Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most commonly asked DWI questions in Dallas:

“DWI” stands for Driving While Intoxicated and “DUI” stands for Driving Under the Influence. The charges sound similar, but the difference actually pertains to age. In Texas, anyone under the age of 21 with alcohol in their system will be charged with a DUI. If you are over 21 and pulled over for drinking and driving, a DWI charge will be the result. Either way, anyone charged with a DUI or DWI needs a quality defense lawyer.

In order to avoid maximum DWI penalties, you are advised to hire an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible. He/she will help you find the best option relative to your case. In a typical DWI case, the defendants have the following options:
1. Pursuit for case dismissal
2. Trial in court
3. Plea Bargain negotiation
Having an attorney can significantly increase your chances of winning the case, minimizing punishment and/or lowering the total costs of the DWI case.

Yes – it is possible to win a Dallas DWI case. The outcome depends on the facts of your particular case. Our attorney regularly fights DWI cases and has won many cases for our clients in the past.
To ensure that you have maximum odds of winning the case, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to defend you in court. A professional who has prior experience fighting DWI cases will help you understand what is to be expected in and out of court, and how to deal with it. We invite you to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys. They have years of experience fighting DWI cases and will give you valuable insight into your case.
Examples of some of the winning strategies employed by our attorneys include arguing constitutional violations and challenging BAC (Blood Alcohol concentration) levels. Our attorneys analyze the police reports systematically to ensure that the law was followed. They also analyze the device used to conduct any chemical testing, the qualifications of the person conducting the test and the lab protocols and procedures.

– What will happen after I get arrested for a Dallas DWI Misdemeanor?
After you are arrested and post a bond for a Dallas DWI Misdemeanor, you will be given a date on which you must appear in court. This date is usually 30 days after your arrest. During this time you’re advised to find an experienced attorney to represent you. If you hire an attorney during this period then your attorney will appear in court and you will not be required to appear.

– What will happen in the time period before I appear in court?
The police agency will file your case with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office. Once filed, the video evidence and any paperwork associated with your case will be available to your attorney.

– What will happen after the date of my first appearance in Court?
Your case will be passed for “Announcement” settings while your attorney reviews the evidence and meets with you to discuss how you wish to proceed with your case. You may decide to enter into plea negotiation with the DA’s Office, schedule your case for a hearing on the legality of your arrest, schedule a trial in front of the judge or request a trial in front of 6 jurors.

Once your case is taken to court you may either have a bench trial in which the court hears your case, or you may request a Jury trial in which a group of your peers hears the case. The jury will be composed of 6 members in a misdemeanor case, and it will have 12 members in a felony case.
The court will deliver the final sentence once the conviction has been made either by entering a plea through a plea bargain or by court. The penalties for a Dallas DWI may involve Jail time, heavy fines and probation, and alcohol classes.

The penalties that you get for a Texas DWI conviction depend upon a number of factors such as:
1. The number of prior offenses
2. The presence of a child below the age of 15 in your car
3. Your blood alcohol concentration level (BAC)
If you have been arrested for DWI then you’re advised to consult an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible.
Following are the common penalties for a Texas DWI conviction:
Potential penalties for a first offense misdemeanor with a BAC below 0.15:
• A fine not to exceed $2000
• A maximum jail sentence of 180 days
• Drivers license suspension
• DPS surcharges
Potential penalties for a first offense misdemeanor with a BAC above 0.15:
• A fine not to exceed $4000
• A maximum jail sentence of 365 days
• Drivers license suspension
• Ignition Interlock Device required on your car
• DPS surcharges
Penalties for the Second offense:
• A fine not to exceed $4000
• A maximum jail sentence of 365 days
• Drivers license suspension
• Ignition Interlock Device required on your car
• DPS surcharges
Penalties for the Third offense:
• A fine not to exceed $10,000
• Prison sentence of 2-10 years
• Drivers license suspension
• Ignition Interlock Device required on your car
• DPS surcharges
If you have prior DWI offenses of BAC levels of 0.15 or above you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car. This device functions in a similar fashion like a breath analyzer. The driver will be required to breathe in the device, and if his BAC levels are above the programmed limit then the car will not start.

The police will seize your drivers license if you are arrested for DWI and either provide a breath specimen with a result over .08 OR refuse to provide a breath or blood specimen. You will then have 15 days to request an ALR hearing.
If you consent to have your blood drawn then no action will be taken against your license until the results are back from the lab. If your blood alcohol concentration is reported as .08 or greater, a Notice of Suspension will be mailed to the address on your drivers license by DPS. You will then need to make your ALR hearing request.

If this is the first time that your license has been suspended you can request to obtain an “Occupational Driver’s License”. Under this license you will be allowed to drive up to 12 hours every day for your work, school, and household duties. These 12 hours can differ every day and they do not need to be continuous. The only two limitations you will have are as follows:
• You will not be allowed to drive for more than 12 hours in one day.
• You will have to specify what counties you will be driving in when you issue an occupational driver’s license. You won’t be allowed to drive outside these areas.
Depending upon the rules of the local court, this license can usually be issued within 2 days-6 weeks.

Yes – your lawyer can contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and request an ALR hearing for you. He/she will also be able to represent you in the court hearing. Having an experienced lawyer can drastically increase your chances of preventing a drivers license suspension. As your driving rights are extremely important, you should make sure that you do everything in your power to retain them.
We invite you to schedule a free consultation with our clients who will give you an expert opinion on your case.

The length of time it takes to handle a DWI case in Dallas County depends on whether or not your are entering into a plea agreement or scheduling a trial. Time frames can range from 6 months up to several years. This will depend on the specifics of your case.

Many of the costs involved in a DWI case only accrue if you are convicted for a Dallas DWI by entering a plea of guilty or no contest or by being found guilty at trial. The costs include fines and court costs. If you are put on probation, you must also pay $60 every month in probation supervision fees. You will be required to pay the costs of any urinalysis testing and the costs of any classes you are required to attend as a condition of your probation.

There may be restitution ordered for the costs of blood testing and any damage not covered by insurance if you were involved in an accident..

 In addition to the costs mentioned above, you will also have to pay a surcharge of $1,000-$2,000 annually for 3 years which will be levied to you by the Department of Public Safety.

If your license is suspended you will be required to purchase SR-22 insurance. If an Ignition Interlock Device is ordered, you will have to pay the monthly cost for the device. The costs mentioned above do not include attorneys fees, the costs of missing work for court, bonds posted for jail release, costs of traveling to and from court, towing fees and higher insurance premiums.

All these costs added up readily exceed $7,500-$10,500. Having a skilled attorney can help minimize many monetary penalties and thus minimize your losses.

SR-22 is a certificate of insurance policy that gives proof of future insurance. SR-22 is not a high risk insurance it is rather a strict liability insurance that certifies coverage to the DPS. If this insurance is terminated, canceled or lapsed any time before 2 years then the company must inform the DPS immediately.

This insurance can be issued from any company which is authorized by the state of Texas to write the certificate.