Galveston DWI Lawyer Tad Nelson
In the State of Texas, a person can be criminally charged for the unlawful offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) if they are found by law enforcement to be intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle in a public place. DWI offenses are harshly prosecuted in the state of Texas due to the number of lives lost on Texas roads as a result of innocent people being killed or maimed in a vehicle accident caused by a drunk driver.
Although some criminal offenses involving DWI’s can result in fatal consequences, in most cases these are simple misdemeanor offenses that usually result in a slap on the wrist and the person never again having to appear in court for another criminal offense ever again in their life.
However, in other cases, a number of defendants are guilty of nothing more than being falsely accused of driving while intoxicated by law enforcement and are later proven innocent after the evidence of their alleged intoxication is weighed and put to the test using normal everyday scientific standards. Then thrown out.
The truth of the matter is that in some cases when a person is arrested for a DWI offense in Galveston, they are neither intoxicated, nor drunk. We’ve dealt with a number of cases where the defendant was undergoing medical care or either under the influence of prescribed drugs from their doctor, and found themselves accused of DWI. While driving under the influence of prescribed drugs is illegal and can result in a driving under the influence (DUI) offense, it serves as a perfect example of how a person can be falsely accused of drunk driving.
The 15 Day Rule: Losing Your Texas Drivers’ License
If you’re arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in the state of Texas, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll lose your Texas Drivers’ License long before you get your day in court.
This makes it more important than ever to seek out qualified legal representation so that you can work with your attorney to take the necessary steps to prevent the suspension of your Texas Drivers’ License. In the worst-case, with a decent DWI lawyer on your side, you will at least be allowed an occupational license you can get back and forth to and from work until the final decision is made as to your guilt or innocence for the crime of DWI within the criminal justice system.
We only have 15 days to request a hearing to save your Texas Drivers’ License. If you’ve been arrested for DWI, and its still within 15 days, be sure and contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson and Associates as soon as possible so we can take the necessary steps to prevent the suspension of your Texas Drivers’ License. If you’re caught driving with a suspended Texas Drivers’ License it amounts to a trip straight to jail.
When The 15 Day Rule Applies
The 15 day rule applies if you took one of the police sobriety tests, be it blood or breath, and the results revealed your legally acceptable blood alcohol level to be over the limit of 0.8, then the 15 day rule would apply to you. The 15 day rule will also apply if you refused to take the or breath test, or you attempted to cooperate, and the police decided that you failed or refused.
Finally, a person under the age of 21 at the time of the DWI arrest with a BAC level greater than 0.02 will also face Texas Drivers’ License suspension within 15 days unless a special hearing is requested in writing by the DWI attorney representing the defendant. This process is referred to as Administrative License Revocation (ALR).
Criminal Penalties For DWI Offenses In The State Of Texas
In the State of Texas the criminal penalties for DWI offenses, in which the defendant has been found guilty in a court of law, can range from probation, to a few days in jail, on up to a 20 to 25 year sentences with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Obviously, the severity of the criminal offense will determine the severity of the criminal penalty imposed by the criminal justice system in the event of the defendant’s guilt, at least that’s how it’s supposed to work.
DWI: First Offense
A person charged with DWI for the first time is highly unlikely to be required to serve jail time granted they have a decent attorney who knows how to work the system in their favor. Galveston DWI case defense lawyer Tad Nelson knows how to work the system in favor of his clients.
For informational purposes, we’ve listed the criminal penalties imposed on persons convicted in the court of law for first-time DWI offenses below.
- First-time DWI offenders may receive criminal fines of up to $2000.
- First-time DWI offenders may be given a prison sentence of anywhere from 72 hours to 180 days County jail time.
- First-time DWI offenders may face Texas Drivers’ License suspension of anywhere from 90 days to one year.
First offense DWI cases are classified as Class B Misdemeanors.
DWI: Second Offense
Two-Time DWI offenders can expect to face a bit more harsh punishment than that of those found guilty of DWI for the first time. Although you can get probation for a second DWI offense, you will have to serve some jail time as a condition of any probationary period granted to you by the court, participate with a community service program if offered to you, and you may be required to have an anti-drunk driving device installed on your vehicle to prevent the ignition of the vehicle when and if the device were to detect the presence of alcohol on your breath.
