Can a Texas Lawyer Help With My DWI Charge?
Under the U.S. Constitution, you have the right to obtain legal representation to assist you with any legal case in Texas, including a DWI charge. At the same time, you have the right to represent yourself in court — but that doesn’t mean it’s best to do so. Many drivers choose to defend their own case, and they often suffer worse charges.
Whether this is your first or third DWI, keep reading to learn why seeking expert legal representation may be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Helping You Understand Your Rights
A judge will not go easier on you if you represent yourself, as it is your choice to come to court without representation. Not only will your lawyer help you understand your charge, but they will present your options to you in terms that you can understand to help make your decision easier.
Having an attorney work through your case could be the difference between an acquittal and fines or possible jail time. While a DWI attorney can’t guarantee results, they have a trained eye and understand how to defend a drunk driving case, including interviewing witnesses and entering evidence into the court record.
Whether it’s Your First Offense or Your Third
Mistakes happen, whether it’s a holiday weekend or a normal weekday. However, the penalties for a first-time offense can still be severe depending on the situation, and drivers should always rely on the help of an experienced DWI lawyer for guidance in their case.
Here’s how a Texas court could possibly penalize you for a DWI, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (with no aggravating factors):
- First offense: Class B misdemeanor, fine up to $2,000, 3-180 days in jail.
- Second offense: Class A misdemeanor, fine up to $4,000, 30-365 days in jail.
- Third offense: Third-degree felony, fine up to $10,000, 2-10 years of incarceration in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).
Aggravated Factors in DWI Cases
Sometimes, a DWI case isn’t as straightforward as simply drunk driving — such as if a child was in the car or if someone was injured. Drunk driving charges are a separate offense from driving drunk with a child in the car.
While a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, driving drunk with a child passenger is considered a felony. This means that if you’re charged, you face a minimum jail sentence of 180 days and up to $10,000 in fines. On top of these penalties, the judge that presides over your case has the right to add on the following actions as they see fit:
- Additional fines.
- Probation and/or DWI school.
- Community service time of up to 1,000 hours.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
- Completion of an alcohol/drug education course or rehabilitation program.
With a repeat offense or a more complicated case, the stakes become higher, meaning that hiring a DWI attorney is even more important.
Experienced DWI Attorneys in Denton
Fortunately, a DWI charge doesn’t always equal a DWI conviction. And when it comes to your freedom and your rights, legal representation is worth every penny.
Prosecutors are very aggressive with Denton DWI cases, and you need to be sure that you understand that you are facing serious penalties if you are convicted of the offense. Whether this is your first DWI arrest or you are facing felony DWI charges due to repeat Denton DWI convictions, contact our experienced attorneys at James H. Horton Law Firm, P.C. for help.