DWI in Williamson and Bell County
Texas leads the nation in crashes and fatalities related to drunk driving, and as a result, the state has mandated very harsh driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws that can result in severe penalties. However, an arrest for DWI does not have to lead to a criminal conviction in Georgetown. If you have been charged with DWI, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown immediately after your arrest.
There are usually two different cases after every DWI arrest – an administrative proceeding and criminal case. The administrative proceeding occurs before the criminal case, and possibly even before charges have been filed, and generally involves a license suspension upon arrest for DWI. You only have 15 days after your arrest to dispute your administrative license suspension. Therefore, it is essential to consult a Georgetown DWI attorney who will start working on your best defense today.
Georgetown DWI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a DWI in Georgetown, or any of the surrounding areas Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights, contact Law Office of Michael J. Price. Attorney Michael J. Price is an experienced Texas DWI defense lawyers who will advocate on your behalf and fight the allegations you are facing. Call Law Office of Michael J. Price for a free consultation at (512) 354-1880 or send an online message if you have been arrested for DWI in central Texas.
Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent After Arrest
After you have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI in Georgetown, it is important to not speak to any law enforcement officer until you have hired or spoken to your lawyer. The best way to invoke your right to remain silent is to tell your arresting officer and any other law enforcement officers you will not make any statements until you have consulted with your attorney. Once you have done this, it is important to remain silent and not talk to law enforcement, even if they continue to question you or threaten you.
Even if you are innocent, it is best not to try to explain your side of the story to law enforcement. You may be stressed or confused after the arrest, and this could possibly lead to you divulging conflicting details of the situation. The state prosecutor will use this information or any other harmful evidence or statements you give against you at trial. Your experienced attorney will protect your constitutional rights and interests when speaking to law enforcement on your behalf, which is the best way to reduce the possibility of incriminating yourself in any way.
Georgetown DWI Administrative Proceedings
If you have been pulled over on suspicion of (DWI), drinking and driving, or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance in Georgetown, your license may be suspended for refusing to submit to a chemical alcohol concentration test or for failing an intoxication test.
The administrative license suspension in Texas is a civil penalty and not associated with the criminal penalties for a DWI conviction. An individual can still receive an administrative license suspension even if they are not later charged with a driving while intoxicated offense. An alleged DWI driver in Texas can receive an administrative license suspension when pulled over on suspicion of DWI if:
- They refuse to submit to blood, breath or urine chemical testing, OR
- They fail to pass an intoxication test with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher (per se DWI).
If your driver’s license was confiscated by the law enforcement officer after you blew over the legal limit or refused to submit to testing, your attorney must make a written request to the Department of Public Safety headquarters for an administrative license suspension hearing within 15 days of receiving notice of the license suspension. Texas law considers notice to be given when the officer confiscated the driver’s license.
If a hearing is timely requested, the suspension is put on hold until a final decision has been made by the administrative law judge at the revocation or suspension hearing. The judge will determine at the hearing if there is sufficient evidence to suspend the driver’s license. If there is insufficient evidence, the individual’s license will not be suspended. If the license remains suspended, the individual may be able to receive a hardship or provisional license to travel to work or school.
Actual Physical Control in Georgetown
In order to be charged with DWI in Texas, an individual is required to have actual physical control (APC) of the motor vehicle. Texas law only requires the driver to be in or near the vehicle at the time of arrest, and be capable of operating the vehicle. Therefore, even if you were not actually driving at the time of arrest, you could still be arrested for DWI. Examples of factors the prosecutor will look at to see if you had APC at the time of your arrest can include:
- Whether the car’s engine was on;
- Whether keys were in the ignition;
- Whether keys were near to the ignition;
- Whether the vehicle’s hood was hot, indicating it was recently driven; and/or
- Whether the car was operable or able to be driven.
Georgetown DWI Offenses
The criminal DWI proceeding is separate from the administrative proceeding in Texas. This is what most people are familiar with, and generally involves pre-trial motions, hearings, the trial, and sentencing. The following is a list of common DWI criminal charges in Texas and the possible penalties you could face if convicted.
First DWI – This offense is usually punishable as a Class B Misdemeanor and can occur if the individual operates a motor vehicle in a public place while their normal faculties are impaired or their BAC is over .08 due to intoxication from the use of drugs, alcohol and/or controlled substances.
Second DWI – This offense is usually punishable as a Class A misdemeanor and can occur if an individual who has previously been convicted of a DWI operates a motor vehicle in a public place while their normal faculties are impaired or their BAC is over .08 due to intoxication from the use of alcohol, drugs and/or controlled substances.
Third or Subsequent DWI – This offense is usually punishable as a felony of the third degree and can occur if an individual who has previously been convicted of two or more DWIs operates a motor vehicle in a public place while their normal faculties are impaired or their BAC is over .08 due to intoxication from the use of alcohol, drugs and/or controlled substances.
DWI with a Child Passenger – This offense is generally punishable as a state jail felony and can occur if the individual operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated in a public place and has a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 15.
Intoxication Assault – This offense is usually punishable as a felony of the third or second degree and can occur if an individual operates a vehicle while intoxicated and cause serious bodily injury to another person due to the intoxication.
Intoxication Manslaughter – This offense is usually punishable as a felony of the second or first degree and can occur if an individual operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated and cause the death of another person due to the intoxication.
Penalties for DWI in Georgetown
An individual who has been convicted of a DWI in Georgetown and the surrounding areas could receive any of the following penalties:
- Fines from $2,000 to $10,000
- Community supervision
- DWI school
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- A criminal record
- Jail or prison sentence from 72 hours to life imprisonment
- Court costs
- Community service hours
- Driver’s license suspension
Law Office of Michael J. Price | Georgetown, TX DUI Lawyer
Contact Law Office of Michael J. Price today for a consultation about your alleged DUI in Williamson County, TX. Michael J. Price is knowledgeable in all areas of Georgetown’s DWI laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and punishments to your alleged DWI offense.
Contact Law Office of Michael J. Price at (512) 354-1880 for a consultation about your alleged DWI charges Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar, Park, Leander, Killeen, Temple, Harker Heights or the surrounding areas.