Texas law takes a strict approach to those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If convicted of a DUI or DWI, you may face time in prison, license suspension, and get a permanent criminal record, which can cause you to lose your right to vote, possess firearms, and access employment and education.
Many people are unaware of the severe consequences of driving while intoxicated, which is why getting caught and charged with a DWI offense can be scary. At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we want to help you fight your DWI/DUI charge in Fort Bend County and ensure that you do not get a permanent criminal record. An experienced DWI lawyer from our law firm can advise you on your best options, negotiate on your behalf, and strengthen defense for your case.
Our law firm has a team of criminal defense attorneys who have a wealth of experience handling DWI cases. Through our 40 years of experience and dedication to our client’s legal rights, we have built up a strong attorney-client relationship. We will use our legal experience to advocate and fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure that your life is not impacted by a DUI/DWI conviction.
Fort Bend County DWI Lawyers at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC
The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC provides legal services in Fort Bend County, Harris County, Missouri City, Sugar Land, and surrounding counties for criminal defense issues such as DWI cases, juvenile defense, assault, and more. Our lawyers have significant experience dealing with DWI charges, and both of our managing attorneys have won awards for their work fighting DUI/DWI charges.
Our law firm is apart by our 40-plus years of experience, the results we have gotten in state and federal cases, and the unique experience of the attorneys in our firm. One of our managing partners, Leigh Love, has worked as a former prosecutor, which gives her a unique insight into how the state prosecutors may approach your case. We also have a former Fort Bend County judge on our team, Hon. Brady G. Elliot, who now fights as an aggressive criminal defense lawyer.
By using our unique skills and experience fighting criminal cases in Texas, we will fight aggressively to protect your legal rights and do our best to get your Fort Bend DWI case thrown out, or get your charges reduced substantially.
DWI Offenses in Fort Bend County, TX
Driving while intoxicated is strictly forbidden in Texas. Criminal law sets the legal limit for adult drivers’ blood alcohol content (BAC) at 0.08%. If you are pulled over by a police officer and your BAC is 0.08% or higher in a chemical or breathalyzer test, you will be arrested and charged with a DWI.
Stricter penalties are imposed for drivers who are caught driving under the influence with a BAC of higher than 0.15%. The law considers this to be an aggravated DWI, which can result in more serious penalties, even for a first offense. If there were any other aggravating factors such as the presence of a minor or vulnerable person in the vehicle, you can face aggravated DWI charges.
DUI Offenses in Fort Bend County, TX
DWI and DUI are regarded as two separate offenses under Texas law. DWIs apply to drivers over the age of 21, whereas DUIs will be brought against minor drivers under the age of 21. As it is a separate charge, the blood alcohol legal limit is different. Texas’ no-tolerance approach towards minors driving under the influence means that minors found driving with any level of alcohol in their blood will be charged with a DUI.
The penalties for a DUI include:
- Maximum fines of $500.
- Jail time for repeat offenses.
- Revocation of your driver’s license.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).
- Enrollment in an intervention or alcohol abuse program.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Fort Bend County, seeking legal representation is strongly advised. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help get your charges reduced substantially and ensure that you do not end up with a criminal record as a minor.
Penalties For a DWI Conviction in Fort Bend County, Texas
Because of the number of car accidents and injuries that happen each year in Texas due to DWIs, the penalties for driving while intoxicated convictions are quite harsh. The penalties for DWIs vary depending on a person’s previous DWI history, the amount of alcohol found in their blood from the breathalyzer test, and aggravating factors.
The more DWIs that you are convicted of, the harsher the penalties you will receive. A conviction will also result in a permanent criminal record, which can affect your ability to seek employment, access education, public housing, child support, and more.
First DWI Charge
A first DWI offense in Fort Bend County is typically charged as a class B misdemeanor. The penalties for a misdemeanor are typically less severe than a felony conviction, however, can still include:
- Up to $2,000 in fines.
- Jail time from 3 days to 6 months.
- Driver’s license suspension.
Second DWI Charge
The penalties will be increased if you are caught driving while intoxicated for the second time in Fort Bend County. A class A misdemeanor for a second DWI conviction can result in:
- Jail time from 30 days to 1 year.
- Fines of up to $4,000.
- Ignition interlock device (IID) installation on your steering wheel.
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 2 years.
- Enrollment in an alcohol and drug or DWI education program.
