Representing Clients in El Paso County and Throughout the State of Texas
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas is a serious offense and a conviction can lead to harsh penalties — heavy fines, jail time, and loss of your driving privileges. With so much to lose, you need an aggressive DWI defense attorney to protect your rights.
Located in El Paso, the Benjamin Law Firm routinely defends individuals from all walks of life against DWI charges in the state of Texas. Founding attorney Brock Benjamin has outstanding credentials and a well-earned reputation for being a tenacious litigator. As a former prosecutor, he has unique insight into the tactics the state is likely to use. By contacting the Benjamin Law Firm immediately after your arrest, you have the best chance of a successful outcome to your case. When your mobility is in jeopardy, the Benjamin Law Firm is the wise choice in DWI criminal defense.
What is DWI in Texas?
You can be charged with DWI in Texas for being intoxicated while operating, or being in control of, a motor vehicle in a public place. In most cases, the criteria for intoxication are (1) having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more or (2) lacking the normal use of your mental or physical faculties after ingesting alcohol or drugs.
Moreover, minors (those under the age of 21) and commercial drivers are held to a stricter standard for DWI. According to the state’s zero tolerance policy, anyone younger than 21 years old can be convicted if there is any detectable amount of alcohol in their your blood while the BAC threshold for commercial drivers is only 0.04 percent.
The police may arrest you if they observe evidence of intoxication even if your BAC does not exceed the legal limit. Such evidence includes slurred speech, the odor of alcohol on your breath, lack of normal motor coordination, or the presence of an open alcoholic beverage container in your vehicle. It should be noted, however, that under normal circumstances the police are only permitted to pull you over if they have reason to believe you have committed a crime or if you are speeding, driving recklessly or violating some other traffic law.
What is the implied consent rule?
In Texas, as in most states, there is a rule known as “implied consent.” This means that anyone who obtains a driver’s license has agreed to submit to a breath or blood test for alcohol or drug levels for being suspected of driving under the influence. If you refuse to be tested, your license may be automatically suspended.
In such cases, you must request a suspension hearing under the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program within days of your arrest. This is a state administrative process instigated in addition to criminal proceedings. If you fail to request a hearing, your license will be automatically for a period of at least 6 months. The Benjamin Law Firm will represent you at the hearing and work to protect your driving privileges as we prepare for your court trial. In addition to protecting your license, an ALR hearing can also serve as an important tool for discovery in your case.
DWI Penalties in Texas
The penalties for being convicted of DWI in Texas include:
- Fines, including surcharges, court costs, and legal fees
- License suspension or revocation
- Community service
- DWI education and intervention programs
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
A DWI conviction may have collateral consequences as well, ranging from damage to your reputation, to raising your car insurance premiums to interfering with your employment (e.g. your ability to commute and/or your ability to work as a commercial driver).
In addition, the penalties will be elevated under the following circumstances:
- You have a prior DWI conviction
- You committed another traffic violation during the incident (e.g. speeding, reckless driving, going through a red light)
- You are driving under the influence with a minor passenger (under 15 years old), considered a felony, punishable by up to two years in jail and fines up to $10,000.
- You have injured or killed someone during an accident — intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter, respectively
How Benjamin Law Will Work Hard To Try To Defend Your DWI Charges
If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, the Benjamin Law Firm is fully prepared to handle your case. We will conduct a thorough investigation, including obtaining and reviewing the police report and conducting our own assessment of the medical test results. After thoroughly analyzing the specifics of your case, we will devise the best strategy to protect your rights and your freedom.
We will look to challenge your DWI charges on a number of grounds, such as:
- The violation of your rights when you were pulled over (e.g. “profiling”)
- The failure of the arresting officer to read you your Miranda rights
- The inaccuracy of the machinery (e.g. the breathalyzer) used to test you
- Possible contamination or mishandling of blood samples during lab testing
- Other possible causes for your observable behavior (e.g. slurred speech or impaired balance as a result of a medical condition)
- Factors, such as mouthwash or dental work, that may have contributed to a false BAC result
El Paso DWI Defense Attorney
At the Benjamin Law Firm, we know that you may be frightened after a DWI arrest and not know where to turn. We are here to help you, always believing that anyone accused of driving under the influence is innocent until proven guilty. We will treat you with dignity, compassion and the personal attention you deserve. Although we are committed to having your charges dismissed, we may recommend arranging a plea bargain to a lesser charge. If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI in Texas, call our office today or complete the convenient online contact form. Se Habla Espanol.