First DWI Charges Defense
Houston DWI Charges Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
A DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge occurs when a police officer stops a person for a traffic offense and can prove that the person is operating the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Texas law states that any person operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher is under the influence of alcohol. Drivers may also be charged with a DWI in Texas if they are under the influence of drugs or are in some way impaired while driving.
Officers most often realize a person is impaired by observing the way they act during the traffic stop. A person who is visibly having motor control problems will likely be asked to leave the vehicle to undergo a series of sobriety tests. A failure of these tests allows the officer to establish the DWI and make the arrest.
Potential Penalties for DWI Charges
A first offense of DWI is often charged as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor of this type carries with it the possibility for some of the harshest penalties for a crime in this category. There are a variety of scenarios that must be considered, including:
- General DWI: This type of DWI doesn’t have any special conditions and is charged as a Class B misdemeanor. A defendant may face between two to 180 days in a county jail and a fine of no more than $2,000.
- DWI involving a minor: If a person under 15 is in the vehicle when the defendant is arrested, the defendant is charged with a state jail felony. Sentences may include 180 days to two years in a state jail and a fine of no more than $10,000.
- DWI involving an assault: If another person is seriously injured while the defendant is driving while intoxicated, this is considered a third-degree felony. Sentences may include two to 10 years in a state prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.
Having a Solid Defense Against DWI Charges
There are some circumstances that can lead to a DWI charge being dismissed entirely. If a police officer doesn’t have probable cause to stop a vehicle or administers the field sobriety test inappropriately, the case may be dismissed. Many officers are also not properly trained to use breathalyzer machines, thus leaving the chance for error.
Meet With a Houston DWI Lawyer
The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp employs aggressive defense techniques to help their clients win in court. They protect their clients’ public and private lives by making sure that criminal charges are thoroughly examined for weaknesses. Talk to The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp today to schedule a free initial consultation with them.