What Happens When You Get a DUI Under 21 in Dallas, Texas

What Happens When You Get a DUI Under 21 in Dallas, Texas

Drinking and driving, no matter who you are or what your age, is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. In the state of Texas, there is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to minors under the age of 21 who are found drinking and driving. Because the legal drinking age is 21, anyone under that age who has a blood alcohol level higher than 0.0 and is operating a motor vehicle will be arrested and charged with a DUI.


While many people use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably, there is a major difference between the two. For adults over the age of 21, having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher while driving a car can be arrested and charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated). DUI (driving under the influence) is a charge reserved for anyone under the age of 21 who is operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.0 in Texas. 

Because Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for minors drinking and driving, a police officer will arrest a minor for DUI if he believes the juvenile to be intoxicated, and the field sobriety test confirms it. If your son or daughter has been arrested and charged with a DUI in Dallas, it is critical that you contact an experienced DUI lawyer as soon as possible to begin strategizing a defense and to attempt to mitigate the potential consequences of a conviction.

Potential Consequences of a DUI in Dallas

Being convicted of DUI charges in Dallas is serious and can have severely negative consequences on your child’s life. As a Class C Misdemeanor, an underaged DUI sentence can include:

  • 60-day license suspension
  • Up to $500 fine
  • Alcohol awareness education
  • Community service

For those aged 17 to 20 years old with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher, the penalties may be more severe. These can include the following:

  • 90-day license suspension
  • Up to $2,000 fine
  • 3 to 180 days of jail time

If there are subsequent convictions within ten years, these penalties increase substantially as well. The license suspension increases to one year, the fine up to $4000, and jail time can also be up to one year. 

In all cases of DUI, a conviction will most likely also increase your insurance premiums, if not a complete dismissal of your insurance, since there will be a permanent criminal record going forward.

Contact Our Experienced Dallas DUI Attorney

At The Dallas DWI Specialists, we have the knowledge, skills, and experience to defend your son or daughter, who has been charged with a DUI in Dallas, Texas. You must contact us as soon as possible so that we can start working on your child’s defense and investigating the circumstances of the arrest. 

We understand the severe impact a DUI conviction can have on a child’s life, and we are willing to work tirelessly to try to mitigate those effects. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your child’s case.


How Much is Bail for DWI in Dallas, Texas?

How Much is Bail for DWI in Dallas, Texas?

Being charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Dallas, Texas, is a serious accusation and can have a severe impact on your life. Following an arrest, you will be placed in jail until a judge sets a bail amount. After posting bail, you should immediately contact an experienced Dallas DWI attorney such as Jay Brooks Bishop IV at The Dallas DWI Specialists. He’s fought and won many DWI cases, and he can help defend you. 

What Is Bail?

The term “bail” refers to a set monetary amount determined in order to be released from jail and later return to court for a hearing or trial after being released. Instead of paying the full amount, an alleged offender can also be released on a bail bond or personal bond (cash, bond, or other security), which will guarantee that you will return for your court hearing. 

Personal bonds allow a judge to release an individual on his word that he will return to court without the assurance of security, but this is rare for DWI cases.

Who Can Post Bail?

An alleged offender can hire a bondsman to post bail on their behalf if he or she cannot pay his or her bail. Bondsmen usually charge a fee (generally about 15% of the bond itself) to post bond. 

The bondsman releases liability, and funds are returned if the arrested individual follows through and makes the appointed court appearance. If the alleged offender does not appear in court, the bondsman is held accountable and must pay the full bond or bring the individual to court.

A family member or friend may also pay the bond, but there must be a bail bond agent licensed in Texas able to post the bond on behalf of the family. Your attorney can also post a bond for you, but that attorney must then also legally represent you in any court hearings and trials.

What Factors Determine How Much Bail Will Be?