The technologies in these devices now have the ability to make direct contact with the court, judge, and your probation officer the second it detects the presence of alcohol on your breath. If one of these devices is installed on your vehicle as a condition of your probation you’ll have to play it straight. Otherwise, your probation will likely be revoked and you’ll have to serve jail time.
Penalties For Second DWI Offenses In The State Of Texas
- Second time DWI offenders may receive criminal fines of up to $4000.
- Second time DWI offenders face jail sentencing of 30 days to one year County jail time.
- Second time DWI offenders face Texas Drivers’ License suspension of a period from 180 days to two years.
Second offense DWI cases are classified as Class A Misdemeanors.
DWI: Third Offense
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI offense a third time in the state of Texas, your best bet is to talk with a Board Certified criminal defense attorney who specializes in defense of DWI accusations. You’ll want to do everything in your power to fight a felony charge. Felony charges, unlike misdemeanors, are serious and can result in multi-year prison sentences which will leave your life in shambles.
Although the ramifications for the third time DWI offense may sound terminal, there are a number of factors up for review by the court when making a determination on how severe your sentence will be.
Some of the information the court will take into consideration when determining your punishment are things like the length of time since your last DWI offense, the severity of the facts of the current DWI case, whether or not anyone was hurt/automobile accident resulted, and, if considered for probation, whether or not you were successful during any previous probationary period you were sentenced to as a result of your previous DWI offenses (if applicable).
The criminal penalties for person convicted of DWI third time in the state of Texas are as follows;
- Third time DWI offenders may receive criminal fines of up to $10,000
- Third time DWI offenders may be facing stiff prison sentences of anywhere from 2 to 10 years in a state penitentiary operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
- Third time DWI offenders will also have their Texas Drivers’ License suspended for a period that will last anywhere from 180 days to two years.
Third Offense DWI Cases Are Classified As Third-Degree Felonies In The State Of Texas
DWI: Intoxication Assault
The criminal offense for persons convicted of a DWI in which a person was hurt is often referred to as intoxication assault. Criminal penalties for intoxication assault are the same as third offense DWI cases.
The best definition of intoxication assault is when a person who was found guilty of driving while intoxicated caused severe or life-threatening bodily injury to another person as a result.
Criminal penalties include fines of up to $10,000, 2 to 10 years in the state penitentiary run by the Texas Department of criminal Justice, and last but not least, Texas Drivers’ License suspension of anywhere from 180 days to one year.
Intoxication Assault Cases Are Classified As Third-Degree Felonies In The State Of Texas.
Intoxication manslaughter is a serious felonious criminal offense in which human loss of life occurred as a result of DWI. Intoxication manslaughter cases are always harshly prosecuted by the district attorney due to the fact that an innocent person was killed as a result of the negligence of another during the commission of a criminal offense, DWI.
Galveston DWI lawyer Tad Nelson has over 25 years of experience defending people accused of DWI offenses up to, and including, intoxication manslaughter. Attorney Tad Nelson will represent you if you’ve been accused of this sort of offense. You will need competent legal representation.
The criminal penalties for an intoxication manslaughter range from 2 to 20 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice run penitentiary facility. You’ll also face fines of up to $10,000, and the suspension of your Texas Drivers’ license for a period of 180 days to two years.
Galveston DWI Defense Lawyer Tad Nelson Will Help
Not only does Tad Nelson have over 25 years of experience defending people accused of DWI offenses in the Galveston area, he is also one of the distinguished few attorneys practicing criminal defense litigation in the state of Texas that holds a Board Certification as an expert in criminal law.
In addition to his Board Certification in criminal law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, he is also a graduate and member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD), and an American Chemical Society certified ACS/CHAL Forensic DWI Lawyer-Scientist as a result of successfully completing the hands-on forensic gas chromatography course.
If the ramifications of being found guilty on your case are so high that you need to seek out the highest skilled and most competent legal counsel in Galveston, contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson and Associates immediately.