For many people who are arrested for their first driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, it is also their first experience with the criminal justice system. Individuals unfamiliar with the handling of drunk driving cases can be forgiven for assuming that they are ultimately destined to plead guilty and simply hope for the court to show mercy when issuing a sentence.
In truth, however, many DWI charges in the Lone Star State (often referred to as driving under the influence or DUI in other jurisdictions) are able to be reduced or completely dismissed because of unlawful traffic stops, errors made during the administration of field sobriety tests or chemical tests, or any one of a number of other factors. It is important to examine all possible defenses against drunk driving charges, as people cannot seal or expunge DWI convictions from their criminal records.
Attorney for First DWI Arrests in Conroe, TX
Were you arrested anywhere in Montgomery County for your first alleged drunk driving offense? Do not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have contacted Evans & Powell, PLLC.
Conroe criminal defense lawyers Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent clients facing DWI charges all over Montgomery County, including The Woodlands, Shenandoah, Panorama Village, Porter Heights, Oak Ridge North, Cut and Shoot, and several other nearby communities. Our attorneys can review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (936) 622-2000 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Montgomery County First DWI Information Center
- When can a person be charged with drunk driving?
- What are the consequences of first convictions for drunk driving?
- Where can I find more information about first DWI in Conroe?
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, an alleged offender commits a DWI offense if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) provides two definitions for the term intoxicated.
The first definition of intoxicated is “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body.” This definition is far more subjective, and prosecutors will often use the testimony of arresting officers as well as any possible dashcam video footage to argue that an alleged offender was under the influence of alcohol and unable to safely operate a motor vehicle.
The other definition of intoxicated under state law is an individual having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) defines alcohol concentration (also referred to as blood or breath alcohol concentration or BAC) as meaning the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine, and alcohol concentrations are generally determined by scientific tests of such specimens as provided by alleged offenders.
The second definition is often referred to as a “per se DWI,” with “per se” being the Latin phrase for "by itself" or "in itself." Evidence of alcohol concentrations of 0.08 or higher makes it much easier for prosecutors to prove an alleged offender’s guilt because having a BAC that exceeds the legal limit is by itself a criminal offense, regardless of any lack of proof of impairment of the alleged offender’s normal faculties.
A first DWI offense is usually a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, but the crime can become a Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender had an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or greater. The differences between the possible sentences in such cases are as follows:
- Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000; or
- Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
People who are convicted of DWI in Texas can also face several other different punishments in addition to fines and incarceration. A first arrest for drunk driving will usually result in a person’s driver’s licenses being suspended for a minimum of 90 days, but additional requirements may include possible community service, annual Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver Responsibility Surcharges, and/or mandatory completion of DWI school.
Montgomery County DWI Archives | Montgomery County Police Reporter (MCPR) — MCPR identifies itself as “a pro-law enforcement, pro-Second Amendment publication owned and operated by the husband and wife team of” Jamie Nash and Scott Engle, two Montgomery County residents and veteran law enforcement reporters. On this section of the MCPR website, you can read about recent DWI news relating to Montgomery County. You can also find traffic alerts and information about fatal crashes.
Sober Rides — Visit this website that the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) launched to provide Texans with an easy way to find safe options for getting home. Visitors can enter their current addresses and either call nearby cab companies, take pedicabs, or find local public transportation options. Sober Rides also allows you to phone a friend or use social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook to find rides.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe First DWI Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested for your first alleged drunk driving offense in Montgomery County, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Evans & Powell, PLLC aggressively defends individuals in Pinehurst, Splendora, Magnolia, Willis, Woodbranch, Patton Village, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Conroe who will work tirelessly to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (936) 622-2000 or submit an online contact form to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.