DWI Attorney in San Antonio
What Is a DWI?
In San Antonio, a DWI is a criminal charge of operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated.
The Texas Penal Code defines “intoxication” as follows:
- Having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.
- Not having “normal” use of your mental or physical faculties due to alcohol or drugs.
The second definition regarding “normal” faculties is where a gray area resides. This is where an individual police officer’s personal judgment of “normal” can have serious repercussions for you and your case.
Why Was I Charged with a DWI?
If you were legitimately and verifiably intoxicated over the legal blood alcohol concentration level of 0.08 while driving a vehicle in the San Antonio area and a police officer pulls you over, you will be charged with a DWI.
However, there have been frequent occasions where San Antonio police officers have arrested someone who is not over the legal limit or who is mistaken for being intoxicated when in fact they are not.
Could the Breath Test Have Been Wrong?
Yes. San Antonio police officers use the Intoxilyzer 5000 to determine your blood alcohol concentration level. This model of “breathalyzer” has been around for 30 years and the technology is not advanced. There are a variety of ways this breathalyzer can fail, including:
- Radio frequency interference can cause problems with the test.
- Regular maintenance was not performed.
- The “simulator solution” was not prepared correctly in order to calibrate the breathalyzer properly.
- A full 7-second blow was not performed correctly.
- An officer not being fully trained or experienced in administering the test.
- Can The Police Take My Blood Without My Consent?
- If you’re diabetic the test is potentially inaccurate.
If you are arrested for a misdemeanor DWI (first or second charge) and if you refuse to provide a breath or blood specimen, the office can obtain a warrant for a blood draw.
However, there have been many incidences where either the police, the phlebotomist, or the laboratory has made mistakes drawing, handling, storing, or testing the blood.
What Are the Consequences of a DWI Conviction?
There are many consequences that follow a guilty DWI conviction, some of which will reach far into your future. They include:
- Various court dates and corrective classes you are required to attend which may interrupt your work schedule and inconvenience your home life.
- A suspended driver’s license. Additionally, if a police officer pulls you over while driving on a suspended license, you will be arrested immediately.
- Fines ranging between $1-$4,000 to be paid by a set date.
- For a first or second time misdemeanor DWI offense, it is possible to spend from 72 hours up to a year in county jail. For significant intoxication, a judge may increase your jail time even longer. For a 3rd+ felony DWI offense or if a child was a passenger in your vehicle while driving intoxicated, it is possible to spend much more time behind bars.
Long-term effects of having a criminal record includes making it harder to get a job, increases in your insurance premiums, consideration from the judge during a child custody case, and a negative effect on your immigration status. Once you are convicted of a DWI, future criminal cases will have more severe penalties and sentences.
What Will a Good Attorney Do to Prevent a Guilty Verdict?
Obtaining high quality legal representation is extremely important when you’ve been charged with a DWI offense. You will have two cases pending against you, a criminal case and a civil case. Be sure the attorney you hire will handle both of these charges for you.
You need a lawyer who will search for inconsistencies or mishandlings in your case. These can occur at multiples points from the time you are pulled over and tested until the time evidence is submitted into court. A good lawyer will find flaws in the prosecutor’s case against you and work hard to get your charges lessened or dismissed.
Find someone who has a good reputation working with the prosecutors handling your case and also with the judge. Inquire about the results of the attorney’s previously represented DWI cases. Set up a consultation with a few different attorneys and don’t sign a contract upon a first meeting or with anyone who is pressuring you for your business.