Driver holding beer bottle while driving

Frequently Asked Questions About DWIs 

The Law Office of Justin K. Hall P.C. May 23, 2024

Dealing with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge can be confusing and scary. I’m Justin K. Hall from The Law Office of Justin K. Hall P.C., and I want to help you understand what's going on with your DWI case and find your way through it. 

I have spent the last 20 years of my legal career helping my clients fight DWI and criminal charges. If you’re in Rockwall, Texas, Dallas, Collin, Hunt, or Kaufman, call me. We’ll fight this together. 

DWI vs. DUI – What’s the difference? 

In Texas, DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated, which means operating a motor vehicle in public while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both.  

The term DUI (Driving Under the Influence), is commonly used in other states but in Texas, it specifically applies to minors (under 21) driving with any alcohol in their system. This distinction is crucial for understanding Texas driving laws. 

What are the consequences of DWI in Texas? 

The consequences of a DWI conviction in Texas can be severe and life-altering. For a first offense, you could be looking at fines up to $2,000, 3 to 180 days in jail, loss of driver's license for up to a year, and annual fees to retain your driver's license.  

With each subsequent offense, these penalties increase significantly. Beyond the legal repercussions, a DWI conviction can also impact your employment opportunities, insurance rates, and personal relationships. 

Can I refuse a breathalyzer or blood test? 

Yes, you can refuse a breathalyzer or blood test; however, you must understand the implications of doing so. Texas operates under implied consent laws, which means that by driving in Texas, you have implicitly agreed to submit to these tests.  

Refusal can lead to automatic suspension of your driver's license for up to 180 days for a first offense. While it might seem like a viable option to avoid incriminating evidence, it comes with its own challenges and consequences. 

What should I do if I’m charged with a DWI? 

Firstly, you need to stay calm and cooperate with law enforcement at the scene. However, cooperation doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect your rights. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney – rights you should exercise.  

Document everything about the encounter as soon as possible, including officers' names, badge numbers, and witnesses, to protect yourself and hold people accountable. 

After dealing with the immediate situation, your next step should be to call an experienced DWI defense attorney, preferably one who has experience with these cases and an understanding of local laws. 

How can a DWI defense attorney help me? 

A DWI charge does not automatically result in a conviction. Numerous defense strategies can be employed depending on the specifics of your case. These might include challenging the legality of the traffic stop, the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test, or presenting evidence that disputes the prosecution’s case.  

My role as your attorney is to scrutinize every detail of your case, identify the best defense strategy, and work hard to minimize the impact of a DWI charge on your life. 

What are some Texas-specific DWI laws?

Texas has some of the harshest DWI laws in the country. For instance, there is a "no refusal" weekend policy in many jurisdictions, whereby law enforcement can obtain warrants for blood tests if drivers refuse breathalyzer tests, making it much harder to refuse testing during these periods.  

Texas also operates sobriety checkpoints under federal law, where law enforcement can stop vehicles randomly to check for intoxication. 

Another noteworthy aspect of Texas DWI law is the charge of DWI with a Child Passenger. Under this statute, driving while intoxicated with a passenger 15 years or younger is considered a felony in Texas. You can face penalties including up to $10,000 in fines, up to two years in state jail, and possible suspension of your driver's license.  

As you can see, Texas has a strict approach to dealing with intoxicated driving and protecting minors' safety. 

Fight Your DWI Charge With Attorney Hall

I specialize in DWI defense because I've seen how it impacts everyone, from young adults to professionals. DWI cases in Texas can get complicated, but I’m here to defend your rights.  

If you or someone you know is dealing with DWI charges, remember, you're not alone. You can rely on my skills and experience to get through this tough time. 

Remember, asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s a step towards reclaiming your life and your peace of mind.