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Kyle Simpson & Charles Gold - San Antonio DWI Defense Defense Lawyers
THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR TEXAS DWI LAWYER

San Antonio, Texas DWI Lawyers

Local Calls 210.224.4242 Toll Free: 888.392.1813

San Antonio DWI Process

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Your DWI arrest is the first step in the DWI process. The details of your arrest will determine the path that your case will take in the administrative and criminal courts in Texas. Two separate agencies, The Department of Public Safety and the District or County Attorney’s Office, are taking steps to deprive you of certain rights and privileges. Failure to promptly take action will result in the loss of your rights and privileges. Arming yourself with aggressive and experienced lawyers will expose the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of your DWI case.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR)

By driving on the roads in the State of Texas, you have given implied consent to submit to a test of your blood alcohol content if a police officer has probable cause to arrest you for DWI. A license suspension period of 180 days will be issued if an individual refuses the breath or blood test. If the individual submits to the breath or blood test and fails it (has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), a suspension period of 90 days will be issued. Suspensions are automatic if you don’t appeal the suspension by requesting an ALR hearing within 15 days of your arrest.

Temporary Driving Permit

Your license has not been suspended yet. Your arresting officer should have given you a document labeled DIC-25. This is your temporary driving permit. Should you fail to appeal your license suspension by the fifteenth day after your arrest, your license will automatically be suspended on the forty- first after your DWI arrest. If the suspension is appealed, your license will not be suspended, if at all, until an administrative law judge hears your case and makes a ruling. In either situation, the DIC-25 will enable you to drive until the day a suspension is issued.

The Criminal Case

The facts of your arrest and your criminal history dictate whether you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense. The prosecuting attorney can use previous DWI/DUI convictions from other states to enhance your current Texas DWI to a higher misdemeanor or felony charge.

Misdemeanor DWI

First or second DWI offenses that do not involve serious bodily injury to someone other than yourself fall into two categories.

- DWI First Offense:

Class B Misdemeanor: up to a $2,000.00 fine and up to 180 days confinement in the County Jail

- DWI Second Offense:

Class A Misdemeanor: up to a $4,000.00 fine and up to one year confinement in the County Jail

Felony DWI

Intoxication offenses filed as felonies fall into several categories.

- Two or more prior convictions:

Third Degree Felony: up to a $10,000.00 fine and two to ten years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections

- DWI with Child Passenger Younger than 15:

State Jail Felony: up to a $10,000.00 fine and 6 months to two years confinement in a state jail facility

- Intoxication Assault:

Third Degree Felony: up to a $10,000.00 fine and two to ten years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections

- Intoxication Manslaughter:

Second Degree Felony: up to a $10,000.00 fine and two to twenty years confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections

Plea Bargaining Process

Plea bargaining is the process of negotiating with the prosecuting attorney for a resolution to your case other than taking it to trial. Although several options exist to resolve your case by entering a plea bargain agreement with the state, most arrangements involve you accepting a conviction for DWI in exchange for your plea.

Deferred Adjudication is not available for DWI offenses in the state of Texas. This is a form of probation that results in a dismissal if the probationer satisfies certain conditions ordered by the judge. The current laws in Texas exclude those charged with DWI from benefiting from this type of probation.

Prosecuting attorneys occasionally offer defendants a chance to enter a plea to an offense other than DWI. These pleas are typically to offenses such as Obstruction of a Highway or Reckless Driving. The main benefit of this type of plea bargain is that you are able to avoid the DPS surcharges associated with a DWI conviction.

In some counties, the prosecuting attorney will make available a pre-trial diversion or a deferred prosecution. In this arrangement, the defendant will have his DWI dismissed with the condition that they not be arrested for another crime for a specified amount of time. If they are arrested during that time for another offense, they will receive a conviction for the original DWI and face the current charge.

Taking Your Case to Trial

Many times it does not make sense to agree to a plea bargain agreement. This is driven by what your goals are for your DWI defense and by applying a risk versus reward analysis. The unavailability of deferred adjudication forces many DWI cases to trial.

For misdemeanor DWI’s, the majority of judges will grant probation to a defendant who loses a jury trial. Pleas to misdemeanor DWI’s typically result in defendants being placed on probation. As a result, the only realistic risk is the length of probation ordered by the judge. The potential reward of taking your case to trial is that you may be acquitted. You can increase this potential by hiring an experienced trial attorney familiar with DWI cases. If you factor in the surcharges applied by DPS resulting from DWI convictions, it makes sense to take most misdemeanor DWI cases to trial.

The analysis for taking your felony DWI to trial has more to do with the individual facts of your case and the plea offer negotiated with the prosecutor. Judges are generally less likely to grant probation for a felony DWI than they are with a misdemeanor for enhanced offenses. The rationale is that you have been given opportunities in the past and are back in court facing the same charge. Entering a plea bargain agreement for probation is sometimes more attractive to people facing a threat of confinement in the Texas Department of Corrections. Intoxication Assault and Manslaughter charges have victims and families that may apply pressure to prosecutors and judges for stiffer punishments. Having an experienced lawyer to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case is mandatory to help you decide your best course of action.

Your decision to take your DWI case to trial requires confidence in your lawyer and patience with the process. Due to backed up caseloads in the Texas judicial system, you must prepare to wait for your day in court.

If you wish to learn more about the DWI Law Process in San Antonio, contact experienced San Antonio DWI Lawyer, Kyle Simpson today for your consultation.

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