Sugar Land DWI Lawyer
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses are not handled lightly in the state of Texas. In addition to an arrest, charges can range from misdemeanors to felonies and may result in a driver’s license suspension, prison time, steep fines, alcohol- or drug-education courses, community service, probation, and the installation of an interlock device in your vehicle. The exact punishments vary based on the circumstances of your arrest, your history of related offenses, and the court’s discretion.
At the Law Office of Lindsay R. López PLLC, we are dedicated to defending Texans against the harsh consequences of DWI and DUI offenses. Our founder and DWI defense lawyer has extensive legal experience in private practice and as an attorney with the Galveston County DA’s Office, as well as the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. These diverse legal experiences give our firm unique insight into the ways that DWI and DUI cases are prosecuted in Texas’ criminal justice system.
If you were arrested in the Greater Houston or Galveston area for a DWI or DUI, contact our office to schedule a free consultation. We have offices in Sugar Land and Angleton.
Being Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated in Southeast Texas
In Texas, adults over the age of 21 who are caught driving in a public place while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs can receive a DWI charge (TPC §49.04(a)). Driving under the influence (DUI) is limited to minors under 21, regardless of whether their intoxication is due to alcohol or drugs.
For adults, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is .08%. Any adult found operating a motor vehicle with a BAC level at or above this percentage may receive a DWI charge, even if they are able to pass a field sobriety test at the time of their arrest. As for minors, Texas’ Zero Tolerance policy means that anyone under 21 can be charged with driving under the influence if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. Both adults and minors can be arrested if a law enforcement officer suspects them of driving while impaired by illegal substances, regardless of the drug or the detectable amount of intoxication. Although some Texas counties are not prosecuting marijuana possession as harshly as in years past, driving under the influence of this illegal substance is still considered a serious crime. Erratic driving patterns, witness accounts or statements, field sobriety tests, and other indicators can be used to justify drug-impaired driving arrests.
Texas DWI Charges
Most DWI offenses are charged as Class B misdemeanors, which, if convicted, carry a minimum jail time of 72 hours and up to 180 days. The minimum increases to 6 days for individuals with an “open container” of alcohol in their vehicle at the time of their arrest (TPC §49.04(c)). Anyone with a BAC of .15% or higher may receive a Class A misdemeanor (TPC §49.04(d)), as can anyone with a prior offense. Certain factors can lead to felony charges. These carry significantly increased penalties, such as extended prison sentences (up to 10 years) and fines ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.
Factors that can lead to felony charges include:
- Causing death or serious traumatic brain injuries (TPC §49.09(b-4))
- Having 3 or more prior DWI convictions within a 10-year period (TPC §49.09(b)(2))
- Driving with a minor under the age of 15 (TPC §49.045)
Why You Should Hire a Sugar Land DWI Attorney
A DWI in Texas can have serious and far-reaching consequences, so it's important to protect your rights by hiring an experienced lawyer. A Sugar Land DWI attorney can help you understand the charges against you and the potential penalties that come with a conviction. They'll know how to navigate the legal system and get you the best possible outcome for your case.
A DWI attorney will also be able to advise you on any alternatives available such as plea bargains or alcohol awareness programs. Furthermore, they will help ensure that all evidence is collected correctly, avoiding any errors that could later be used to challenge your guilt in court. With a qualified DWI lawyer on your side, you're more likely to get fair treatment in court and if necessary negotiate a lesser sentence than if you handle it yourself.
All these reasons make it important to hire an attorney after getting a DWI in Texas. Don't delay, let our Sugar Land DWI lawyer defend you from harsh criminal penalties today.
Fighting DWI and DUI Charges in Harris, Brazoria, and Fort Bend Counties
At the Law Office of Lindsay R. López PLLC, we understand how intimidating it can be to face allegations regarding any kind of criminal activity, especially ones prosecuted as harshly as driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. If convicted, these crimes may carry severe legal penalties, as well as collateral consequences beyond the legal system, which could affect your ability to find employment and hinder your rights.
However, an arrest does not equal a conviction. It’s important to diligently fight DWI and DUI charges with the help of a qualified DWI defense attorney, who is familiar with the relevant laws and legal system of your area. Attorney Lindsay R. López has years of experience in the Texas judicial system, on the private, state, and local levels. She knows what it takes to build strong defenses for her clients. She can help you gather evidence, scrutinize the prosecutor’s case and the terms of your arrest, and provide you with fierce representation in and out of the courtroom.
Call us as soon as possible at (713) 766-1371, and our Sugar Land DWI lawyer will get started on your defense.
Fort Bend DWI Resources
There are several local entities that can serve as resources for DWI offenders in Sugar Land, TX. Here are a few options:
- Fort Bend County Community Supervision and Corrections Department: This department provides supervision and monitoring for individuals who have been placed on probation for DWI offenses. They can also connect individuals with substance abuse treatment programs.
- Fort Bend County Court Services: This program provides DWI offenders with education and counseling services to help them understand the impact of alcohol and drugs on driving and how to prevent future offenses.
- Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): AA is a fellowship of individuals who have struggled with alcohol addiction and provides a supportive community for those seeking to overcome their addiction.
- Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD): MADD is a nonprofit organization that provides support to victims of drunk driving and works to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving.
- Sugar Land Police Department: The Sugar Land Police Department can provide information about local resources for DWI offenders and can help connect individuals with appropriate resources.
- Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office: The District Attorney’s Office can provide information about legal options for DWI offenders and can connect individuals with resources for treatment and rehabilitation.
Attorney López has taken dozens of cases before juries with awesome results. Her over 15 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney has led to countless dismissals and acquittals. Attorney López is a former prosecutor and has represented hundreds of clients. One of Attorney López’s prior positions was as a defense attorney working ...Learn More
Who should I talk to about my case?Only speak with your attorney about your case. The more people that you speak with, the more you complicate your situation. Write down in detail what you remember surrounding the events of what happened. Share this information with your attorney. Do not share this information with anyone else.
When should I hire an attorney?Now! The sooner you hire an attorney is always better. The State always has a leg up on collecting evidence. Often times the evidence that you want to make sure is preserved to prove that you are innocent, to argue your case, or to exonerate you, is not preserved. By hiring defense counsel as soon as possible this evidence can be requested and preserved. A defense attorney will walk you through the case from Day 1, taking the burden and stress off of your shoulders. From knowing when to be at court, to negotiating plea deals, to preparing for trial, leave it to your defense counsel to know your rights and force the State of Texas to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Can I get my case expunged?It depends. Certain cases can be expunged or non-disclosed in the State of Texas. Contact my firm for more information.
What happens if my boyfriend or girlfriend wants to drop charges?Once the State of Texas gets involved in your private matter ‘dropping charges’ is no longer your family member’s decision. Now the district attorney’s office as well as the responding police department are involved in the case. There may also be an emergency protective order that prevents you and your loved one from communicating with one another for sixty to ninety days. Read the paperwork that you receive following your arrest carefully. Just because your boyfriend or girlfriend or loved one forgives you and wants you back in their lives does not mean that new charges cannot be filed if an emergency protective order (EPO) is still in effect and you violate that order. PROCEED WITH CAUTION and CALL AN ATTORNEY!