Denton County DWI Lawyer -DWI Facts – Ross Law Offices
Ross Law Offices – Denton DWI Lawyer – DWI Facts – Common Questions Answered by Local Attorney
If you’re looking for a Denton County DWI Lawyer, at Ross Law Offices we routinely get a lot of the same questions from clients regarding DWI arrests, and the charge itself. We’re going to do a series of blog posts in which we try to answer many of those questions and give you the DWI facts you are looking for. We hope that you find some or all of this information helpful if you ever find yourself facing a DWI charge.
1. I’ve been charged with a DWI. Am I going to go to be facing jail time?
Answer: Generally, No. A first DWI charge is a Class B Misdemeanor. (In the case that you have a Blood Alcohol Level -BAC- of .15 or more, the charge is enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor.) If this is your first time to be in any serious trouble with the law, the chances are very good that a qualified DWI attorney will be able to obtain Probation for you. Generally, your attorney will be able to keep your fine, terms of probation, and length of probation relatively reasonable if you listen to his or her advice and follow it accordingly.
If however, you have criminal history, or the charge has been enhanced for another reason (for example, if this is your second or more DWI, someone was hurt, or there was a child in the car with you), it is extremely important that you contact a qualified DWI attorney immediately, as jail time is a very real possibility.
2. If I get pulled over, and I am arrested for DWI, should I consent to a breath or blood test?
Answer: The question of whether or not you should agree to give a breath or blood test can be very difficult. Generally, if you have had more than a couple of drinks, we would advise that you politely refuse. Nobody can accurately predict what their Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) is going to be at any specific time because so many factors can affect this number. Obviously, how many drinks you’ve had, how quickly you drank them, and whether or not you had food on your stomach are key factors that most of us think of. But remember that many other factors can affect this test as well.
We’re you drinking a standard “light” beer, or a heavier, higher alcohol content beer, that can often have as much as two to three times as much alcohol per drink. Suddenly, 2 beers could become 4 to 6 “standard” drinks, and at this point, your BAC would obviously be MUCH higher.
If you were drinking mixed drinks, were you able to ensure that they were poured with the standard amount of alcohol, or were they made stronger? Were they poured as “doubles”? Were they drinks which because of there recipe, have a much higher alcohol content (think drinks such as the Long Island Ice Tea)?
The simple truth is, if you are pulled over, and an officer has you exit the car because of some probable cause (odor of alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, red or watery eyes), you are probably going to be arrested. This is because the law allows, and encourages, officers to err on the side of caution when deciding whether to make an arrest for DWI. And once you are under arrest, it is probably best to politely refuse any breath or blood test. It’s very easy to reach the legal limit of .08, and the majority of people who are arrested for DWI are well over this limit. So by voluntarily providing a breath or blood sample, you are generally providing the State (the District Attorney) additional evidence if and when they decide to bring formal DWI charges against you.
On the other hand, if you know that you have only had 1 or 2 “standard” drinks, it is unlikely that you are above the .08 BAC limit, and providing a sample may help you if charges are formally brought. But everyone must use their own judgment and common sense. As we have emphasized, there is never a way to know for sure what your BAC is going to be if you do decide to provide a breath or blood sample.
Keep in mind that if you refuse, an officer might get a warrant to obtain a sample of your blood. If this is done, you must comply with the officer, and any attempt to “fight” or “resist” the officer and/or medical professional attempting to obtain the blood sample will likely result in more trouble for you.
3. If I am stopped for suspicion of DWI, do I have to do the roadside Field Sobriety Tests?
Answer: No. Once you have identified yourself, you do not have to answer additional questions or do any of the roadside field sobriety tests. In this circumstance, you will almost surely be arrested, but it is often better to remain silent and not say or do anything than to try and prove your sobriety or talk your way out of an arrest. In addition, always remember to stay polite and respectful. Officers are only doing their jobs when investigating a possible DWI, and getting loud or rude in any way is only going to affect your case in a negative way. A common answer to an officer questioning you after a stop, is “Officer, I would rather not answer any further questions or do any tests until I have had a chance to speak with an attorney.”
Remember, every case is different. The information provided herein is only general information, and should not be construed as specific legal advice of any kind. In addition, this information should not be construed as a substitution of legal counsel from a competent DWI attorney in your specific jurisdiction.
Please feel free to contact us if you have specific questions or comments about a case in which you are involved.
Ross Law Offices, PC