San Marcos DWI Attorneys
Aggressive and Experienced dwi lawyers serving Hays County, tx
In Texas, a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) can have serious and long-term consequences. A DWI conviction in Texas carries severe penalties, including fines, jail time, the suspension of your driver's license, and even the loss of certain rights. In many cases, a DWI conviction will also remain on your criminal record for life and could negatively affect future job prospects and other opportunities.
When you are arrested for and charged with DWI, reach out to The Law Offices of David C. Hardaway for tailored, empathetic legal advice.
Our San Marcos DWI lawyers will carefully review your circumstances and walk you through your legal options, including what we can do to protect your rights and freedom. We are always honest and direct when discussing what our representation can do for you. That includes transparency about what we perceive to be the odds of a favorable outcome. Should you place your trust in our firm, you can count on aggressive, tenacious advocacy in and out of the courtroom. We understand what is at stake in DWI cases and will go the extra mile from start to finish. Our experienced San Marcos DWI attorneys fight hard for our clients, and our case results reflect that.
If you have been charged with DWI in any of the following areas, including but not limited to San Antonio, Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Wilson, or Medina County, call (512) 846-9966 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with our San Marcos DWI attorney. Se habla español.
When Can Someone Be Charged with DWI in Texas?
Under Texas law, a person is considered intoxicated when operating a motor vehicle or watercraft if they have lost the use of their mental or physical faculties or if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or greater at the time they are driving or operating the vehicle. “Intoxication” does not refer exclusively to the effects of consuming alcohol, and, increasingly, individuals are being accused of impaired driving under the influence of a variety of potentially mind-altering drugs, both illegal and illegal. This even includes drugs prescribed by a physician.
Alone, or in combination with alcohol, a wide range of substances are capable of causing a driver to be intoxicated, and the state of Texas continues to aggressively crack down on this dangerous driving. Unfortunately, based on these well-meaning efforts to save lives, many drivers who are not actually intoxicated can be wrongfully accused in the name of public safety. Our San Marcos DWI defense attorneys are committed to providing zealous representation to people facing these charges, no matter the circumstances.
A police officer can pull you over if they have a reasonable justification to believe you may be driving while intoxicated. This could include drifting, swerving, reckless driving, or a failure to follow basic traffic rules. They can then arrest you if they have a reasonable suspicion that you are intoxicated.
What to do When Pulled Over
If you are pulled over – or you are asked to step out of your vehicle at a DWI checkpoint – calmly comply with the police officer’s instructions at all times, even if you know you have been drinking. Arguing with the police, attempting to flee the scene, or doing anything else that could escalate the situation will not help you in the long run. Instead, exercise your right to remain silent whenever possible, including if (and especially if) you are arrested.
If the police officer that pulled you over smells drugs or alcohol on your breath or notices signs of intoxication like slurred speech, they may ask you to complete one or more field sobriety tests. These field sobriety tests are in theory meant to test things like balance, coordination, and your ability to follow directions, but in practice, they are meant to give the officer evidence to arrest you. The reality is that even perfectly sober individuals can and do fail these tests, so there is very little upside to attempting to “pass” them. No matter what you may have heard, you are never under any legal obligation to take a field sobriety test, and you can refuse them. This is true even of so-called “no refusal” weekends that are often scheduled in conjunction with major holidays.
Keep in mind that an officer who is trying to convince you to take a field sobriety test is likely already convinced you are intoxicated and will probably look for other reasons to arrest you. Refusing to take a field sobriety test only denies the officer additional evidence that could be used against you.
Do I Have to Consent to a Breathalyzer Test in Texas?
You are obligated to submit to chemical testing, which includes breathalyzer tests, under Texas’s implied consent laws. While you can technically refuse breathalyzer testing, doing so is likely to result in substantial consequences, including a driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days for a first offense. The good news is that breathalyzer tests are notoriously unreliable, as they must be carefully administered using perfectly calibrated equipment. Even if the results of a breathalyzer test work against you, we can potentially leverage several defense strategies to call into question the test’s accuracy.
What Is a “DWI Blood Search Warrant?”
If you refuse a breathalyzer test after a traffic accident or after being pulled over for suspected DWI, law enforcement may take you to a police station or another location for blood testing. The police cannot forcibly take your blood initially, but under Texas law, they can request a warrant to take your blood from a judge. If the judge agrees there is probable cause that you were driving while impaired, they may grant the warrant, giving the police the ability to draw and analyze your blood even if you decline.
Ask to speak to an attorney as soon as you are detained and try to get in touch with a legal professional as soon as possible to help protect your interests and ensure your rights are not violated.
Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter
“Intoxication assault” is a criminal charge distinct from DWI. Someone can face this charge in addition to DWI if their impaired driving leads to an accident that causes serious bodily injury, which is any injury that “creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” It does not matter if the intoxicated driver intended to cause injury. They can still face third-degree felony charges (or even second-degree felony charges in certain scenarios).
"Intoxicated manslaughter" may be charged when someone’s impaired driving results in the death of another person. Note that manslaughter is not the same thing as murder or homicide, but it is still an extremely serious charge that carries severe penalties. Someone can be charged with intoxicated vehicular manslaughter even if they were not primarily responsible for causing the accident.
Understanding the Role of Blood Alcohol Levels in DWI Arrests
In Texas, any driver who is at least 21 years old who operates their vehicle in a public place with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is considered unlawfully impaired and can be arrested for DWI. When a driver’s BAC meets or exceeds 0.15%, they may face enhanced penalties if convicted. Drivers younger than 21 can be arrested for DWI if they have any level of detectable alcohol in their system. Commercial drivers are subject to even stricter requirements and are considered unlawfully impaired if their BAC meets or exceeds 0.04%.
Law enforcement can still choose to arrest you for DWI even if you are under the applicable legal limit. When someone is showing other signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, delayed response times, or difficulty moving, an officer may decide the driver is too impaired to safely operate their vehicle and make an arrest.
Our San Marcos DWI Attorneys Can Help
If you do not request an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. Consequently, you should get in touch with our firm right away so that we can promptly request a hearing on your behalf. We will answer all of your questions and offer honest feedback on your case. Once you retain our firm’s services, you will receive your lawyer’s personal cell phone number, and we will be reachable at any time, day or night.
Protecting Your Rights after a DWI Arrest
It has been said by many criminal defense lawyers that if you can successfully try a DWI, then you can try any kind of criminal case. That is because DWI cases tend to be incredibly complex, and handling a DWI case with competence requires a great deal of specific knowledge of just how the state goes about enforcing its laws. Not only does a lawyer need to be very familiar with the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests designed by NHTSA for use nationwide in DWI detection, but they also must be well-versed in the scientific principles of both breath and blood alcohol testing.
Our San Marcos DWI defense lawyers can help you avoid the severe and life-altering penalties that come with a conviction, which can include:
- Jail time
- Community service
- Court costs
- Driver’s license suspension
Because of the high potential for negative outcomes in these types of cases, it is important to hire a lawyer with experience and a track record of success in handling DWIs, especially in trial scenarios. Our attorneys at The Law Offices of David C. Hardaway is a member of both the National College for DUI Defense and the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, meaning we have the knowledge and experience required to help successfully defend you against any type of criminal charge related to impaired driving.