Bryan DWI Lawyers
It can be an awful feeling for a driver when the lights of the police car show up in the rearview mirror. The feeling can get even worse when a breath or blood test shows the driver’s blood-alcohol content (BAC) level at or above 0.08%, the legal limit in the state of Texas. It can feel like there’s no way out. Defendants and their families need to know that this isn’t true—there are a lot of very realistic ways to successfully challenge a DWI charge. Our lawyers represent clients in Bryan, College Station, and throughout Brazos County.
James, Reynolds, Spiegelhauer & Ask has fought for defendants since 1983. Our lawyers have over 90 years of combined experience. Three of our partners were former prosecutors. They know firsthand that the District Attorney’s case is not always as airtight as they would have defendants believe.
We strongly urge anyone charged with a DWI—before you plead out, call our office at (979) 227-3305. Our phone lines are open 24/7, and we offer free consultations.
The Penalties for DWI in Texas
The penalties for a first-time DWI offense in Texas include fines of up to $2,000, up to 180 days of jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license for up to two years.
For a second offense, the fines can be up to $4,000. The jail sentence will be at least one month and potentially as long as a year. Your driver’s license can still be taken away for as long as two years.
On a third offense, the potential fine skyrockets to $10,000, while prison time may be anywhere from 2 to 10 years.
In all cases, a DWI conviction may result in consequences ranging from a mandated ignition interlock device, a mandatory State traffic fine up to $6,000, and more.
It's important to note that these penalties apply not only to driving under the influence of alcohol but also encompass intoxication from any impairing substance, including drugs.
Challenging DWI Charges
Law enforcement has stringent requirements that must be met when they arrest someone for driving while intoxicated.
Those requirements include:
- The arresting officer must have had both reasonable suspicion to make the stop and probable cause to order the test.
- The breath or blood test results must be accurate.
Requirement for Reasonable Suspicion
Texas police officers cannot pull over a vehicle unless they have "reasonable suspicion" that the driver is breaking the law. This means that the officer must have specific and articulable facts that, when combined with rational inferences from those facts, would lead them to reasonably suspect that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. A common example is when a driver starts to drift over the center line.
The concept of reasonable suspicion is grounded in the Fourth Amendment, which protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. This legal standard ensures that traffic stops are not made arbitrarily or without sufficient cause. It requires officers to have objective reasons for suspecting that a violation of the law has occurred, providing a safeguard against unjustified intrusions into motorists' privacy.
Furthermore, the requirement for reasonable suspicion in Texas DWI stops underscores the importance of law enforcement officers observing specific behavior or circumstances that give them cause to believe a violation has occurred. This legal standard serves to balance the interests of public safety with individual rights, promoting fairness and lawful conduct in traffic enforcement procedures.
It has to be said that reasonable suspicion is not a high bar for the arresting officer to establish. However, our attorneys will still insist that this be proven. If it’s not, the charges must be dismissed.
Probable Cause in DWI Cases
The concept of probable cause is closely intertwined with reasonable suspicion but represents a higher threshold of justification. In the context of a DWI stop, probable cause would be necessary for an arrest to be made after the initial stop based on reasonable suspicion.
For a DWI arrest in Texas, probable cause would entail the presence of facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the driver was operating a vehicle while intoxicated. These could include the odor of alcohol or an open liquor container in the vehicle.
Police officers may also use a field test as the basis for an arrest and subsequent blood or breath tests. It bears emphasizing that drivers do not have to get out of their car and take a field test. However, if they do so voluntarily, the results of the field test can be used as probable cause.
Inaccuracies in Blood Tests
Blood tests, often considered more accurate than breathalyzer tests, are also subject to potential inaccuracies in Texas DWI cases. Errors in blood sample collection, handling, storage, and analysis can all compromise the reliability of the results.
For instance, if the blood sample is not properly preserved or if there are irregularities in the chain of custody, it can cast doubt on the validity of the test results. Law enforcement officials must demonstrate to the court that chain of custody requirements were followed at every step of the process.
Variations in an individual's metabolism or the presence of certain medical conditions can impact the rate at which alcohol is absorbed and eliminated from the bloodstream, leading to potential discrepancies in BAC measurements.
Moreover, laboratory errors, including cross-contamination of samples, mislabeling, or mishandling of the blood specimen, can introduce inaccuracies into the testing process.
Finally, factors such as the use of expired or improper testing equipment, as well as human error in the analysis of the blood sample, can contribute to unreliable outcomes in Texas DWI cases involving blood tests.
Experienced DWI Lawyers in Bryan, College Station, and Brazos County
Experience matters in DWI defense cases. Our lawyers know all the ways a DWI test can be inaccurate or have been illegally administered. We know the questions to ask in order to get to the bottom of your case, and we’re diligent in doing our investigative work.
When you’re facing the possibility of fines, the loss of a driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and perhaps even jail, it’s worth making a phone call to someone who might be able to help. Call James, Reynolds, Spiegelhauer & Ask today.
We can be reached at (979) 227-3305 or by contacting us online.
Unrivaled Legal ExperienceWe are the sole firm between Dallas and Houston boasting three Board-Certified criminal lawyers and three former Brazos County prosecutors.
Respected AdvocatesRespected within the legal community, we are known for our commitment to excellence, integrity, and tenacious advocacy on behalf of our clients.
90 Years of Collective Experience in Criminal LawWe are the only firm in the Brazos Valley that has over 90 years of collective experience.
Offering 100% Free ConsultsLearn how our defense lawyers can help during a free consult.
Results-Driven ApproachWe tirelessly pursue the best results for our clients through negotiation, litigation, and innovative legal strategies.
We're a Spanish-Speaking TeamOur team is proud to help with Spanish services.
"I wouldn't be where I am now without their help."When I was in college, I made some really stupid mistakes. James, Reynolds, Spiegelhauer & Ask helped me out of some tough situations and made sure my record stayed clean. I wouldn't be where I am now without their help.- T.M.
"I couldn't be more grateful for everything they did."When I was arrested, I thought my life was over. Not only was I facing prison time, I was convinced that I was going to lose my family. The guys at James, Reynolds, Spiegelhauer & Ask really turned the situation around, and I still have my family, my job, and my freedom. I couldn't be more grateful for everything they did.- B.W.
"I recommend this law firm without hesitation."James, Reynolds and Spiegelhauer is a firm built on a foundation of professionalism, deft skill and service to their clients.- A.H.
"I trust each of the attorneys in their office and would hire them in a heartbeat if needed."I have worked with this law firm many times. They are one of the best firms I know with the best attorneys and staff around. They have assisted my firm in many cases and are available to help if we ever need them. I trust each of the attorneys in their office and would hire them in a heartbeat if needed.- A.H.