If there were any aggravating factors, such as a BAC of higher than 0.15% or a minor in the vehicle, you will be charged with an aggravated DWI which will result in more serious penalties.
Third DWI Charge
Being charged with a DWI for the third time will automatically result in a third-degree felony. Texas law does not apply a time limit for subsequent DWI offenses, meaning that previous DWIs do not expire after a 10-year period, like in some other states. Being convicted of a felony DWI can result in far more severe penalties and a permanent criminal record.
Penalties for a third-degree felony DWI include:
- Maximum fines of $10,000.
- Jail time from 2 to 10 years, with a mandatory minimum sentence obligation.
- Community service or probation.
- Enrollment in an alcohol and drug or DWI education program.
- IID installation on your motor vehicle.
If you have been charged with a felony DWI, it is strongly advised that you seek legal representation from a DWI defense lawyer in Fort Bend County as soon as possible. Felony charges can have a major impact on your life and future opportunities.
What To Do During a DWI Arrest in Fort Bend County
If you have been arrested for a DUI or DWI in Fort Bend County, there are certain steps that you should take to ensure that you get the best results possible for your case and avoid added charges.
- Respect police orders – It is important that you obey any orders made by a police officer at a traffic stop and during the arrest. They are required to read you out your Miranda rights and they may ask you to step out of the car and conduct a sobriety test. Ensure to follow all orders and avoid conflict.
- Field sobriety tests – Drivers in Texas follow an implied consent law, meaning that if they are pulled over at a traffic stop, they should consent to BAC tests. They are not legally required to, however, a police officer may get a warrant if they refuse to give a breathalyzer test or blood sample. Not giving a blood test is usually not in your best interests, as a prosecutor will use this against you at trial as proof that you were intoxicated.
- Keep silent – If you have been arrested for a DWI, you reserve the right to remain silent at all stages of your DWI arrest and questioning. It is important that you do not try to explain your situation to an arresting officer or divulge any information that could be detrimental to your case.
- Call a DWI lawyer- From the moment you are arrested, you should seek immediate help from a Fort Bend DWI defense lawyer. They will speak with police officers on your behalf, advise you on your best options, and try to organize a plea to get you released from jail.
It is essential that you have a criminal defense attorney working on your DWI case to build a strong defense. Having a good DWI defense is the only way to avoid harsh penalties and a criminal record.
What Happens to My Driver’s License?
Being charged with a DWI offense will automatically result in your driver’s license being suspended. After a DWI arrest, you have 14 days to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to restore your license. Failure to request a hearing within this time period can result in the suspension of your license for up to 2 years.
A DWI defense lawyer from our law firm can help you request an administrative hearing and argue your case during the hearing. We can also help you with the following:
- Challenge the suspension of your license by identifying any legal issues or grounds to get it reinstated.
- Apply for an occupational license on your behalf which will allow you to drive while your license is suspended, under certain circumstances.
Losing your driving privileges can have significant consequences on your life. You may need to drive to school, transport your children to and from school, or even rely on your license for your job. Contact a DWI defense lawyer in Fort Bend to help get your license reinstated.
Do I Need to Hire a DWI Defense Lawyer in Fort Bend County, Texas?
Texas criminal law does not require defendants to have representation from a DWI lawyer for criminal cases. However, our law firm strongly advises that you seek help from a criminal defense lawyer if arrested for a DUI or DWI. Having legal representation may be the difference between having your charges dropped and having a criminal record.
An experienced DWI defense lawyer can help you at all stages of your case, from the moment you are arrested until your trial. They can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf, argue for a fair plea bargain, get your license reinstated, and build a strong defense on your behalf.
The penalties for a DUI charge are severe and if convicted you could be looking at time in prison, huge fines, probation, court-mandated drug and alcohol programs, and a criminal record. Having a DWI defense lawyer will increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome substantially.
Contact a DWI DUI Defense Lawyer in Fort Bend County at The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC!
If you are facing DUI or DWI charges in Fort Bend County, TX, it is important that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. The prospects of a criminal conviction for a DWI can be scary and coming up against the criminal legal system without a lawyer will be quite difficult.
At The Love DuCote Law Firm LLC, we have a team of DWI defense lawyers who are ready to help you win your case. Our lawyers have significant experience handling DUI/DWI cases, and our managing attorneys have won awards for their success rate with DWI cases. We know how difficult it can be to fight the criminal justice system, and we want to be your legal advocate throughout your case.