WARNING: YOU ONLY HAVE 15 DAYS from the date of your arrest for DWI in Texas to request an administrative hearing about your driver’s license. If you do not, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. For immediate help contact our Leander DWI attorneys at 512-549-6339.
Leander DWI Attorneys
Leander, Texas is a fun and vibrant city. Whether you live here, go to school here, or are here on vacation, places like 6th street can be a lot of fun. However, these places are also heavily policed. If you are stopped by police on suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), the consequences can be very serious. The range of punishment varies, depending on whether this is your first, second or third offense.
Leander DWI Punishment Range
If this is your first DWI offense, you could be facing the following penalties:
- $2,000 fine
- 3 – 180 days in jail
- Loss of your driver’s license from 90 days to 1 year
- A Class B misdemeanor conviction on your record
If this is your second DWI offense, you could be facing the following penalties:
- $4,000 fine
- 30 days to 1 year in jail
- Loss of your driver’s license from 180 days to 2 years
- A Class A misdemeanor conviction on your record
If this is your third DWI offense, you could be facing the following penalties:
- $10,000 fine
- 2 – 10 years in a prison
- Loss of you driver’s license from 180 days to 2 years
- A third-degree felony conviction on your record
If you are stopped for DWI and there is a child passenger under the age of 15 years old then you could be facing the following penalties:
- $10,000 fine
- 180 days to 2 years in a state jail facility
- A state jail felony conviction on your record
DWI Defense Lawyers
The State of Texas aggressively prosecutes cases when alcohol is involved. This is why you need to mount an aggressive defense. The State of Texas is working against you. You need someone working for you. The Leander DWI attorneys at Smith & Vinson Law Firm will work for you. We represent client’s accused of DWI in Leander, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto and all around the Central Texas area. Contact us now for a free consultation at 512-549-6339
In order to arrest you for DWI a police officer only needs probable cause. However, in order to convict you of DWI, the State of Texas must prove that you were intoxicated beyond a reasonable doubt. This can only be done by showing that either you had an alcohol concentration of .08 or more at the time of driving or that you did not have the normal use of your mental or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol or drugs. It is important to remember that just because you were arrested for DWI does not mean that the State of Texas has enough evidence to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proving the case rests on the State of Texas. You are presumed innocent. The Leander DWI attorneys at Smith & Vinson will hold the State of Texas to this high burden. We will review your case file and fight for your rights.
The police have many tools available for collecting evidence to prove that you were intoxicated. Even though you have an absolute constitutional right to refuse all tests, it is important to always be respectful and polite. Along with the tests discussed below, it is important to remember that you are likely being recorded and that everything you say and do can and will be used against you and maybe someday played before a jury.
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST)
SFSTs include three tests administered by police officers at the time you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI. There are three standardized tests: Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), Walk & Turn (WAT), and One Leg Stand (OLS). These test are unreliable and should not be performed. The police officer will only count off for things you did wrong. You will never get credit for things you performed correctly. The officer is looking for possible clues of intoxication. First, is the HGN test, also known as the “eye test.” This test is conducted by checking for involuntary jerking movements in the eye as the suspect’s gaze moves from side to side. It has a total of six clues of intoxication (three in each eye). If an officer notes four of more clues, that is considered “failing the test.” Second, is the WAT test, you will be asked to walk heel-to-toe along a straight line. There are a total of eight clues. The officer only needs to note two clues for you to fail this test. Finally, the OLS test will test your balance by making you stand on one leg for 30 seconds. There are a total of four clues. The officer only needs to note two clues for you to fail this test.
There are many problems with SFSTs. They are easy to fail, even if performed sober. These tests are nothing more than roadside gymnastics. Also, even if you passed the field sobriety tests an officer could still arrest you. All an officer needs to arrest is probable cause. The officer can base this on a smell of alcohol on your breath, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, stumbling, or other observations. Performing the field sobriety tests only gives the officer, and later the prosecution, more evidence to use against you. You should never attempt to take these tests.
What Can I Do If I Performed The Field Sobriety Tests?
However, if you did perform these tests the Leander DWI attorneys at Smith & Vinson Law Firm understand how to properly defend DWI cases with field sobriety tests. Jarrod Smith is a former prosecutor. He has prepped police officers for trial. He has watched and reviewed countless numbers of DWI videos. He has tried jury trials with field sobriety tests. He understands the science behind these tests and can properly cross-examine the police officer on the witness stand. These tests have to be performed precisely according to standards set out by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). If not, the results of the SFST’s are in question. Let the criminal defense lawyers at Smith & Vinson Law Firm review your DWI case and fight for you.
Police officers in Texas use the Intoxilyzer 5000. This is an outdated machine that has many problems. While many other states have upgraded and now use more accurate equipment, Texas has not. Remember, in order to convict you of DWI, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated at the time of driving. If you blew a .08 or above on a breath test, you need an attorney who can educate the jury on the unreliability of this machine.
Just because you blew above a .08 does not mean all hope is lost. In fact, this is just the beginning of your case. The breath test is only one piece of evidence. The State of Texas has the burden to prove that you were intoxicated at the time of driving. This is a tough burden to meet. We will work hard to hold their feet to the fire. We will review your case to determine if there was reasonable suspicion or probable cause for the traffic stop. If there was not, even if you blew above a .08, we may be able to get the breath test evidence suppressed. Did the breath test operator follow proper procedure? If not, we will challenge this. Let us review your DWI breath case and fight for you.
Just like with any of the above, you have a constitutional right to refuse a blood test. However, refusing a blood test can result in having your license suspended. Also, your refusal can be used as evidence against you at trial. You will usually have the option to take a breath test before being asked to consent to a blood test. Additionally, several counties in Texas have “no refusal weekends,” which are not just limited to weekends anymore. If you are arrested during one of these weekends, you still have the right to refuse a blood test. However, the police will attempt to obtain a warrant from a judge to draw your blood. In order to obtain a warrant, the police need probable cause. There are many factors that affect the validity of a blood test:
- Did the police have a lawful warrant?
- Was the blood drawn in a sanitary environment?
- Was there a proper chain of custody regarding the blood?
A DWI conviction, even if this is your first offense, can be devastating to your personal and professional life. If you have been arrested for DWI, do not wait. You need an attorney who understands the process and who can educate the jury on the problems with the State’s evidence.
As a former Assistant District Attorney, Jarrod Smith has prosecuted many DWI cases, and has tried several of them to juries. He has unique insights into how the State of Texas prepares for a case.
Smith & Vinson Law Firm will fight for you from day one. We care about you and we understand that this is the most important thing in your life right now. We don’t give up on a client’s case after talking to the prosecutor. We believe in the novel principle in standing up for our clients and fighting for the truth.
Contact Our Leander DWI Attorneys
If you have been arrested or charged with a DWI offense in Leander, Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm.
At Smith & Vinson Law Firm, we take your DWI charges seriously and fight to protect your constitutional rights. Jarrod Smith and Brad Vinson are aggressive Leander DWI attorneys that will fight for you from day one to get the best possible resolution for your case.
Contact our office today for a free initial consultation.
WARNING: YOU ONLY HAVE 15 DAYS from the date of your arrest for DWI in Texas to request an administrative hearing about your driver’s license. If you do not, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended. For immediate help contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm at 512-549-6339.
NOTE: This information is not legal advice. It is provided for educational use only. If you need legal advice regarding a criminal offense in the State of Texas, please contact our Leander DWI attorneys at 512-549-6339.