Texas DWI Offenses
Texas has some of the most severe laws on drunk driving in the United States. You are not allowed to have an alcoholic beverage in your vehicle even if the vehicle is parked. However, there are times when you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law. If you’ve been charged with the offense, we will offer you some insight and possible defenses. You’ll also learn some of your rights as a criminal defendant. Texas law divides drunk driving into two, the open container violation and Driving while intoxicated (DWI). If you’re charged with a drunk driving offense in Texas, don’t hesitate to reach out to an experienced defense attorney.
Open Container Violation
Open container violation is defined as being in possession of an open alcoholic beverage container while operating a motor vehicle. You can be cited for this offense even if the vehicle is not moving. Open container violation is a class C misdemeanor with a possible fine of up to $500. It is not a serious offense, but if you’re convicted of the offense, it will be shown on your criminal background check which can make it difficult for you to secure a job. If you’re pulled over by the police and charged with open container violation offense, the officer will issue you with a written citation and a notice to appear before a magistrate. The notice will show you when and where to appear before the magistrate. You are supposed to write and sign a promise to appear for the officer to release you. Once you’re set free, you can call or look for an experienced lawyer to help you in your defense.
Possible Defense in Open Container Violation
A good lawyer will help you understand your rights as a criminal defendant, and also help build a strong defense for you. Some of the possible defenses for this offense would be:
- i) Prove to the magistrate that you were a passenger in a taxi or other vehicles that transport people at a fee.
- ii) The open container in your possession was not for alcoholic drinks
iii) The open container was in the trunk and not in the area designated for passengers
Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
You commit this offense if you operate a motor vehicle while you are intoxicated. Intoxication means you’re under the influence of alcohol or other legal or illegal drugs. The penal code classifies this offense under class B misdemeanor with a minimal term of confinement of 72 hours. If however, you’re proved to have been holding an open container or the container was your immediate possession, the offense has a minimum confinement of six days. The offense becomes a class A misdemeanor if the alcohol concentration in your blood exceeds 0.15. It becomes a felony if a child was present as a passenger at the time of arrest. If you’re convicted of this offense, your license may be suspended for 40 days. To build a strong defense for your case, you will need to an experienced lawyer to help you. With the help of a lawyer you can file an appeal after before the expiry of 15 days.
Driving under the influence of a drug, legal or illegal is not only a crime in Texas, but it also endangers your life and that of others. You should at no time operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated. However when you charged with the offense can contact your lawyer or look for one to help with your defense.