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Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

Drunk driving is a safety issue that affects everyone who travels the roadways. Because alcohol or drug use can make it difficult or impossible to drive safely, police officers are always on the lookout for behavior that may indicate that a driver is intoxicated. Drivers who are pulled over by law enforcement on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI) will likely be concerned about what they can do to protect their rights, and they should be sure to understand how to respond when asked to submit to any testing to determine whether they are impaired.

Texas’ Implied Consent Law

In the state of Texas, anyone who obtains a driver’s license is considered to have consented to have his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) tested if arrested on DWI charges. This is referred to as “implied consent,” and it means that drivers can face consequences if they refuse BAC testing after an arrest.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

It is well-known that drunk driving is against the law. Alcohol intoxication can make it difficult or impossible for a person to drive safely, and it can lead to dangerous car accidents in which people are injured or killed. Because of this, Texas drivers who operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or using drugs can face serious criminal charges. Even a first-time DWI offense can lead to multiple penalties that can affect a person for years to come, and those who are facing these types of charges will want to work with a criminal defense attorney to determine the best defense strategy.

Criminal and Administrative Penalties for a First DWI Offense

Under the Texas Penal Code, a person may be charged with the offense of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more. A person may also be considered intoxicated if they have lost their normal physical or mental faculties because of the use of alcohol, controlled substances, prescription medications, or any combination of these substances.

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Collin County DWI defense attorney

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, it is important to be aware of the increased risk of being arrested on suspicion of drinking and driving. Holiday get-togethers often involve alcohol consumption, and because of this, police officers will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers during the extended holiday weekends in November and December. Those who expect to consume alcohol will want to understand the steps they can take to avoid being arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas.

Operation CARE and No Refusal Weekends

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has stated that it will be increasing its enforcement efforts over the Thanksgiving weekend, lasting from Wednesday through Sunday. During this time, officers will be conducting more patrols than normal and looking specifically for drivers who are suspected of drunk driving, as well as other traffic violations, such as speeding and driving without a seat belt.

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Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

Drunk driving is illegal, and a person can face criminal charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol or drugs. In many cases, DWI charges occur because of a lapse in judgment or because a person believed that it was safe to drive without realizing that he or she was above the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC). 

Being convicted of DWI in Texas can have a variety of serious consequences, including driver’s license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, time in prison, probation, community service, participation in DWI education programs, and the requirement to use an ignition interlock device (IID). In many cases, a person will face DWI charges after being pulled over by a police officer, but unfortunately, some cases involve serious car wrecks that may result in the injury or death of others. In these cases, a person who is being charged with DWI should be sure to understand the charges that may apply and the potential penalties he or she could face.

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Collin County DWI defense attorney CDL

Like many other states, Texas takes the crime of drunk driving seriously. A DWI arrest or conviction can be difficult for anyone to overcome, but it is especially challenging for truck drivers and other holders of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) who rely on their driving privileges in order to make a living. If you are a commercial driver facing DWI charges, you need an experienced attorney who can provide the best possible defense so that you have a chance of avoiding criminal penalties that can impact your livelihood.

Additional Restrictions for CDL Drivers in Texas

Under Texas law, if the driver of a passenger vehicle is pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence and registers a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of more than 0.08 percent, he or she can be arrested and charged with DWI and face an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) for 90 days or more while awaiting trial. A driver who refuses to submit to a blood or breath test can be subject to an ALR for 180 days or more.

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Plano criminal defense attorney DWI with child

When you get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, you generally understand the risks of doing so. While you may not be thinking about the risks at the time, you almost certainly realize that it is dangerous to drink and drive. You probably know that alcohol impairs both your mental and physical faculties, which increases your chances of being involved in an accident. There is also the danger of getting pulled over and arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI)—the consequences of which can be quite severe.

Drinking and driving puts others on the road in danger, of course, but what about those in the car with the drunk driver? More importantly, what happens if there is a child riding in the car with a driver who has been drinking? Under Texas law, DWI with a child passenger is a serious criminal offense, and if you are convicted on such a charge, there is a good chance that you will go to jail.

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Plano criminal defense attorney DWI

If you were asked to do so right now, with no advance warning, could you stand on one foot while holding the other foot slightly off the ground for a full 30 seconds? Could you walk in a straight line—putting your foot heel to toe with every step—then turn around and come back on the same line, possibly without being able to look down at the line? If you were to have trouble with either of these exercises, federal authorities say that there is roughly an 80 percent chance that you are intoxicated.
Obviously, this was intended to be an exaggerated scenario, but in reality, the tests mentioned above are actually used by the police every day to test drivers who might be impaired by drugs or alcohol. The results of such tests are often presented as evidence against defendants facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI), despite the fact that these tests are not nearly as accurate as law enforcement officials would have you believe.

Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

There are three tests that are recognized by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) as effective in determining a driver’s level of impairment. Together, these three assessments comprise the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). In addition to the one-leg stand and the walk-and-turn tests, the SFSTs also include the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test, in which the driver is asked to follow an object, such as the officer’s finger or a pen, with only eyes. In this test, the officer is looking for an involuntary jerking or movement of the eye, usually at the peripheral range, that is often seen as an indicator of intoxication. The three tests are typically administered together, and courts throughout the United States tend to accept the test results as proof—albeit rebuttable proof—that a driver is intoxicated.

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Allen criminal defense attorney DWI

Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in Texas. If you are pulled over by a police officer, asked to take a breathalyzer or field sobriety test, and arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you will want to understand the types of criminal charges you may face, the potential consequences of a conviction, and whether you will lose your driver’s license. However, your first priority will likely be to find out how you can be released from custody. 

If you are arrested and booked at a local police department or a county jail, the procedures followed can be confusing, and you may not understand whether you will be required to appear before a judge or post bail before you can be released. Fortunately, by working with a lawyer, you may be able to get out of jail more quickly through an attorney writ bond.

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Allen DWI defense attorney

Hundreds of Texans are killed in car accidents involving alcohol each year, and in order to reduce this risk, Texas enforces a driver’s license suspension for many motorists who are arrested for or convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, these suspensions are usually not permanent, and drivers have the right to apply for reinstatement of their license when the time period of their suspension has passed. With the help of a DWI defense attorney, you can demonstrate to the state that you can drive safely in the future and get your license back as soon as possible.

When Can Your License Be Suspended in Texas?

If you are arrested for an alcohol-related driving offense, your license may be suspended under any of the following circumstances:

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Plano criminal defense attorney marijuana DWI

For many people, alcohol is the first substance that comes to mind in relation to the offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI), but Texas law defines intoxication as having one’s mental and physical capacities impaired by the use of any drug or substance. As some states continue to legalize or decriminalize marijuana and THC products, many drivers are being arrested on DWI charges related to these specific substances. In Texas, where recreational marijuana use and possession remain illegal and medical marijuana is highly regulated, motorists may face harsh penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana. If you are facing marijuana DWI charges, you need a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help you contest and reduce the charges or avoid a conviction altogether.

Defense Strategies for Marijuana DWI Cases

While Texas specifies a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent for alcohol intoxication, there is no clear standard when it comes to marijuana or THC. This means that marijuana DWI charges and sentencing often come down to the testimony of law enforcement officers against the testimony of the defendant. A lawyer who has experience with marijuana cases can pursue defense strategies that may help you persuade the jury of your innocence. These strategies include:

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Collin County criminal defense attorney underage DWI

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is treated as a serious criminal offense for Texans of any age, but underage drinkers are subject to even more stringent penalties. Texas not only has separate laws for driving under the influence (DUI) that apply to drivers under the age of 21 with any amount of alcohol in their system, but several other underage drinking offenses can also result in the loss of driving privileges. If you or your child has been arrested on an underage drinking charge, you should know about the potential legal consequences. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and driving privileges.

Texas Underage Drinking Laws

In Texas, underage drivers can be arrested for DUI if they have consumed any alcohol before driving. A police officer can make an arrest based on a blood alcohol content (BAC) test, even one with a result below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, or based on smelling alcohol on the driver’s breath. Texas law also prohibits someone under the age of 21 from purchasing, possessing, and consuming alcohol in most situations, as well as being drunk in public. A person arrested for the first time for any of these offenses may face Class C misdemeanor charges.

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Allen drunk driving defense attorney

If you thought getting charged with a DWI was bad enough, consider the consequences of a DWI with a child passenger. Should you be accused of such a crime, even if it is the first time you have ever been accused of any crime, you could still face significant consequences, including substantial fines, jail time, probation, and other penalties, not to mention child endangerment allegations that could put your child’s custody in jeopardy. If you or someone you know is facing DWI with a minor passenger charge, hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney should be your first step in figuring out an effective defense strategy.

What an Attorney Can Do for You 

Many states across the country do not target child endangerment charges for DWI/DUI with a minor passenger as strictly as Texas. In fact, for years, only three states other than Texas made such a charge an automatic felony. So, if you have to tackle DWI with a child passenger charges, you might not only be charged with the DWI itself but also child endangerment, which could make the charges and punishments much more serious. That is why you need professional legal representation to help you with such charges.

