How Long Do I Have To Request A DMV Hearing In Texas After Being Arrested And Charged With A DWI?
You have 15 days from the time that you are arrested to request a DMV hearing. This is why it is important to immediately contact an attorney.
Why do I need the assistance of an experienced DWI attorney to represent me both in my criminal case as well as the DMV suspension?
The DMV suspension hearing is an administrative hearing through the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The lawyer who represents the state of Texas and works for the Department of Public Safety (DPW) is present. It is important to have your own lawyer fighting to keep the state from suspending your license. When the evidence is presented, you need to know how to object to it. Oftentimes, if the police officer is, there is an opportunity for your lawyer to find out more details about the case than he or she would normally have known before the criminal case even gets filed.
The hearing is an opportunity for your lawyer to cross examine the arresting officer on record as to what he or she remembers about the stop. This is important because if there are inconsistencies later in the criminal trial, you will have the sworn testimony of the officer from the administrative license hearing to impeach that officer. Even if you end up with a suspension, an experienced DWI attorney can get you an occupational driver’s license. Call Big Jim!
Your DWI lawyer can cross examine the police officer, both at the trial and at the administrative law hearing, about everything that the officer missed while trying to build a case of DWI against you.
What are the typical sentences for first-time, second, and multiple DWI convictions in Texas?
In Texas, on a first-time DWI, you can be subjected to a fine of up to two thousand dollars or up to 180 days in jail. You also face a license suspension of up to one year. Generally, a first offense is going to result in some kind of a probated sentence, if you’re convicted. Very few people actually go to jail on the first offense. Typically, people get from six months to two years of probation. If you get a second offense for DWI, the chances of going to jail would be greater, but it still would be a misdemeanor offense. The punishment range for a second DWI offense is generally up to one year in jail and a fine of up to four thousand dollars.
The license suspensions on subsequent DWI convictions can be more severe as well. Oftentimes, you are required to have an interlock ignition device installed on your vehicle. Some courts offer you the opportunity to complete programs upfront to lower the probation term. You might be offered the opportunity to serve your sentence through either volunteer work through the Sheriff’s Department, called the Labor Detail Program, or work release at night. Some people choose the option of going to jail at night rather than being on probation, simply because probation can be expensive and time consuming. All of these options would be discussed at length with your lawyer.
If you get convicted of a third DWI in Texas, then the penalties are much more severe. You face up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If there are no injuries and it is just the third time you’ve been convicted of DWI, there is the likelihood of probation. You may have to complete up to 10 years of probation and you may also serve jail time as a condition of that probation. Most courts allow the jail time to be served at night if you have a job.
If there are injuries involved in the offense, even if it is your first offense, it could be charged with what is known as intoxication assault, which is a third-degree felony. You would face the same punishment as a third DWI. The worst-case scenario would be if you were involved in a DWI and someone died, which, in Texas is called intoxication manslaughter. This is a second-degree felony where you could get up to 20 years in prison. The possibility of going to prison depends on the injuries and the circumstances of the case. The punishments increase as the severity of the offense increases. This is why it is vital to have the assistance of an experienced DWI defense lawyer like Big Jim.
What factors would enhance or aggravate a DWI charge in Texas?
Under Texas law, if you’re arrested for DWI with a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle, that is a felony offense. You could face up to two years in a state jail facility due to this aggravating factor.
If you have a DWI where the blood or alcohol test is above a 0.15 in Texas, that is an aggravating circumstance. An accident involving injury or death would certainly be the most severe of aggravating factors elevating a misdemeanor charge to a felony.
For more information on DWI Cases, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 877-0401 today.