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Types of DWI Charges

Grant M. Scheiner - Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

Types of DWI Charges

You Deserve the Best DWI Defense!

Getting arrested for Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) probably isn’t on your Top 10 List of coolest things that can happen. But no matter the type of intoxication offense, you always have a chance for an excellent result if you quickly contact the best DWI attorneys in Houston or elsewhere. You should never assume that the worst will happen or that you can’t win your case. DWI and related cases are often defensible, even with a high blood test or high breath test. A DWI may be successfully defended even if you’ve driven badly or caused an accident. In fact, a person accused of DWI might avoid a conviction, even after performing badly on field sobriety tests or confessing guilt to a police officer. At Scheiner Law Group, P.C., we have gotten dismissals and won trial acquittals in virtually every type of DWI case and even the most serious intoxication offenses.

Our excellent track record is one reason you should never accept that your case is hopeless. And, you shouldn’t let anyone convince you that your case isn’t worth fighting. The stakes for DWI and related cases is extremely high, both personally and professionally. If you care about your reputation and future, you deserve an aggressive, winning defense from the best DWI lawyer you can find.

As soon as possible, preferably while you are being processed at the police station, you should ask a friend or family member to contact a board-certified criminal defense attorney on your behalf. (At night and on weekends, you can text an attorney at Scheiner Law Group, P.C. at 713-581-4540.)

The sooner you contact a top-rated criminal defense lawyer in Houston or elsewhere, the more the lawyer can often do to help keep a conviction off your record. At Scheiner Law Group, P.C., we can walk you through the bail bond process and explain the basics of your situation, even before you visit our office. For an active DWI case or active intoxication case (including boating while intoxicated, flying while intoxicated, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, felony DWI and DWI with child passenger) in Houston and numerous Texas counties, we will meet with you free of charge.

Types of DWI Charges

In Texas, DWI is the equivalent of other states’ laws governing driving under the influence (DUI). Over the past several decades, Texas DWI law has become increasingly complicated and there are now many types of DWI charges. These include:

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  • DWI-1st Offense
  • DWI .15 and above
  • DWI-2nd Offense
  • DWI-3rd Offense (or more)
  • DWI with Child Passenger
  • Intoxication Assault
  • Intoxication Manslaughter – similar to DUI Vehicular Homicide in other states
  • Other offenses, including Boating while Intoxicated, Flying while Intoxicated, and Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride while Intoxicated.

The most severe offenses include Intoxication Assault, a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison plus a fine of up to $10,000. Intoxication Assault is essentially DWI causing serious bodily injury to someone other than the arrested motorist. Intoxication Manslaughter is a second-degree felony, punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Intoxication Manslaughter is DWI causing death. For every person suffering serious bodily injury or death, the state may file a separate case. All felony intoxication charges that are suspended and probated require jail time as a condition of community supervision. Deferred adjudication is not an option for any charge of DWI or higher. Virtually all of the top-reviewed DWI lawyers in Houston and across Texas will tell you that while the stakes are high, an aggressive defense started as quickly as possible could lead to a dismissal or a trial verdict of not guilty.

Throughout the DWI defense process, it is important to remember that the charge for which you are arrested may not be the same charge for which you are prosecuted. For example, a prosecutor may upgrade a DWI-1st Offense, which is a Class “B” misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail, to a Class “A” misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. This can happen when a defendant’s blood alcohol or breath alcohol concentration is .15 or higher. In many instances, a person arrested for DWI gives a blood sample voluntarily or by reason of a search warrant. The blood test results may not be known for weeks or even longer. If results come back at .15 or more, an ordinary DWI-1st Offense charge may be elevated to a Class “A” misdemeanor. It is still a “first offense,” but the potential fine and jail sentence are doubled. Additionally, a prosecutor may elevate DWI charges upon learning of prior DWI convictions, including those from out-of-state.

Other intoxication offenses, such as Public Intoxication, Minor in Possession, Open Container and DUI Minor have legal rules and nuances that only the best DWI defense lawyers in Houston and Texas can explain.

Texas Administrative License Revocation (ALR) can be a legal minefield for all but the most experienced DWI attorneys. ALR is a set of rules for cases in which a DWI arrestee has usually either refused to provide a breath or blood specimen or has scored .08 or higher. The law is complicated and you need someone in your corner whose job it is to understand and explain how it all works. In many instances, you have only 15 days from the date of arrest to request a hearing to fight a suspension of your driver’s license. An excellent DWI attorney may be able to save your driver’s license or, at the very least, secure an occupational driver’s license to allow you to drive to and from work or school and other obligations. Getting arrested for a dwi in houston

 Why You Need A DWI Lawyer

There are many types of DWI charges. What has been described here is only the tip of the ice berg. Law enforcement officers and prosecutors are all human and they can and often do make mistakes. Additionally, some police officers are either poorly trained or simply don’t give you a fair chance to avoid  getting arrested.

DWI’s and intoxication offenses have become far too serious for a person to show up in court without the best criminal defense attorney in Houston, Texas by your side. A Houston DWI lawyer from Scheiner Law Group, P.C. will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, every step of the way. In a court of law, you should never accept anything less than the very best.