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Prosper criminal defense attorney DWI

If you were pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI), and you know you are guilty of that crime, that does not make it an open-and-shut case. You still have the right to legal representation, and your attorney can fight for you in such a way that you may be not found guilty, the case may be dismissed, or the charges may be reduced. In fact, criminal defense attorneys are able to discover things that you—and possibly the prosecution—are unable to see about your case. As they collect, research, and study these details, they are able to undermine the prosecution’s case against you. Here are all the reasons why you should seek an attorney even if you were driving drunk:

The Benefits of Hiring a Lawyer

Ultimately, the most important reason you need an attorney if you are facing DWI charges is that, even if you know you are guilty of the crime, all sorts of things could have happened during the legal process. This can include the procedures followed when police officers first arrested you and collected evidence or the ways the prosecutor makes an argument against you. For example, your criminal defense attorney can assist with the following issues:

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Fairview DWI defense attorney

DWI (driving while intoxicated) is a serious charge in Texas, but DWI with a child passenger can be even more serious, carrying with it particularly severe consequences, both in terms of criminal law and civil law. From jail time and fines to loss of child custody, the effects of these allegations can completely change your life. To better prepare you if you are facing these charges, the following information outlines the legal definition of DWI with a child passenger, as well as the penalties associated with this criminal offense.

What Is DWI With a Child?

If it is determined that you were driving while intoxicated (a BAC of .08 percent or higher), and you had a child under the age of 15 in your car at the time, then you could be charged with DWI with a child passenger in Texas. You can still face this charge even if the child did not get injured or harmed in any way.

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Prosper DUI defense attorney

In some states, DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) are considered synonymous. However, in Texas, DWI and DUI are actually two distinctly separate charges. That is because DUI involves underaged drinking, whereas DWI can apply to anyone who is of legal drinking age. The two charges are legislated, enforced, litigated, and penalized differently. Below is a closer look at these offenses and their corresponding consequences.

DUI: Definition and Enforcement

DUI is a charge brought against anyone under the age of 21 who is found to be operating a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Unlike DWI, blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are unnecessary in proving that someone has consumed alcohol for these charges. A police officer can claim that a young person is “under the influence” by merely smelling alcohol on his/her breath. In addition, the driver does not need to be drunk or otherwise impaired to be charged with a DUI.

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Allen DWI defense attorney prescription drugs

Even though you may not have had an ounce of alcohol all day, it is still possible to be pulled over by a police officer who accuses you of driving while intoxicated (DWI). You may believe you are safe from any criminal charges; however, if you recently consumed something else that might have impaired your driving, you may face legal consequences. This is because in Texas, to meet the requirements for a DWI charge, a driver does not necessarily have to exceed the legal limit of .08 percent blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you are operating a vehicle and do not have full use of your physical and mental abilities due to the effects of a controlled substance, then you may still be charged with a DWI, such as a prescription drug DWI.

Other Causes of Impairment

Alcohol is not the only substance that can cause intoxication and impair your ability to drive. For instance, any of the following could contribute to a weakened capacity for driving in Texas:

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Collin County intoxication manslaughter lawyerIf you are facing charges of intoxication manslaughter, you might be wondering if this is a completely indefensible offense that cannot be adequately challenged in court. Of course, it is natural to have all of these worries and fears when this type of tragedy happens. You might even feel an overwhelming sense of guilt as you struggle to see a way out. However, the truth is that with the right criminal defense attorney, you could be found not guilty, have the case dismissed, or have your charges significantly reduced. Your lawyer can help you determine the best defense strategies that will allow you to achieve a positive outcome to your situation.

Effective Defense Strategies With Intoxication Manslaughter

While it might seem as if a charge of intoxication manslaughter cannot be overcome in court, there are a variety of ways to challenge or defeat these charges, including:

  • Suggesting Faulty Sobriety Tests — As with a DWI case, one of the best ways to achieve success is to establish reasonable doubt by calling into question the validity of the sobriety tests. If your lawyer can instill uncertainty and skepticism in the jury about the overall effectiveness of the sobriety tests, then it might lead them to believe that you were not intoxicated at the time of the accident.