Many different factors determine the bail price, so there is no definitive amount. In general, a first-time offender for DWI will have bail set between $200 and $1000, depending on the judge and the circumstances. This number can also be raised or lowered with the judge’s prerogative. Other factors which may alter the amount of bail set by a judge include:

  • Any past DWI convictions
  • Prior convictions which indicate violence or flight risk upon release
  • Willingness to submit to mandatory blood alcohol level testing
  • Any aggravating factors included in the DWI charge
  • Probation violation from a previous incident

Some counties in Texas have a predetermined bail schedule used to determine bail in a variety of circumstances. Regardless of the bail price, it is always best to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. 

Need Help with Your Dallas DWI Case? Contact Us For Help

If you or a loved one has been charged with a DWI in Dallas, Texas, contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options. Our firm is ready and willing to fight the charges and work tirelessly on your defense. We have the knowledge and skills to defend your rights and give you the best chance of overcoming your DWI charges.


5 Things To Do When You Get A DWI in Dallas, Texas

5 Things To Do When You Get A DWI in Dallas

No matter who you are or what the circumstances may be, getting pulled over by the police can be a stressful and frightening situation. However, there is a significant difference between getting pulled over for speeding or failing to signal and a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). A speeding ticket or other moving violation can affect you financially and with your insurance, but a DWI can have a severe impact on your life.

At The Dallas DWI Specialists, we are dedicated to defending you and working tirelessly to beat your DWI charges or get them reduced. To get you on the right track, here are five things you should remember if you get pulled over and charged with a DWI in Dallas, Texas. 

What To Do When You Get a DWI

When a police officer pulls you over, he or she will ask you some questions to determine if you have been drinking or are otherwise intoxicated. It is important that you are polite, answer the questions, and expect to be asked to vacate your vehicle. This situation can be scary, but try to remain as calm as possible.

Have Your Information Ready

Whenever you are pulled over for a traffic violation, you will be asked for your license, registration, and proof of insurance. When operating a motor vehicle, you should always have your information updated and ready to hand to the officer. The cop will be aware that you are probably nervous, but you should try to stay calm and collected when providing this information. Remember, the officer is always observing you.

Consider the Field Sobriety Test

To help determine if you are intoxicated, a police officer may ask you to take a field sobriety test after removing you from your vehicle. These usually include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, the walk-and-turn test, and the one-leg stand test. You are not legally obligated to submit to these tests, but an officer may construe a refusal as probable cause to arrest you. Taking the tests and not passing will also be used as evidence to arrest you and to try to convict you in court.

An officer may also ask you to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test to determine your blood alcohol level. A refusal to take these tests will result in a license suspension of 180 days if this is your first refusal. Subsequent refusals will result in a license suspension of 2 years each time. If convicted, your license will be suspended. It is important to consider the consequences of these tests, especially if you do have alcohol or drugs in your system. 

Invoke Your Right To Remain Silent

If the officer determines that you appear to be intoxicated, he will arrest you. Other than giving your full name, address, and birthday, you are not required to say anything else. In fact, it is your right to remain silent after being arrested, and you should. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so remaining silent eliminates that possibility. The only person you should speak to following your arrest is your lawyer.

Contact a DWI Attorney

Once you have been arrested, your first call should be to an experienced DWI attorney. The sooner that you contact a lawyer, the sooner he or she will be able to begin reviewing your case and mounting a defense. Waiting until the last minute takes valuable time away from the attorney and can negatively impact your case. Contact us to find out how we can handle your DWI case.

Don’t Panic

At every stage of the process, there will be stress and moments of panic. You must remember to remain calm, avoid speaking unless it is to your attorney, and don’t give the police anything they can use as evidence against you in court.

Our DWI Attorney Can Help

At The Dallas DWI Specialists, we have the knowledge, skills, and experience to defend your case in court, and we will work tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome. Being charged with a DWI in Dallas can be scary, but we are here to help you determine the best defense strategy for your situation so that we can work toward the highest chance of success. Call us now for a free consultation to review your case. We’ve helped many people beat their DWI case, and we can help you too. 


