If you have been pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Georgetown, you may feel anxious, afraid and uncertain of what to do next. It is important to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will begin crafting your best legal strategy.
In your DWI or DUI case, the state prosecutor must prove you committed every element to your alleged offense beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict you of a first DWI. If your lawyer is able to cast any doubt on the prosecution’s case, your DWI charges may be reduced or even dismissed.
A conviction for a first DWI in Texas can result in very serious criminal penalties, including jail time, fines, ignition interlock installation, a possible criminal record and/or a driver’s license suspension. Therefore, it is necessary to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Georgetown to possible avoid harsh punishments and repercussions.
Georgetown First DWI Lawyer | Williamson County, TX
If you have been charged with a first DWI in Georgetown, or any of the surrounding areas Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Hutto, Killeen, Temple, Belton or Harker Heights, contact Price & Twine, PLLC. Attorneys Michael J. Price and James Twine are knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ driving while intoxicated laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.
Call Price & Twine, PLLC for a free consultation at (512) 354-1880 about your first DWI charges.
Georgetown First DWI Information Center
- First DWI in Georgetown
- Blood Alcohol Concentration Level in Texas
- Operating a Motor Vehicle in Georgetown
- Georgetown Penalties for a First DWI Conviction
- Is Jail Time Mandatory for 1st DWI in Texas?
- Can a First DWI Be Expunged in Texas?
- Resources in Georgetown for a First DWI
Often, individuals who have been charged with a first DWI, DUI or drunk driving offense believe they are capable of driving. However, even having one or two alcoholic beverages can push a person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level over the legal limit.
As defined in section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, an individual can be charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while they are intoxicated.
An individual can be considered intoxicated in Texas if they are unable to use their normal mental or physical faculties due to the consumption of alcohol, drug, dangerous drug and/or controlled substance. Normal faculties are anything the alleged DWI offender could do on a regular daily basis.
An individual can also be considered intoxicated in Texas if their BAC is over the legal limit of .08. If an individual has a BAC over the legal limit, they can be charged with a per se first DWI in Texas. This means they will automatically be arrested regardless of any other factors, even if they are able to use their normal faculties if they are over the legal limit.
Texas defines the state’s legal limit as having an alcohol concentration level of .08 or higher. According to Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.01(1), alcohol concentration levels, or BAC, are measured by the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood or 67 milliliters of urine.
An individual can reach this limit after having only a few drinks, depending on their weight, gender, amount of food they have eaten, their emotional state, the strength of the drink and/or their alcoholic beverage consumption rate.
For example, a woman who has one drink in one hour and weighs 100 pounds will probably have a BAC of .05, which is very close to the legal limit. If this woman brushes her teeth or uses mouthwash with a high level of alcohol, her breath alcohol level could reach or exceed the legal limit. If the woman has two drinks in one hour, her BAC is likely to be around .09. This puts her over the legal limit and could result in a per se DWI if she decides to operate a motor vehicle.
According to Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.01(a), a motor vehicle is defined as anything used to transport a person or property that is not used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks. Therefore, and individual can be charged with DWI in Texas if they are operating a car, motorcycle, boat or airplane.
Additionally, an individual must have actual physical control (APC) of the vehicle in order to be charged with DWI. An individual has APC of the vehicle if they are in the vehicle, or near enough to operate the vehicle, but they do not have to actually be operating the vehicle at the time of arrest. The individual must also have the capability to drive the vehicle in order to have APC of the vehicle.
As defined in Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, a first DWI conviction can result in a Class B Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, with a minimum mandatory 72-hour jail sentence. However, this penalty can increase to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six days if the driver had an open container in their vehicle at the time of arrest.
Additionally, an individual who has been charged with a First DWI could face any of the following penalties:
- Driver’s license suspension from 90 days to one year
- Possible installation of an ignition interlock device
- Fees to maintain the ignition interlocking device
- Court costs
- Completion of an approved alcohol or controlled substance course
- Community supervision or probation
- Fines up to $2,000
- Substance abuse counseling
- A possible criminal record
- DWI school
Is Jail Time Mandatory for 1st DWI in Texas?
If you’re convicted, then there’s a high likelihood you’ll spend some time in county jail. According to the Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, unless you’ve been granted probation–you’re probably looking at around three mandatory days in jail. The outcome will depend on the judge’s ruling which is influenced by the facts of the crime.
It’s also possible you could spend some time in jail if you refuse to submit to chemical testing. It’s technically an administrative violation to refuse to comply with chemical testing, so they can’t send you to jail for that. However, officers may take your refusal as a sign of guilt and enough probable cause to arrest you for DWI. In that case, you may be arrested and booked for a short period until you can make bail. While jail time is something to be avoided, many will choose to refuse testing because it limits the prosecution as they won’t have concrete evidence of the defendant’s intoxication.
Criminal defense attorneys are often asked if a DWI conviction can be expunged in Texas. The answer is no. A conviction of any offense cannot be expunged and this includes driving while intoxicated. However, your drunk driving charge can be expunged if the case is dismissed or you are found not guilty.
Texas Constitution and Statutes – Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code defines driving while intoxicated offenses in Texas, including a first DWI, and the potential penalties for a DWI conviction.
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides various vehicle resources and functions for drivers in Texas. The DMV registers and titles vehicles, increases driver awareness, and works with law enforcement to protect drivers in Texas.
Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission – The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates the alcoholic beverage industry throughout Texas, and provides resources on blood alcohol percentages, DWI laws in Texas and signs of intoxication. A local field office is located at:
Mothers Against Drunk Driving – This national nonprofit organization’s goal is to prevent accidents related to drinking and driving, stop drunk driving and provide support to individuals who have been involved with or know someone involved with an alcohol related accident.
Texas First DWI Attorney
Contact Price & Twine, PLLC today for a consultation about your first drinking and driving offense throughout Williamson County in Texas. Michael J. Price is an experienced Georgetown criminal lawyers who will make every effort to find mitigating factors or defenses to have your DWI charges reduced or even dismissed.
Contact Price & Twine, PLLC at (512) 354-1880 for a free consultation about your alleged first DWI throughout Williamson County and Bell County in Texas.