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DWI Defense

DWI Lawyer in Rockwall, TX 

Our lawyer at the Law Office of Ashley L. Anderson PLLC focuses on defending clients against driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges. Her attention to and experience in this ever-changing area of law could be your advantage. Attorney Ashley L. Anderson is a former prosecutor and member of various local, state, and national DWI defense organizations. She has over a decade of experience and a notable track record of success for her tireless work. In fact, Attorney Anderson has earned a 90% case success rate across all practice areas.  

Time is critical after a DWI arrest; you only have 15 days to act to save your license. Attorney Anderson is prepared to be your guide and advocate, so do not wait. If you have been arrested for DWI, contact the Law Office of Ashley L. Anderson PLLC.

Call (469) 940-7544 or get in touch with us online. Our office serves clients throughout Rockwall, Collin, Hunt, Kaufman, Hopkins, and Dallas Counties. 

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What Is DWI?

The state of Texas defines DWI as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. State law enforcement may perform field sobriety tests, such as a breathalyzer or blood test, to determine if someone is intoxicated.

The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% in the Lone Star State. This means you could be charged with DWI if your BAC is at that level or higher. Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you can still be arrested and charged for DWI if there is evidence that your ability to drive is impacted by alcohol or drugs. 

Is There a Difference Between DWI & DUI in Texas?

DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and many use it interchangeably with DWI. However, Texas law refers to the act of driving while drunk or high as DWI. 

The state does have a related offense for driving under the influence of alcohol by a minor (DUIA), which is reserved for those younger than 21. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy, meaning someone under 21 driving with any alcohol in their system could be charged with DUIA. 

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The Penalties for DWI 

A first-time DWI conviction could result in a maximum fine of $2,000 and jail time of 180 days. Additionally, you could lose your license for as much as a year. 

The penalties for second and third offenses include:

  • Second DWI: A fine of up to $4,000, one month to a year in jail, and loss of license for up to two years
  • Third DWI: A fine of up to $10,000, two to ten years in prison, and loss of license for up to two years

These penalties could be more severe if you are arrested for DWI while driving with a child under 15, a BAC over 0.15%, or another aggravating factor. 

What to Know About Texas DWI License Suspensions 

Following a DWI arrest, you must request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days. If you do not, the state will automatically suspend your license. 

So, what happens at an ALR hearing? The arresting officer will present evidence and testimony, including details about the traffic stop and/or a field sobriety or chemical test. You can also present evidence and testimony on your behalf. Having a Rockwall DWI attorney prepare you for the hearing and advocate for your rights and interests is crucial. 

The purpose of an ALR hearing is for a judge to determine whether there was probable cause for your DWI arrest. Should a judge determine the legal grounds were insufficient for an arrest, they can dismiss the potential suspension.

Should your ALR hearing result in a license suspension, you can still get an occupational driver’s license. It allows you to drive for work, medical appointments, school, and other essential matters. 

Local DWI Rockwall DWI Attorney You Can Trust 

Attorney Anderson is not just an average defense attorney. She is a DWI lawyer who takes pride in serving the local community. She knows the people of Rockwall and the surrounding areas well and has long-standing relationships with the local judges, prosecutors, and other legal professionals. 

Attorney Anderson fulfills many roles, from an aggressive advocate for the area’s hard-working people to a lifeline for parents whose children may have made mistakes. No matter the situation, she works directly with clients to understand their needs and provide the representation they deserve. If you are searching for the right lawyer to handle your case, contact the Law Office of Ashley L. Anderson PLLC. Consultations are free; plus, we can schedule them virtually for your convenience.

Set up your consultation by calling (469) 940-7544 or contacting us online.

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Frequently Asked DWI Questions

Have questions? We are here to help. Still have questions or can't find the answer you need? Give us a call at 469-940-7544 today!

  • What happens when I get a DWI charge in Texas?

    There’s a long process, but in general the phases can be broken down as follows:

    Phases of a DWI Case

    1.      Arrest and Bond Conditions
    2.      Administrative License Revocation Hearing
    3.      Occupational License
    4.      Arraignment
    5.      Announcement Settings
    6.      Motion to Suppress
    7.      Plea Setting
    8.      Trial Setting
    9.      Expunction
    10.      Motion to Revoke Community Supervision
  • What is the definition of DWI in Texas? What is the “legal limit” in Texas?

    DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. In Texas, you can be convicted for Driving While Intoxicated if the State proves you were operating a motor vehicle in Texas while intoxicated by the introduction of alcohol, a drug, a dangerous drug or any combination thereof.

    You can be found to be intoxicated in three different ways:

    1. If the State proves that you were operating a motor vehicle in Texas while not having the normal use of your mental faculties,
    2. If the State proves that you were operating a motor vehicle in Texas while not having the normal use of your physical faculties, or
    3. If the State proves that you were operating a motor vehicle in Texas while having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (or BAC) of .08 or greater

    The State is not required to prove all three of the above to get a DWI conviction. The State is only required to prove one of the three above.

    Notice: The first two ways for the State to prove Driving While Intoxicated have nothing to do with a breath or a blood test. The State’s case rests completely on what a jury thinks is “NORMAL.” The legal definition of “NORMAL” is the “average non-intoxicated person.” Therefore, if the State does not have a breath or blood test to demonstrate the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to the jury, then the jury is left with watching the video and listening to the police officer’s testimony to determine if you were normal.

  • What kinds of DWI tests are there?

    There are several tests you can expect when being investigated for DWI.

    The first series of tests that you can expect occur on the side of the road. These are called the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs). These tests are considered standardized because they were promulgated by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to be used by all police officers across the nation when investigating someone for Driving While Intoxicated. NHTSA has published guidelines for these tests and it is critical for the police officer’s to follow those guidelines exactly in order to get accurate results. The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests consists of a battery of tests including the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus test, the Walk and Turn test, and the One Leg Stand test.

    Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test

    The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) Test is the eye test. It is where the officer usually takes a pen and has you follow it with your eyes. The officer is looking for what is called nystagmus which is the involuntary jerking of your eyes. People can get nystagmus when they have ingested depressants. Alcohol and many drugs act as a depressant in a person’s system and may cause nystagmus. However, there are many things that can affect nystagmus, including current or past head injuries, some eye problems, and a person may even have natural nystagmus.

    Walk and Turn Test

    The Walk and Turn Test is a test where an officer will have you stand one foot in front of the other while listening to his instructions. He will then have you walk 9 steps down an imaginary line touching your feet heel to toe and counting out loud. When you get to your ninth step, the officer will instruct you to take a turn using a series of steps and then go back down the same imaginary line you came. The officer is looking for the following clues of intoxication: 1) loses balance during the instruction phase, 2) starts too soon, 3) stops while walking, 4) misses heel to toe, 5) steps off line, 6) uses arms for balance 7) improper turn, and 8) takes the wrong number of steps.

    One Leg Stand

    The One Leg Stand test is a test where the officer will have you stand with your heels and toes together and place your arms at your side. He will then give you instructions to raise one of your feet off the ground approximately 6 inches with your toe pointed out and your leg straight. You will be required to look at your foot and count out loud, “one thousand one, one thousand two…” until the officer tells you to stop. The officer is looking for the following clues of intoxication: 1) swaying, 2) using arms for balance, 3) hopping, and 4) putting your foot down.

    These tests are designed to test your mental and physical faculties at the same time. However, as you can tell they require a great deal of coordination doing things that are not natural in the way people go about their normal day. Without the police officer knowing your full medical history, he may count things against you that are simply not your fault.

    Portable or Preliminary Breath Test

    This is another test that may be offered to you on the side of the road. It is a machine that you blow in and will give the officer a reading of your breath alcohol concentration. It is not considered a standardized test. It is also inadmissible in court because it has not been deemed scientifically reliable.

    Breath Test

    AFTER you have already been arrested, a police officer may request that you take a breath test. This will happen at the jail. At the jail the police department has a machine called an Intoxylizer. This machine requires that you blow into it a series of times in order for the police officer to get a breath alcohol concentration. This device has to be calibrated properly and must be tested regularly by the police department to ensure it accurate results. Your medical history can also have an effect on your results.

    Blood Test

    The police officer may request you to take a blood test. Again, this is AFTER you have already been arrested. In some cities, the police officer may be able to get a search warrant for your blood if you choose to refuse. The blood test usually occurs at a hospital hours after your arrest. While most people think a blood test is a sure thing, there are actually numerous ways to challenge its reliability and accuracy.

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