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Penalties for a First-Time DWI in Texas

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Texas first offense DWI lawyerIf you have been pulled over by the police on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may rightfully be nervous. You will be asked to perform a series of tests to determine whether you are impaired. While the tests do not have perfect accuracy, they can determine intoxication most of the time. It is important to know the penalties that you may face following a first-time DWI and hire a trusted attorney who can help fight for a reduced sentence or dropped charges.

Failing or Refusing a Chemical Test

The first penalty that you may face is an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). If a post-arrest chemical test to determine your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) shows a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, you will have your driver’s license suspended for 90 days. If you refuse to submit to a chemical test to determine your BAC, you are facing a 180-day driver’s license suspension. Losing your license through an ALR is separate from any additional criminal penalties that you may face.

Additional Criminal Penalties for a First-Time DUI in Texas

If you are charged with a first-time DWI offense, you are facing a Class B misdemeanor. Under Texas law, the penalties could be as high as 180 days in jail, $2,000 in fines, or both. However, judges will often grant first-time offenders community service or probation following a guilty plea or verdict, which will allow them to resume their daily activities. Community service requirements include:


San Antonio criminal defense lawyerFor those with a loved one in federal prison, life can be filled with daily struggles. The situation can be even harder to endure if their incarceration is complicated by health, age, or family-related matters. Fortunately, in such cases, compassionate release allows the inmate the possible opportunity for an early release or sentence reduction. However, compassionate release can be a complicated process and it is essential that you work with an experienced attorney throughout the case.

Circumstances That May Allow for a Compassionate Release

If there are extraordinary or compelling circumstances that have changed since the inmate was originally sentenced, they may be eligible for a compassionate release.

There are three main reasons why such a release may be granted:


Texas traffic violations lawyerAll traffic violations in the state of Texas have the possibility of causing major headaches for drivers, and your trouble can literally double for speeding and other violations in a construction zone. To protect construction workers and prevent costly and dangerous accidents, traffic fines double in construction zones and other maintenance areas. Here is some basic information on construction zone traffic laws.

Rules to Follow Construction Zones in Texas

Given the challenges of driving through a construction zone, including narrow lanes, changing traffic patterns, heavy equipment, and the presence of construction workers, speed limits for all vehicles are reduced. The temporary speed limit signs for construction zones should be followed throughout the zone, even when workers, equipment, or construction markings like barrels are not present. It is only safe to resume the normal speed limit once signs clearly show you are allowed to do so.

Under Texas’s Move Over/Slow Down law drivers are required to move over one lane and slow their vehicle’s speed by 20 miles per hour below the posted legal speed limit for any police, fire, and emergency vehicles. The law now also includes utility service vehicles, TxDOT vehicles, and any other construction or maintenance vehicles with flashing lights, which are commonly found in construction zones. This includes vehicles in the roadway or on the shoulder. To follow the Move Over/Slow Down law in construction zones, you must further reduce your speed and move over if there is an additional lane.


5 Ways to Beat a DWI in San Antonio

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San Antonio DUI defense lawyer Driving while intoxicated by alcohol is a criminal offense in all fifty states, but states vary in terms of criminal penalties. In Texas, a first-time DWI offense is punishable by a maximum fine of $2,000, loss of driving privileges, and jail time. Texas is unique in that, unlike many other states, there is a minimum jail sentence for DWI even if the offender has never been arrested for drunk driving in the past. Penalties for second and third drunk driving convictions are punished more severely and penalties may include months or years in prison.  

If you were charged with drunk driving in Texas, contact a criminal defense lawyer for help. Your attorney can evaluate your situation and determine which defense strategies are most likely to yield favorable results in your case.  

Possible Defenses to Drunk Driving Charges in Texas

Each case is different and there is no foolproof way to defend against DWI charges. Some of the possible defense strategies a DWI defense attorney may have at their disposal include:


Five Ways You Can Lose Your CDL in Texas

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b2ap3_thumbnail_truck-driver-cdl-traffic-violations.jpgIf you make a living driving the roads and highways of Texas, you know how valuable your Commercial Driver License (CDL) is to your profession. Losing the ability to drive to a traffic violation or multiple violations would mean a significant loss of income and possibly lead to the loss of your job. If you are accused of any of the following violations, it is important that you contact a defense attorney who is knowledgeable about the ramifications and will fight for your ability to keep driving. 

Top CDL Convictions That Lead to a Disqualification

Here is a quick recap of some of the common ways in which your CDL might be suspended or revoked:

  • Driving while intoxicated - If you are convicted of a DWI, your CDL may be suspended for at least one year. If you were driving a hazardous materials vehicle, the suspension would be at least three years. A second offense would lead to a lifetime disqualification. 
  • Leaving the scene of an accident - The same punishments are enforced as a DWI. A first conviction means a one-year suspension, a three year suspension with a hazardous materials vehicle, and a lifetime disqualification for the second conviction. 
  • Serious traffic offenses - If you are convicted of two serious traffic offenses within three years, your CDL will be suspended for 60 days. Serious violations can include but are not limited to excessive speeding, improper or erratic land changes, reckless driving, and following other vehicles too closely. Three serious offenses within a three-year period will result in a 120-day CDL suspension. 
  • Railroad crossing violation - If you go around railroad gates when they are down or commit any other violation at a railroad-highway grade crossing, you face a 60-day CDL suspension for the first offense. A second offense within three years means a 120-day suspension, while a third offense within three years results in at least a one-year CDL disqualification. 
  • Vehicle is used in the commission of a felony - If you are convicted of using your commercial vehicle in the commission of a felony, you face at least a one-year CDL disqualification and will face a lifetime ban for a second offense. If the first felony involved the manufacture or distribution of a controlled substance you immediately face a lifetime disqualification from holding a CDL.

Contact a San Antonio CDL Violations Attorney

If you have a Commercial Driver License and have been accused of one of the violations above or any other type of moving violation, you need an attorney who will be your advocate and provide you with superior representation. Contact the San Antonio traffic violation lawyers at Law Offices of Sam H. Lock today. We will fight for you and your livelihood. Call us at 210-226-0965 for a free consultation. 



Bexar County

In the historic King William District

1011 S. Alamo,
San Antonio, Texas 78210
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