Hazardous Holidays Happenings

With Labor Day quickly approaching, summer is officially coming to a close and most people across the country will be wrapping up their summer and enjoying their three-day holiday weekend. While holidays are a time for fun and merriment, and the ever so appreciated extra day off work – they can also be surprisingly dangerous.

While New Years and Thanksgiving typically rank highest in most accident-prone holidays, Labor Day isn’t too far off. As time on the road during this three-day holiday increases, so do the chances for accidents. The National Safety Council estimates 405 fatalities will occur this Labor Day weekend.

Because more injuries and fatalities happen during Labor Day, we decided to take a closer look at the data for all holiday hazards. Below are our findings on the prevalence of holiday injuries and fatalities.

So, be aware, be cautious, but enjoy your Labor Day BBQ’s – wherever they take you!

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Marijuana Legalization by the Numbers

Long considered the longshot dream of stoners, the marijuana legalization movement has picked up a considerable amount of steam in recent years. After decades with little to no progress advancing their cause, advocates of marijuana legalization pushed through ballot measures in Colorado and Washington in 2012.

Two years later, three Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, DC followed suit. Now, in 2016, there’s even more states considering legalization initiatives: California, Nevada, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.


This rapid expansion of marijuana legalization corresponded with a similar increase in public opinion in support of marijuana legalization. Over the last 40 years, the trend in support has remained mostly flat, but in the last 5 years, support for legalization has increased dramatically. In 2011, a majority of Americans supported legalization for the first time, according to Pew Research Center.

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Interestingly, public support for marijuana is divided between those who have and those who have not tried marijuana before. But, to the chagrin of activists, not everyone who has tried marijuana before thinks it should be legal. According to polling data, 29% of people who oppose legalization have tried marijuana before. Conversely, 71% of people who support marijuana legalization have tried marijuana before.6a


With more and more states liberalizing their marijuana laws, there’s no consensus on the best way to regulate marijuana sales. Each state so far has its own quirks and weird regulatory rules. For example, Colorado originally mandated that marijuana growers, processors, and retailers be vertically integrated, while Washington prohibited vertical integration. While Colorado and Oregon legalized at-home growing, Washington state prohibits it. These laws have been changing rapidly, and all manner of marijuana sales are illegal according to the federal government.


States also differ on penalties for breaking their legalization laws. Each state lets you possess at least 1 oz of flower, which is more than enough for most people. However, pick up more than that, and be prepared to face harsh penalties. In Colorado, more than 12 oz of marijuana (still 4 oz less than 1 lb) could get you fined up to $100,000. In Washington, only 1.4 oz could get you up to 5 years in prison.

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One of the main reasons activists give for supporting legalization efforts is the tax revenue that recreational sales of marijuana will bring in. Along with saving on incarceration costs, states like Colorado have seen record level of tax revenue going to schools. In the graph below, you can see how much tax revenue each state has brought in over the course of retail sales in the state. (Alaska isn’t included because recreational sales haven’t started there yet.)


Effects of marijuana legalization haven’t been all positive, however. There’s some evidence that since marijuana was legalized, more people have been driving while high. In Washington, the proportion of drivers testing positive for THC rose from 19% in 2012 to 33% in 2015. This poses a distinct challenge for police officers because there’s no easy way to check for marijuana intoxication as there is for alcohol intoxication.

The jury is still out on whether legalization of marijuana is a good idea overall. Ultimately, voters and elected officials in each state will decide. Fortunately, there a number of resources that people can use to lessen the potential negative effects of marijuana legalization, from services like Narcotics Anonymous, to help people with dependency, to Uber and Lyft, to help get you home safe.


A Summary of DWI Infractions in Fort Worth

While everyone knows what a DUI is, they may not be familiar with the more general term “DWI.” The acronym stands for “Driving While Intoxicated,” which includes alcohol in addition to any other drugs that could impair you: marijuana, MDMA, LSD, cocaine, even sleeping pills like ambien. All forms of DWI are illegal by statute in Texas and Fort Worth.

