Driving While Intoxicated cases are treated very harshly in Texas. However, people rarely think a DWI conviction could also come with a prison sentence. The scary truth is that it can and it does.
Imagine having 2-3 beers at home on a Saturday afternoon. All of a sudden your kid comes in and tells you they need you to drive them to go get a haircut or pick up some supplies for a class project that is due on Monday. The shopping center is just a couple of miles from your house, so you get in your car and drive your kid where they need to go. On the way you end up getting pulled over by a police officer for “weaving outside your lane.” He smells alcohol on you, he sees your kid in the back seat, and all of a sudden you’re arrested and charged for DWI with a child passenger. This felony offense carries a potential fine of $10,000, up to two years in prison and up to five years court ordered probation.
Imagine you were convicted of two DWIs back when you were in college. You’ve been a model citizen since your crazy college days, you have a good job, a good marriage and good friends. One of your friends invites you to their wedding. You have a glass or two of champagne at the reception and while driving home you are pulled over by the police. The officer smells alcohol on you and you tell him you just had “a couple of drinks.” Whether you perform the “sobriety tests” the way he asks you to or not, it doesn’t matter – you are going to be arrested for felony DWI. The punishment range is 2-10 years in prison and up to ten years of probation.
Being charged with a felony DWI in Texas is more common than most people think, and consider the costs that come with a felony conviction:
- Up to a $10,000 fine
- Mandatory jail time (possibly up to 180 days)
- Mandatory driver’s license suspension
- Mandatory ignition interlock device on your car (even if you can’t drive because your license was suspended)
- Monthly reporting to a probation officer
- In-patient/out-patient substance abuse treatment with follow up counseling
- No longer eligible to vote or own a firearm
If you are arrested for felony DWI in Texas, you need an aggressive attorney fighting for you every step of the way to keep you from becoming a convicted felon. The laws and the court system are stacked against you from the very beginning of your case. A good DWI lawyer may be able to suppress evidence that wasn’t obtained legally. An experienced DWI lawyer may be able to point out to the prosecutor, the judge, and the jury that the arresting officer did not conduct a proper or lawful investigation before deciding to arrest you. It may also be possible to negotiate a sentence that does not include a felony conviction.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI, call the attorneys at Hamilton Grant today. The attorneys at Hamilton Grant have extensive experience in defending felony DWI cases. Deandra Grant is both a trial attorney and a forensic consultant on blood alcohol issues. She has a Masters Degree in Pharmaceutical Science with a concentration in forensic science and a Graduate Certificate in Forensic Toxicology. She is field sobriety testing instructor and an assistant chromatography instructor – the method used in forensic labs to perform blood alcohol analysis. She’s known as “The Lawyer Lawyers Call”.
Contact Hamilton Grant at (972) 943-8500 DFW and (512) 279-6600 Austin.