A criminal offense lawyer represents an individual or company that has been accused of criminal activity. If you want to know what your best options are, then turn to a firm that you can trust that will provide you with aggressive and personalized criminal defense counsel. If you’re facing serious criminal charges, then call us at The Napier Law Firm.
Criminal Offenses in Galveston County, Texas
There are generally two ways in which a person is arrested for driving while intoxicated: during a routine checkpoint, or when an officer notices tell-tale signs of intoxication. Also important to understand is that you can be pulled over and convicted for driving while intoxicated if you have taken a controlled substance or any medication that has affected your motor skills and ability to drive. Even an over-the-counter medication like Benadryl can cause severe drowsiness in a person, which can cause them to drive erratically. Other signs officers look for include:
- Driving without headlights
- Driving in the center or on the wrong side of the road
- Following too closely
- Driving the wrong way down a one-way street
- Driving too fast or too slowly
- Making very wide turns
- Not stopping at stop signs or traffic lights
- Erratic braking
- Drifting in and out of lanes
DWI’s in Galveston County
Galveston County is a small area in comparison to Houston, and many people love living here or visiting the area. People come to Galveston county for our jobs and higher education. But car accidents can happen anywhere, and, unfortunately, accidents related to DWIs occur here, too.
In the year 2018 in the county of Galveston, the Texas Department of Transportation recorded the following DUI driver fatalities by age:
- Ages 21 to 25: 1
- Ages 26 to 30: 1
- Ages 36 to 40: 3
- Ages 41 to 45: 1
- Ages 46 to 50: 1
- Ages 61 to 65: 2
- Over 65: 1
Why You Need A Lawyer
Driving while intoxicated is when an individual drives without the normal use of their mental or physical capacities due to their consumption of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of them. The legal blood alcohol concentration that a person can be arrested for in Texas is a .08 or higher. The effects and consequences of a DWI conviction depend greatly on each person’s specific case and prior criminal history. If you were convicted of DWI in any other state, then it will count toward your conviction.
For your first DWI offense in the state of Texas, you will face fines up to $2,000 and may spend between 6 to 180 days in jail, depending on the circumstances of your case. Your license will be suspended for a minimum of 90 days and up to 1 year, and you may be responsible for an annual fee of up to $2,000 for 3 years in order to retain your driver’s license. Additionally, you may be required to complete community service, have an ignition interlock device installed in your car, or complete DWI education or treatment.
For your second offense, your fines are doubled compared to a first offense. You could pay fines up to $4,000 and spend between one to 12 months in jail. In all DWI cases license suspension is possible, and in many cases without an opportunity to apply to have it reinstated early. Your license can be suspended for at least one year and you may have to pay an annual fee of up to $2,000 per year for three years in order to retain it. You may be also required to complete hours of community service, DWI education and you’ll be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. These devices, also known as breathalyzers, are required if you’ve had two or more DWI convictions within a five-year period. Additionally, your auto insurance provider may increase your premiums.
The penalties for your third offense are much greater. You will be responsible for paying a $10,000 fine as well as spending two to 10 years in prison. Additionally, your license will be suspended for one to two years and there’s an annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years to retain your driver’s license that you will be responsible for paying if you want to drive. An ignition interlock device will be installed in your car, and many modern ones come with a camera to verify that you will be the one blowing into it.
DWI With A Child Passenger
Being found with a child under the age of 15 in the car when you are arrested for DWI will result in a felony. charge The punishment for this crime ranges from serving between 180 days to two years in jail, and fines up to $10,000. If a deadly weapon was found or involved, then the charge can be increased to a third-degree felony.
Failure to Submit to Field Sobriety Test
When you have been stopped by police, they will conduct a field sobriety test, but if you refuse to submit to a sobriety test then your license will be suspended for 180 days if this is your first offense. If this is the second time that you have refused to submit to a sobriety test, then your license will be suspended for two years.
Hiring A Criminal Defense Attorney Is A Wise Choice
By hiring an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer in Galveston, your sentence may be reduced or, in some cases, you may not face any penalties at all. The only way to find out is to talk to an attorney today. Give us a call at The Napier Law Firm to schedule your free consultation. Our experienced attorneys have successfully defended clients, and are ready to fight for you.