Llano Drunk Driving Attorney
Alcohol and driving do not mix. Texas, like other US states, takes drunk driving very seriously. Facing a DWI (driving while intoxicated) charge, especially one involving a road accident or injury in Llano, Texas, can have life-changing consequences.
If found guilty of a DWI, you may have your driver’s license suspended for up to two years, incur a $10,000 fine, and serve a state prison sentence of up to 10 years. Even for first-time offenders, the punishments for a DWI conviction are pretty severe.
In short, a DWI case is not something you take lightly because the state certainly doesn’t tolerate drunk driving.
Charged with a DWI? The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, your trusted Llano drunk driving lawyer, will aggressively defend your DWI charges to minimize the associated consequences or do away with the case altogether. Some DWI cases are unjust, making the defendant the victim. W. Shane Jennings is a highly experienced attorney in Texan criminal, traffic, and DWI law. The firm’s aggressive legal representation is exactly what you need to fight any DWI charges.
15 DAY WARNING
If you get pulled over and charged with a DWI, the state could take away your driving privileges for anywhere between 90 days and two years. However, a DWI-related Administrative License Revocation (ALR) does not take effect immediately. You’ll be issued with a temporary driving permit valid for 40 days.
Better yet, the state gives you a chance to appeal the ALR. You’ll have a 15-day window from the time of arrest to request an ALR hearing. With the right defense, you could successfully contest the ALR and have your driving privileges reinstated. For that, you’re allowed to have an attorney present during the hearing to offer professional legal representation and counsel.
If your defense isn’t strong or convincing enough, your driver’s license will be suspended after the stipulated 40 days.
At the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, our drunk driving attorneys in Llano understand how inconvenient and costly an ALR can be. We always take advantage of the 15-day rule to fight for our clients’ driving privileges. Restoring your right to drive brings you a step closer to fighting the DWI charge.
What is the Difference Between a DWI and a DUI in Llano, Texas?
Most people use the terms “driving under the influence (DUI)” and “driving while intoxicated (DWI)” interchangeably. Actually, most states have only one charge for drunk driving, which could be either DWI or DUI. However, a handful of states make notable distinctions between DWI and DUI in terms of jurisdiction and punishment.
Texas is one of those states where a DUI is very different from a DWI charge.
DUI in Texas
DUIs are charged under the Texas Transportation Code and are categorized as Class C misdemeanors. These charges only apply to minors — those below the legal drinking age of 21. A minor will be charged with a DUI if they’re caught driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their body.
Punishment for a DUI includes a 60-day license suspension, mandatory alcohol awareness classes, a $500 to $2,000 fine, 20 to 40 hours of community service, and up to 180 days in jail (for second and third-time offenders over 18 years).
DWI in Texas
A DWI charge falls under the Texas Penal Code and is categorized as a more serious Class B misdemeanor. An adult caught driving with 0.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or higher will be charged with DWI.
DWIs are punishable by fines, license suspension, special alcohol educational programs, and jail time — the exact details and extent of the punishment will depend on the particulars of the case.
DWI Charges in Texas for a First Offense
First-time DWI violations carry a maximum jail term of 180 days or six months. But typically, first-time offenders must serve a mandatory three days in jail or six days if they had an open alcohol container in the vehicle at the time of arrest.
You’ll also have your license suspended for 90 days to a year unless you’re put on probation and take a court-mandated alcohol abuse course. A first-time DWI offense also carries fines of up to $2,000. And if you wish to keep your driver’s license afterward, you may have to pay between $1,000 and $2,000 per year for the next three years.
The consequences are more severe for first-time DWI offenders with 0.15 BAC and higher. Such constitutes a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, up to a year in jail, and an ALR of up to two years.
DWI with a Child in the Vehicle
Even for first-time offenders, driving while intoxicated with a minor passenger (child under 15 years) is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000, a jail sentence between 180 days and two years, and a 180-day license suspension.
DWI number two is a Class A misdemeanor. A second DWI conviction is punishable by a maximum of one year in jail or up to two years’ probation, up to $4,000 in fines, and an 18-month ALR. Plus, you’ll be required to pay $100 to reclaim your license.
A third DWI is a third-degree felony in Texas. That’s a criminal conviction carrying 2 to 10 years of jail time, fines amounting to $10,000, and a two-year license suspension.
The same charges and punishments apply if you injure another person while driving intoxicated.
Manslaughter by DWI
Causing someone’s death in Llano, Texas, while driving intoxicated is a second-degree felony punishable by fines amounting to $10,000 and between two and 20 years behind bars. Multiple intoxicated manslaughter charges can be raised and combined if there’s more than one victim.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a DUI or DWI in Llano, TX?
Yes, if you are facing DUI or DWI charges, it makes sense to consult with an experienced drunk driving lawyer in Llano. The lawyer will evaluate the evidence against you, challenge the validity of traffic stops, sobriety tests, and the arrest procedure, and mount a strong defense on your behalf.
A DUI or DWI conviction can significantly affect your freedom, reputation, and future, making legal representation crucial in protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome for your case.
Is Getting a DUI / DWI Lawyer in Llano, TX, Worth the Cost?
Certainly, hiring a DUI/DWI lawyer in Llano, TX, is well worth the cost. While it’s true that hiring a drunk driving lawyer in Llano comes at a cost, the potential benefits of doing so far outweigh the legal expense. Besides, contrary to popular misconceptions, legal representation doesn’t cost a fortune.