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Proper, TX DWI defense attorney

Under Texas law, there are multiple different offenses regarding driving while intoxicated (DWI), and you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Ultimately, which crime you are charged with depends on your history and your BAC level. Here is a closer look at each type of charge related to DWI:

Definition and Penalties for Class A DWI Charges

A Class A DWI charge is more severe than a Class B offense, because it can imply repeat offenses of a similar crime or a stronger case for the prosecution due to sobriety test results. In particular, if someone is charged with a Class A DWI offense, the following might be true:

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McKinney intoxication manslaughter defense attorney

One of the most serious offenses related to DWI is intoxication manslaughter. This is the primary reason people are pulled over for driving while intoxicated in the first place: to ensure that deaths resulting from impaired drivers do not take place. With Texas leading the nation in traffic fatalities and the country itself seeing an increase in such tragedies by nearly one-third over the last decade, you or someone you know could be faced with the consequences of intoxication manslaughter if you are involved in an accident. Therefore, it is important to know how Texas law defines this crime and its potential penalties.

Manslaughter Versus Murder

Before understanding intoxication manslaughter, it is helpful to know the difference between manslaughter and murder. While both manslaughter and murder result in someone’s death as a consequence of actions taken by the defendant, in the case of murder, the accusation implies that the defendant had malicious intent. With the crime of murder, the prosecution alleges that it was the defendant’s goal to kill the other person; however, with manslaughter, the death is considered a result of alleged recklessness on the part of the defendant. In regard to intoxication manslaughter, a death in a car accident while a person is impaired is typically not considered murder. Instead, it is usually considered manslaughter, since the majority if not all of these cases lack malicious intent.

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Posted on in DWI

Plano DWI defense lawyerIf you were pulled over for drunk driving, a lot of questions may go through your head. What if I go to jail? What if they take away my license? How am I going to find the right lawyer? Is my life ruined and over as I know it? Although these worries may seem legitimate, the truth is that the majority of them are driven by anxiety, not truth. With the proper attorney representing you, you may walk out with a “not guilty” verdict. While there are plenty of ways to win your DWI case, including the employment of a wide variety of defense strategies, there are a few basic principles that are commonly used when developing a legal plan for DWI defense. 

Elements of a Winning DWI Defense

There are numerous ways that a lawyer can successfully defend you in a DWI case. If your lawyer makes the right argument and provides convincing evidence from the start, the case could be settled or dismissed. In fact, very few DWI cases actually go to trial. In the instance that your case does take place in the courtroom, here are a few things that your lawyer should be doing on your behalf:

  1. Establishing — and Reiterating — “Innocent Until Proven Guilty”: The jury must know that this is not an open-and-shut case against you — DWI cases are rarely that simple. There are many ways that information gathered by the government in its prosecution could be disproven. Additionally, there could be new findings and discovered evidence throughout the trial that might weaken the prosecution’s argument and work in your favor.
  2. Exposing the Government’s Mistakes: As previously stated, the government is not infallible in their collection of evidence, their treatment of the accused, or even their approach to the trial. There are countless ways that the seeds of doubt can be planted in the jury’s mind about the strength of the argument against you. Your attorney should take all means necessary to weaken these preconceived notions and prove any wrongdoing by the government throughout your trial.
  3. Raising Concerns About the Validity of BAC and Sobriety Tests: Contrary to popular belief, these types of tests are not that accurate. There are various factors that could affect the test results, thus invalidating them. Alcohol content in food can cause inaccurate readings with a breathalyzer, and anxiety can influence one’s ability to adequately complete a “walk-and-turn” test. Your attorney should highlight these testing inconsistencies to use as a defense tactic for your case.
  4. Jury Selection: Choosing the right jury can make or break a criminal case — and this is usually even more true with DWI cases. The insurmountable bias that surrounds those accused of DWI can cause the jury to make a decision before they step foot in the courtroom. People presume guilt, especially when tests have allegedly proven drunkenness or when safety issues might have revealed supposed recklessness. However, the right lawyer will be able to convince the jury that their presumptions of guilt are in opposition to their legal duties as jurors and that official alcohol and sobriety tests lack the definitive validity that they assume to be true. Finding a jury that is most devoted to the legal process itself and not their preconceived notions regarding DWI cases and those accused of DWI is critical to the success of your case.

Contact a Collin County DWI Lawyer

Being accused of a crime does not mean you are guilty. An experienced DWI defense attorney can prove your lack of guilt and reveal the impropriety within the system. At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C., our lawyers are well-versed in DWI defense strategies, and we can provide you with the proper defense that you deserve. Contact our Plano DWI defense attorneys at 469-333-3333 for a complimentary consultation. We want to inform you of what you are up against and help you achieve the results and resolution you seek.

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