In Texas, like everywhere nowadays, DWI law is complicated. It is absolutely vital that anyone accused of Driving While Intoxicated contact an experienced DWI attorney like Michael Pham to help them navigate the complicated waters.
First, there is a difference between Driving While Intoxicated and Driving Under the Influence. DWI is the adult version where the accused has more than a 08 blood alcohol content. Driving Under the Influence is isolated to those under 21 who are prohibited from driving with more than 0.02 blood alcohol content. Also of note, it is unlawful to drive a commercial vehicle with more than .04 blood alcohol content by volume.
In almost every DUI case in Houston, there are jail times and fines associated with them. In many cases, Mr. Pham has negotiated with prosecutors to suspend the jail time so that it does not have to be served unless his clients commit another offense within a specific time frame. In other cases, Mr. Pham has gotten his client’s charges reduced to another offense such as reckless driving or another moving violation to minimize the impact. Furthermore, in the event of a conviction and a drivers’ license suspension, work permits are available in some occasions that will allow for driving to work, school, and other approved purposes.
As noted, the punishment for DUI crimes in Houston is severe and they often depend on the level of alcohol in the offender’s system:
The first offense is a misdemeanor, which can be punished by a $2,000- $4,000 if BAC 0.15% or more, 72 hours to 180 days in jail. There is also a drivers’ license suspension associated with the offense from 90 days to 1 year.
The second DUI offense is also a misdemeanor which features a fine of up to $4000, 30 days to 1 year in jail, and a 1 to 2 years license suspension.
For the third and any offense thereafter, a DUI conviction can result in a fine of up to $10,000, 2-10 years in a Texas jail and 1 to 2 years license suspension period
Be aware than in every DUI case, even if it is a first offense, the court is required to order a driver install an ignition interlock system if the driver’s blood alcohol content registers in excess of .15. These devices require the driver to blow into a tube before their vehicle will even start. The only exception are work owned vehicles.
We mentioned that DUI law can become complicated, and the drivers’ license suspensions are the primary reason. In addition to the criminal court case for the DUI arrest, the accused also have an administrative hearing regarding the status of their license. Texas has implemented an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) that automatically applies if the driver refuses a breath test or blows in excess of .08 BAC. This means that the license will be confiscated immediately, and the arresting officer will give a 15 day temporary license pending the ALR hearing. On the 16th day after the arrest, if no ALR hearing is requested, the driver’s license is suspended for three months.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges for a DUI or DWI offense, and you want an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer, contact Houston DWI attorney Michael H. Pham at (713) 236-7791.