Austin DWI Lawyer

It’s not difficult to underestimate your level of intoxication. In the state of Texas, if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08 and you’re operating a vehicle, you can be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Most people can cross that threshold after three or four drinks, and Austin police make many borderline arrests. If you’ve been arrested for DWI in Austin or Travis County, DWI defense lawyer Erin Shinn will provide you with an aggressive strategy to defend you against the charges.

DWI Investigations in Texas

All DWI investigations in Texas must follow a specific protocol or the police and prosecution risk losing their case in court. Your criminal defense lawyer will examine each step in the DWI investigation to look for flaws in the case. Here is the order of events required for a Texas DWI arrest:

  • Probable Cause – This is the police officer’s reason to stop you, and can include witnessing a driving pattern that indicates intoxication, involvement in a car accident, or being flagged at a DWI checkpoint.
  • Physical Observations – The officer will make any observations about your appearance or behavior that would indicate drunkenness: bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, swaggering gait, lack of fine motor skills, and the odor of an alcoholic beverage.
  • Voluntary Roadside Exercises – This is a series of exercises that test balance, coordination, and the ability to follow instructions. The police will explain and demonstrate the tests and must explain that they’re voluntary. These exercises will be video recorded for courtroom presentation.
  • Implied Consent Warning – As a condition of your Texas driver’s license, you agree to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test upon demand. If you refuse, your license will be suspended, but the results are admissible in a Texas court.
  • Chemical Testing – If you agree to submit to testing, the police will usually administer a breath test. Your attorney will review the maintenance records of the breath-test machine and determine that it was properly calibrated.

DWI Consequences in Texas

The potential punishments that you could be facing if you’re convicted of a DWI vary greatly depending upon your individual circumstances. Here are a few of the factors that the courts will consider when determining penalties:

  • The age of the driver, if the driver was under 21
  • The DWI resulted in an accident with injuries
  • The driver has prior DWI convictions
  • The BAC level was over .15

First-offense DWI Penalties

Even if you haven’t been convicted of a DWI in the past, the penalties can still be severe. A first-time arrest for drunk driving can result in:

  • A jail sentence from 3-180 days.
  • Up to $2000 in fines
  • A license suspension of 90 days to a year
  • An ignition interlock device placed on your vehicle as a condition of obtaining an occupational license
  • A criminal record

The penalties can increase if you’re charged with having a BAC of .15 or higher.

Austin, Texas DWI Criminal Defense Lawyer

With so much at stake, you need to be proactive about your criminal defense. A criminal defense lawyer can review police records, depose witnesses, and examine the video and BAC evidence against you. Did the police follow standard DWI protocols, or was there a substantial error in the way they conducted their investigation? Erin Shinn can find out. Attorney Erin Shinn has a reputation in Austin for aggressively fighting for the rights of her clients. Call today for a free initial consultation.

Other Criminal Defense Practice Areas