While the only roadside test for intoxication deployed on Texas roads is the breathalyzer, the officer can order a blood test if he or she believes you are impaired by another drug. While you can refuse to the blood test, in most cases, the penalties for doing so are greater than penalties of incurring a DWI itself. In the case of drivers under 21, any level of alcohol found in the blood is enough for a DWI conviction.

Even so, breathalyzers and devices used for blood tests may not be calibrated properly, which may be used as a DWI defense. Employing a Fort Worth DWI Attorney can help you mount a legal defense. No matter what the situation, the best thing a person charged with a DWI can do is hire a competent DWI lawyer.


Proving a Dallas DWI in Court

There are four things that the prosecution needs to prove in Texas in order for there to be a DWI conviction. They are that someone was intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. All of those elements have to be true for the defendant to be convicted and it is one of the jobs of an experienced Dallas DWI attorney to try and prove that all four things do not fall into place.

For the prosecution to prove you were indeed intoxicated, a Blood Alcohol Concentration level of .08% must be found via either a breathalyzer test or blood tests. If you were not drinking, but were under the influence of drugs, that needs to be proven through a blood or urine tests. The arresting officer also has the right to use field sobriety tests as grounds for arrest, but many experts agree that using this as evidence alone is not always reliable. Your DWI attorney in Dallas will verify if all of these tests were given according to procedure.

The definition of the second two elements, operating a motor vehicle, means that the person in question must be in a vehicle operated by a motor with the keys in the ignition. The vehicle must also be in operable shape, meaning it must be able to be driven. The public place that the vehicle is operating in while you are allegedly intoxicated is defined as any area that the public or a substantial amount of people has access to. This can include regular streets, highways or any public grounds where people convene like hospitals, shopping areas or schools.

If all of these elements line up correctly, the state does have a case against you and a Dallas DWI lawyer needs to work to poke holes in that case for an acquittal or at least try to make sure you get the minimum penalties allowed by law. He or she will investigate everything that happened at the time you were charged and you must reveal everything to your attorney and not lie at all. You cannot ask for a good defense if the person defending you does not have all the facts. You do not want any surprises occurring at trial that can lead to a negative outcome.

And, remember, you do not have to face these charges alone and do have rights. If you are been arrested for driving while intoxicated, call a DWI lawyer in Dallas today for help.


Zero Tolerance for Under 21 DWI in Dallas

Facing a DWI charge as a minor can be a frightening experience that resulted from one mistake you will come to regret immediately. In Texas, there is a zero tolerance law for people under the age of 21. If a minor is found with any amount of alcohol in their system whatsoever and is behind the wheel of a car, that minor will be charged with driving while intoxicated and needs legal help fast from a knowledgeable Dallas DWI attorney.

As a kid, you have your whole life ahead of you and facing criminal charges can both utterly frightening and completely daunting. You never thought you would have to deal with something so young in life and didn’t believe a little bit of alcohol could cause so much harm. But, the fact is it was illegal for you to be drinking at all, much less drinking and then driving.  And, just because you are a minor, it does not mean a conviction will not show as part of your criminal record. Unless you go to court to have your record sealed, it will. If as an adult, you make this mistake again you can be tried as a second-time offender and face even harsher charges.

Your Dallas DWI lawyer will explain to you the consequences of a conviction while he prepares your case. If you are under 21, your DWI charge is classified as a Class C misdemeanor, and you can face a fine of up to $500. You license can be suspended for up to two months and you may be required to perform 20-40 hours of community service. You may also be required to complete an alcohol awareness class. If you are under 18, you can face the same penalties as you would if you were between the ages of 18 and 21, but your parent or guardian will be required to accompany you to any court appearance. Your parent or guardian may also have to attend any alcohol education program a judge sentences you to.