DUI and DWI convictions have long-term financial consequences, including difficulties in finding employment, thousands in court fines, increased insurance premiums, and a range of other costs that can quickly add up over time. A Llano drunk driving attorney can, at the very least, relieve some of this financial pressure.
Is a DUI Criminal or Civil Law?
A DUI can be both a criminal and a civil offense, depending on the legal context and circumstances surrounding the case.
Usually, DUI cases are handled in a criminal court. The charges are brought forth by public prosecutors, and if convicted, individuals may face criminal penalties such as fines, probation, jail time, and a criminal record entry.
When a DUI offense involves injury to another party, say for example you were intoxicated and injured someone else into a serious car crash in Llano, Texas, that’s when a civil lawsuit may come into play. In cases where a DUI results in injury to another person or damage to their property, the victim may seek remedies through a civil lawsuit against the responsible party. This becomes a separate legal action from the criminal case in Llano, Texas, and is aimed at seeking compensation for the victim’s medical expenses, property damage, pain and suffering, and other losses from the DUI incident.
Civil cases are usually costly and time-consuming, which is why you should hire a seasoned and knowledgeable drunk driving attorney in Llano to navigate the complexities of both criminal and civil aspects of DUI cases.
How Will a DWI / DUI Affect My Record?
A DWI or DUI conviction can seriously affect your driving, criminal, and insurance records. Many conscientious drivers with otherwise clean records often find themselves in a tailspin due to the consequences of such convictions.
Even after paying thousands in court fines and fulfilling your legal obligations, the impacts continue to linger for years to come. The severity of the consequences may depend on factors such as prior offenses, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of arrest, and whether the violation resulted in accidents or injuries.
In Llano, Texas, as in many other places in the US, a DWI/DUI conviction will stay on your driving record for three to 10 years.
Perhaps the most devastating and immediate consequence of a DWI/DUI conviction is the black mark on your criminal record. A DWI/DUI conviction results in a criminal record that can be accessed by employers, landlords, and anyone who conducts a background check on you. This record is permanent unless the charge is reduced, deferred, sealed, or expunged.
Does Being Charged with Drunk Driving Affect My Car Insurance?
Insurance companies generally view individuals with a DWI or DUI charge as high-risk drivers, which can lead to some serious consequences:
- Higher auto insurance premiums. This is the most immediate impact of a DWI on your car insurance coverage. When insurance companies see a DWI conviction on your record, they’ll likely increase your premiums, sometimes up to tenfold. Over time, as the charge ages and you demonstrate responsible driving behavior, your insurance premiums may gradually decrease, but it can take several years for your insurance costs to normalize.
- Cancellation or non-renewal. Your current insurance provider may choose not to renew your policy or may even cancel your coverage following a DWI or DUI charge. This can make it challenging to find a new insurer willing to provide you with coverage.
- SR-22 insurance. In Texas, those convicted of a DWI or DUI must receive an SR-22 certificate, a document your insurance provider submits to the state to certify that you have the required liability cover on your auto insurance policy. An SR-22 insurance certificate further raises your insurance costs.
The DWI Process in Texas
The procedure starts with a traffic stop by a law enforcement officer who has good reason to believe you are intoxicated. The police will administer sobriety tests to determine your level of impairment after the stop. Common tests include walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. If the officer detects that you’re impaired, they may run a breathalyzer test or chemical blood test to measure your blood alcohol concentration.
If the BAC is 0.08% or higher, you are arrested and taken to a police station where your personal information is recorded. At this point, speaking with a licensed drunk driving attorney in Llano is essential to help you navigate the murky waters of a DWI charge.
Drunk Driving Crashes and Injuries in Llano, Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, drunk driving continues to be a significant concern in Llano, Texas. DWI-related incidents often result in injuries, property damage, and even fatalities.
Llano, TX, saw 21 drunk driving-related traffic crashes in 2020. Among these were two fatal crashes that sadly resulted in three deaths, three suspected serious crashes, five suspected minor injuries, 12 non-injury crashes, and 20 non-injuries.
These statistics emphasize the critical need for continued efforts to mitigate drunk driving in Llano, Texas. Public awareness, law enforcement measures, and community initiatives are pivotal in addressing this ongoing concern. It’s easy to see why the law takes such a strong and unforgiving stand against drunk driving.
Contact the Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings Today
Depending on the circumstances, a DWI charge in Texas may result in costly fines, a license suspension, or even jail time. Having an experienced attorney by your side is vital to protect your rights and lessen the severe implications of the DWI arrest.
At the Law Offices of W. Shane Jennings, we are committed to providing dedicated legal representation to individuals facing DWI charges in Texas. Our skilled Llano drunk driving attorneys are prepared to help you navigate the intricate legal maze that is a DWI case. We will work tirelessly to defend your rights, look into viable defense options, and strive to secure the best possible outcome for your case.
You don’t have to face a DWI charge on your own. Contact us today for expert legal guidance and aggressive legal representation, no matter the nature of your DWI. In addition to Llano, Texas, we also serve Marble Falls, Burnet, Mason, Brady, Fredericksburg, Lakeway, Leander, Copperas Cove, Cedar Park, Anderson Mill, Kerrville, Jollyville, Round Rock, and more.