DWI in the state of Texas is punishable as a misdemeanor (fines up to $4000 and not more than 1 year in county jail) for the first or second offense and as a felony for a third (fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment). While the penal code substantiates general sentencing guidelines depending on the class of the offense, an experienced Lawyer like Mark Dominic Grosso will represent you in fighting these charges the entire way through. Well versed in Texas DWI laws, including field sobriety tests, blood and breath testing, and probable cause for a police stop, we will help minimize the long-lasting repercussions that can result from a conviction of these offenses, such as driver’s license suspension, significant fines, higher insurance, job qualification and the inability to rent a vehicle for years to come. Don’t try to fight this alone. Call 214-699-1529 day or night.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
We’ve all heard this on television, but that’s after they “get the bad guy.” When you’re a suspect in a DWI case, you’re not going to know and nobody will tell you. You’ll hear:
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you going?
- How much have you had to drink?
- Count from 13 to 47
- Recite the alphabet
- How intoxicated are you on a scale of 1 to 10?
Your responses can be CONFESSIONS and they WILL be used against you. You don’t have to answer any of these. If the officer has “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” that you’re operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, then you can already be arrested. In many cases, your responses will only provide more evidence in the case against you.
- You Have the Right to Refuse a Field Sobriety Test: You won’t be told this. You will be told to “step out of the vehicle.” Then you’ll be given a series of instructions – usually at night, often cold, and you’re tired and nervous – and you’ll have only one opportunity to “pass.” Officers will request your participation in these tests when they have “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” to believe you may be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. While it may be compelling to “prove your innocence” so the officer will let you go home, this is too often not the case. These tests, while influential to law enforcement and juries are not necessarily strong indicators of actual intoxication, but your participation in these tests WILL be used as evidence against you.
- You Have the Right to Refuse Blood or Breath Exam: Officers will usually request that you submit to a blood or breath test AFTER you’ve been arrested, often while you’re in the back seat of a police vehicle, wondering how you’ll get home and what will happen to your car, concerned about your family and your job.
IF YOU CONSENT: The test will be taken, the results used against you and your license will NOT be suspended UNTIL or UNLESS the results show a Blood Alcohol Concentration above the legal limit. If the results show a Blood Alcohol Concentration BELOW the legal limit, your license will NOT be suspended and the case against you may be dismissed (but not necessarily). If the results are ABOVE the legal limit, your license will be suspended for 90 days and the evidence WILL be used against you.
IF YOU REFUSE: Your license will be SUSPENDED for 180 days (see “License Suspension” for more information). If the officer believes sufficient cause exists to get a warrant, or if you’re stopped during a “no refusal” period, the officer may obtain a warrant to compel a blood sample. If a warrant is neither sought nor obtained, the sample will not be obtained and cannot be used against you.
- You Have the Right to Fight to Keep Your License: If your license is confiscated by the officer for refusing consent, or if it is subsequently suspended for “failing” the test, you will be issued a Suspension Notice (either directly by the officer or by mail from the Texas Department of Public Safety). Your license is NOT immediately suspended. The notice serves as a temporary license for 40 days from the date of the notice. You have 15 days from the date of the notice to request an Administrative License Revocation Hearing (**link to section**). If this hearing has been requested, the temporary license remains valid until the results of that hearing.
- You Have the Right to a Trial by Jury: According to the Texas Constitution I, § 15 “The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. The Legislature shall pass such laws as may be needed to regulate the same, and to maintain its purity and efficiency.” At this trial, you must be PRESUMED INNOCENT unless the prosecutor can prove otherwise. You also have the right to an attorney in criminal cases. Most people charged with DWI in the State of Texas have never been involved in the criminal justice system and it’s essential to have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process, protect your rights, and provide reliable advice for securing your best possible outcome.