If you are convicted of a DWI, learn from your mistake. If you only experience this one conviction, it may be expunged from your record after you turn 21, but not if you have subsequent charges. To help avoid any conviction, cooperate with your lawyer and be honest with him or her about the incident in question. If you or your parents are not sure of your rights, call a DWI lawyer in Dallas today for help.


Drugs Can Also Equal a Dallas DWI

Alcohol is not the only thing that can lead to a DWI charge. Although it is what most people think of when they hear the words “driving while intoxicated”, intoxication itself can also mean drugs, even if the drugs are legal. If any substance impairs your mental capabilities at all, you can be considered unfit to get behind the wheel of a car. No matter what type of DWI you may be charged with, you need to have an experienced Dallas DWI attorney by your side to present the best defense possible.

An officer in Texas has the right to pull you over if he feels your driving is reckless and suspects you may be intoxicated. He may ask you to perform a few field sobriety tests before then asking you to submit to a Blood Alcohol Concentration test at the scene. If you were driving under the influence of drugs, a BAC test will mean nothing and the officer also will have the right to search your car. If illegal drugs are found, you may be facing more than just a DWI charge and can be facing possession charges as well, having more of a need for a DWI attorney in Dallas than ever.

After explaining your case to your Dallas DWI lawyer, one with experience and know how will investigate everything that happened leading up to charges being brought against you. Everything the officer did had to have been done according to rules and procedures, and one misstep on the officer’s part can break a prosecutor’s case. While a sign of integrity in an attorney is him or her being honest with you about what you are up against, you must also be honest with your attorney  about the circumstances that led up to your arrest so that you are both on the same page and there are no surprises in court.

A DWI conviction, as well as a conviction for possessing illegal narcotics, can have a profound effect on the rest of your life, as well as your family’s life. You can face jailtime, as well as a license suspension and steep fines. You may end up with a criminal record that can affect both your current employment and also future employment opportunities. Texas takes these kinds of offenses seriously and so should you. If you are facing this type of uphill battle, call a DWI lawyer in Dallas today for help.


Common Penalties for a DWI in Dallas

Whether you are a first-time offender or not, a DWI charge in the state of Texas can be a frightening experience as you wonder how it will impact the rest of your life. Although it is considered a Class B misdemeanor, it is still a criminal charge with serious consequences. You can face steep fines that you may not be able to afford, as well the time behind bars. The state of your drivers’ license is also at stake and you face the possibility of losing it for an extended period of time. Hiring an experienced Dallas DWI attorney to represent you in a case like this is key to your case and an honest attorney will educate you on what you are up against.

There are different penalties depending on whether this is your first time charged and convicted for a DWI offense. If it is your first time, you may be forced to pay a fine of up to $2,000 and also face the possibility of a jail sentence that can be a minimum of three days, but a maximum of 180 days. You can also lose your license for as little as 90 days and as long as one year. While the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration in Texas is .08%, if your BAC was .15% or more, you face the possibility of being tried as a second-time offender and if convicted, that can come with even harsher penalties. Your fine can be much more steep and as high as $5,000, and you face the possibility of anywhere from 30 days to one year behind bars. Your license can also be revoked for as little as six months and as much as two years.  A second time offender charge is also classified as a misdemeanor and not a felony, but a DWI attorney in Dallas is just as critical and necessary.

If it your third DWI offense, then felony charges in the third degree can come into play. Your fine can be as high as $10,000 and you can spend up to 10 years in jail. If there was any bodily harm done when driving while intoxicated whether it is your first offense or not, 10 years in jail may also be necessary. If a death occurred, this can be considered intoxication manslaughter and you can be facing a 20-year prison sentence, but a good Dallas DWI lawyer can help you get a lesser sentence.

A Texas DWI charge is a serious matter that requires serious attention no matter how severe. For the help you need in court, call a DWI lawyer in Dallas today.