Drunk driver pulled over by police

DWI Vs DUI in Texas

The Law Office of Justin K. Hall P.C. Feb. 12, 2024

A DWI or DUI charge has serious consequences that could potentially harm your future. After facing a charge, you may expect to have trouble securing a job, renting a house or apartment, and personal life issues.

On top of that, there are legal consequences that you must adhere to. It is an incredibly stressful and overwhelming experience. I understand what you're going through, and I am here to reassure you that it is crucial to seek help from a criminal defense attorney, like myself.  

At my firm, The Law Office of Justin K. Hall P.C., I proudly give aggressive defense strategies for individuals accused of DWI charges, in Rockwall, Texas, and throughout Dallas, Collin, Hunt, and Kaufman counties. With over 20 years of experience in this field, my team and I are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to guide you through this legal process. 

Understanding DWI and DUI in Texas

In Texas, the terms Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Driving Under the Influence (DUI) refer to two different offenses. Both offenses carry significant consequences, and understanding the differences is crucial. Here's what you need to know: 

  • A DWI refers to the operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. However, it's important to note that in Texas, DWI offenses do not always involve alcohol but can also include other substances that can impair one's ability to drive. 

  • A DUI typically applies to those under the legal drinking age of 21 who have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. It's a unique aspect of Texas law that emphasizes zero tolerance for underage drinking and driving. 

  • If you're driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under the age of 14, if you've already been convicted of two prior DWI charges, or if you cause serious bodily harm or a fatality while driving under the influence, you can be charged with a felony DWI. This offense carries even more severe penalties. 

  • Texas state law allows a person arrested for a DWI to refuse to take a requested test, like a breathalyzer or blood test. However, this refusal can result in certain penalties, such as a suspended license. 

At my firm, we have a deep understanding of the nuances between DWI and DUI charges. We meticulously review the details of your case, analyze the evidence presented, and craft a robust defense strategy specific to your situation.  

Potential Consequences of a DWI or DUI

Facing a DWI or DUI charge can have serious implications on your life. It's not just about the immediate penalties that come with a conviction, but also the long-term effects that can impact various aspects of your life. Here are some potential consequences you need to be aware of: 

  • A DWI or DUI conviction leaves a mark on your record that can affect future opportunities. This criminal record can make it difficult when applying for jobs, housing, or even some loans. 

  • If you're found driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under the age of 14, the stakes are significantly higher. In this situation, you can be charged with a felony DWI, a more severe offense with harsher penalties. 

  • Prior convictions compound the problem. If you've previously been convicted of two DWI charges, a third offense can result in a felony DWI charge. 

  • The consequences become even more severe if you cause serious bodily harm or a fatality while driving under the influence. In such cases, you can be charged with a felony DWI, which is a serious offense carrying heavy penalties. 

  • Refusing to take a requested test, like a breathalyzer or blood test is an option but it can result in certain penalties, such as a suspended license. 

  • It's not just about legal repercussions. Having a DWI or DUI conviction can also affect your personal and professional reputation. 

Building a Strong Defense

When you're facing a DWI charge, building a strong defense is crucial. In my firm, we use a comprehensive approach to your defense strategy, pulling from a variety of resources and expertise areas. Here's what we consider when defending your case: 

  • Implied Consent Law: Texas law allows you to refuse a breathalyzer or blood test. This could potentially weaken the prosecution's case if they lack other substantial evidence. 

  • Standardized Field Sobriety Testing: We will scrutinize the administration of these tests. Were they conducted correctly? If not, their results may be deemed unreliable. 

  • Breath Test Devices: These devices can sometimes malfunction or be used incorrectly. If we can demonstrate this, it might lead to the dismissal of evidence. 

  • Accident Reconstruction Experts: If your DWI charge resulted from an accident, employing these experts can help us understand the incident better and possibly identify factors that could exonerate you. 

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology: Expert knowledge in these fields can help us challenge the validity of blood tests, especially if you were using prescription or over-the-counter medication. 

  • Police Procedure: We'll closely examine the arresting officer's conduct. Any procedural errors could result in the dismissal of the case. 

  • Private Investigations: Sometimes, conducting our own investigation can uncover new evidence or witnesses that could work in your favor. 

  • Adult Probation: Understanding the intricacies of probation can also become a part of your defense, particularly if you're facing potential probation violations. 

Fight for Your Rights

Understanding the differences between DWI and DUI in Texas is crucial if you find yourself facing charges related to impaired driving. It's important to remember that you have options to fight for your rights. At The Law Office of Justin K. Hall P.C., I am dedicated to providing aggressive defense strategies and expert guidance for individuals facing DWI charges in Rockwall, Texas, and the surrounding counties. Contact my firm today to schedule a consultation, and let me help you navigate this difficult time.