Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)?

Man making a dangerous choice to drive while intoxicated

Experienced DWI Attorney

If you have been charged with a DWI offense, you need to hire an attorney with experience.  Jorge Vela handled hundreds of misdemeanor and felony DWI cases as a prosecutor. Now, as a criminal defense attorney, he is using that experience to fight for you.

Make sure you hire an attorney who knows how to handle your DWI case.

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Penalties

A conviction for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can affect your employment, your state and federal licenses, your driving record, and your reputation. In addition, repeated DWI offenses can carry serious penalties, including a felony criminal record and possible jail time.

DWI (First offense, Class B)

A first offense is punishable by up to 180 days behind bars, and/or up to $2,000 in fines. A defendant may still qualify for probation.

If you have an open container of alcohol in the vehicle or you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or above, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

DWI (Second offense, Class A)

If a person is convicted of a second DWI, Class A misdemeanor, he or she can be sentenced to up to a year in jail, and/or a fine of up to $4,000. A defendant may still qualify for probation.

DWI (Third offense, third degree felony)

Individuals who are convicted of a third-degree felony face between two and 10 years in prison, and/or can be ordered to pay a fine of up to $10,000. A defendant may still qualify for probation.

State Jail Felony

If you have a child passenger (younger than 15 years old) in the vehicle when arrested for DWI, you could be charged with a state jail felony.  State jail felonies can lead to between 180 days to two years in jail, and/or up to a $10,000 fine. A defendant may still qualify for probation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How severe are DWIs?

Driving while intoxicated is a severe offense, and many people serve time in jail and are fined if they’ve been convicted of more than one DWI. The severity of a DWI depends on how intoxicated you were and whether you’ve previously received a DWI or DUI.

How can having a DWI impact your life?

Having a DWI can impact your life in many ways, limit your job opportunities, and result in your license being taken away. A DWI can also have many unexpected consequences. People with DWI’s are often unable to enter Canada.

In Texas, you won’t be able to have a concealed handgun license for five years after receiving a DWI. Those who get a second DWI within five years will have their driver’s license suspended. You may also be ordered to have a device, such as an alcohol ignition interlock device, fitted to your car to stop you from driving while under the influence.

Is Jorge Vela experienced enough to help guide my case?

Jorge Vela is an Austin, Texas, DWI attorney who can help you with your DWI case. Our lawyers have decades of experience and specialize in DWI cases. We’ll consider all the evidence, including scientific data, medical examinations, and witness statements.

In addition, we have experience in questioning witnesses, such as police officers and scientists.

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How can Jorge Vela fight my DWI case?

Fourth Amendment Protections

The Fourth Amendment of the United States protects everyone from unreasonable search and seizures.  If an officer did not have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop your vehicle, your attorney may be able to challenge the admission of any incriminating evidence gathered by officers as a result of the stop.  This includes any breath or blood tests conducted by officers. If the police illegally stopped your vehicle, your attorney may be able to reduce your charges or get your case dismissed.

As a former prosecutor, Attorney Jorge Vela knows exactly what to look for in order to challenge an illegal traffic stop by police officers.   Regardless of what type of DWI you are facing, you need a lawyer that knows how to PROTECT your rights.

Challenge to the “eye test, walk the line test, and balancing test”

When an individual is suspected of driving under the influence, they are normally given Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) in order to determine if they are intoxicated.  These tests generally involve following a pen with your eyes, walking a straight line, or balancing on one foot.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration sets strict guidelines on the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).  If these guidelines were not followed by the officer, your attorney may be able to challenge the admission of those tests in court.  If successfully challenged, your attorney may prevent the State from using those tests against you in the criminal case.

Challenge to the Intoxilyzer (Breath Test)

When an individual is suspected of driving under the influence, they will be asked to submit a sample of their breath in order to determine their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).  The breath sample is usually taken using a machine called the Intoxilyzer.

The Intoxilyzer is a complicated machine that must be properly calibrated each time it is used.  Moreover, the machine must be regularly inspected by officials.  If the machine is not properly calibrated, or has not been properly inspected, the results of a BAC test could be affected.

There are also other variables that could affect the BAC readings from an Intoxilyzer.  These include administrative error, environmental factors, and human body variables.

If you provided a sample of your breath during a DWI investigation, your attorney may be able to challenge the results of that exam in court.