Drunk Driving Defense Attorney in Plano & Frisco

Call For a Free Consultation With a Plano DWI Lawyer

When you’ve been arrested for a drunk driving offense, it can be overwhelming. Once you fail either a portable breathalyzer test or a field sobriety test (like walking heel-to-toe), the police can arrest you immediately and strip you of your license where you stand. In order to land a conviction, the prosecution may rely on scare tactics, police bias at the time of your arrest, and the public’s distaste for driving under the influence. However, while a DUI or DWI charge may seem like the end, you can put your mind at rest when you consult with an experienced Plano drunk driving defense lawyer like H. Alex Fuller. As a former prosecutor, Alex understands the charges that will be leveled against you and can provide fair representation for your side of the story.

What Is the Difference Between a DWI and DUI?

In some states, you can only be charged with either a DUI (driving under the influence) or a DWI (driving while intoxicated.) Texas does things a little differently: Depending on your age, you can be arrested for either one. You can only receive a DWI charge if you’re over the age of 21, and you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08%. This is a Class B misdemeanor, and if your BAC is higher than 0.15%, it’s referred to as a DWI “per se” and will be charged as a Class A.

On the other hand, only a minor can be charged with a DUI, and in that case your blood alcohol concentration is irrelevant. According to Sec. 106.041 of the Texas Penal Code, a minor can be charged with drunk driving as long as there is “any detectable amount of alcohol in the minor’s system.” A DUI is treated as a Class C misdemeanor and carries lighter sentences than a DWI.

What Should I Do if I’ve Been Charged with a DUI/DWI?

If you’ve been charged with drunk driving, the most important thing is to keep a cool head. Until you are convicted, you will not face penalties immediately. Many people fail to realize that anything you say can be used against you, as the police may not always read your Miranda rights before requesting your consent for a field sobriety test.

There are some important things you should know if the police do suspect you of driving while intoxicated:

  • You do not have to take a breathalyzer test. It’s true that if you refuse to take a blood or breathalyzer test at the time of arrest, the DMV will automatically suspend your driver’s license for up to 6 months. However, the police can also take your license if you are discovered to have a BAC of 0.08% or above, and it only serves to strengthen the prosecution’s case against you.
  • Field sobriety tests can be flawed. If you fail a field sobriety test, you will be charged with a DWI or DUI. But these anecdotal types of tests are faulty, and in many cases, the police can be unfairly prejudiced in their assessments of your speech, walk, or eye movement.
  • Do not assume that a first offense is a good defense. Even if this is your first offense, you could ultimately face up to 6 months of jail time and fines of $2,000 for the next 3 years, so the worst thing you can do is attempt to argue your case alone. While a first offender may occasionally be offered alternative sentences, Texan judges are notorious for strict drunk driving law enforcement.
  • If you had a child in the car when you were pulled over, the risk of jail time is higher. Contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer immediately if you had a child present at the time of your accident and have been charged with a DWI. This is a felony charge, and you could be penalized with up to 2 years in jail.
  • You can challenge the results of a BAC test. Depending on your circumstances, there may be a variety of legitimate reasons why your BAC levels rose above the legal limit. Alcohol absorbs at different rates depending on an individual’s metabolism, and in the time that passed before a blood test, it’s possible your BAC slipped over the limit.

Your life can be ruined by even a single DWI, and you can spend years paying the price. The best course of action is to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Plano for a consultation regarding your case. Alex Fuller has over a decade of experience defending clients against undue prejudice by law enforcement and the criminal justice system. He can offer you his experience and help you formulate a strategy to defend your rights.

Contact The Law Office of H. Alex Fuller, PLLC for a free consultation if you’ve been arrested or charged with a DWI/DUI in the Plano or Frisco areas.

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