Archive for the ‘Texas DUI’ Category

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About DWI Penalties

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Did you know that the penalties for DWI in Texas are relatively light compared to those in other states? Did you know that despite what the law says, penalties for DWI in Texas vary from case to case? People in Texas are wondering what the state’s DWI laws really mean, in light of recent repeat-offense DWI cases that have made it apparent that drivers who are arrested for DWI are not always kept off of the road for very long, even after a subsequent offense.

First and second offense DWIs are misdemeanors in Texas. The Texas Penal Code lists fines, jail time, loss of drivers’ license, and increased fees to reinstate the license as penalties for driving while intoxicated. As is the case with any type of crime, not all first offense DWI defendants pay a two thousand dollar fine, not all of them receive a sentence of one hundred and eighty days in jail, not all of those who receive a sentence must serve all of it in jail, and not all of them receive the standard loss of license and increased fees that are listed as possible penalties.

The differences in outcomes in DWI cases is not necessarily a sign that something is wrong with the criminal justice system in Texas. Rather, it illustrates something that is true for all criminal defendants regardless of what crimes they are charged with – every crime is a unique occurrence, and each defendant is a unique individual. Criminal cases are not decided uniformly because they should not be decided uniformly. The facts of each case can be argued by defense counsel in a way that supports an outcome that is appropriate for what actually happened. In other words, DWI defendants and their attorneys do have the ability to affect the outcome of their Texas DWI cases. This is good news for DWI defendants because it means that they can work with a DWI defense attorney to pursue workable outcomes in their DWI cases.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texas Drivers Against DWI Charges

If you are facing DWI charges, the thought of facing those charges in court on your own might be rather intimidating. It is important that you know that you do not have to face your DWI charges alone and that working with a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you work towards the best possible outcome in your DWI case. The consequences of a Texas DWI conviction are serious and a conviction could affect just about every area of your life. Your freedom, your license, your job, your relationships, and your future are all at stake. If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, take the important first step of protecting your rights today, by calling an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney. If you have questions or concerns about DWI in Texas, please call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us via our online contact form.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses DWI Penalties for Minors

Monday, November 28th, 2016

When you think about a typical situation involving a minor being charged with DWI, you might imagine a teenager who has a driver’s license being caught driving after having a few beers at a party. While situations like that do happen, there are some minors who do not even have their drivers’ license when they get their first DWI. For example, a twelve-year-old is currently under investigation for DWI following a police chase that ended with a crash. Fortunately, the driver’s injuries are not severe, but he will face legal consequences as the result of his actions.

When a law enforcement noticed the young driver weaving in and out of traffic, they believed that the driver was texting and driving. As the officer continued to observe him, the driver crossed the center line, and the officer began to suspect that the driver as intoxicated. The officer tried to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not stop. The driver kept going and hit another car head-on, but the impact was not sufficient to stop the vehicle, and he kept driving. Eventually, the young driver collided with a utility pole and that collision prevented the vehicle from being driven any further.

The minor is now being investigated for DWI, evading police, and failing to stop and render aid after an accident. He is likely to encounter substantial consequences as the result of his actions, especially if he gets convicted of any or all of the three crimes that are under investigation. Under Texas law, anyone who is under twenty-one years of age is a minor. A minor may not drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. The penalty for DWI for a minor depends both on the amount of alcohol in the driver’s system and the number of times that they have been stopped for drinking and driving.

First offenders who are minors could be fined up to five hundred dollars. They receive a sixty-day license suspension; they must attend an alcohol awareness class, and they must do between twenty and forty hours of community service. Penalties increase for second and subsequent offenses.

Minors can also receive an enhanced penalty if they are over seventeen years of age but under twenty-one, and their blood alcohol level is .08 or higher. Under these circumstances, a minor can be fined up to two thousand dollars and have their license suspended for at least ninety days and up to one year. They could also have to spend anywhere from three to one hundred and eighty days in jail.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Minors Who Are Charged With DWI

If you are a minor, a DWI investigation can be incredibly intimidating. The consequences of a potential conviction are serious, and you are probably wondering what you should do. Fortunately, you do not have to face those charges alone. If you are a minor and you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, protect your rights by calling an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney today. If you have any questions about DWI in Texas, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Offers Holiday Weekend Tips for Avoiding DWI and BWI

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Summer is almost officially here, and if you are like many Texans, you are looking forward to enjoying some fun times with friends and family this Memorial Day Weekend. No matter what type of excitement you have planned, you can take some steps to ensure that you and the people that you will be spending time with this weekend stay safe and avoid DWI and BWI charges.

One important thing that all people would be wise to remember is that Memorial Day weekend is a no-refusal weekend in many parts of the state. This weekend, law enforcement officers will take to the streets in large numbers in search of impaired drivers from approximately six in the evening on Friday until early Tuesday morning. If you are driving a vehicle and you get stopped by an officer who suspects that you are driving while intoxicated, you may choose whether to submit to roadside breath testing. If you refuse to participate in the breath test, the officer can then get a search warrant that enables them to take a blood sample over your objection.

The roads are not the only place where no refusal weekends are in effect. The Texas Department of Public Safety is well aware that many accidents that cause injuries and death occur on or near motorized watercraft during the summer months. It is also common knowledge that many of those injuries and deaths involve boaters who are intoxicated. For these reasons, patrols will be located on and near some of the popular spots for water recreation throughout the state this weekend. Game wardens also use holiday weekends to look for boating safety issues, so be sure to avoid attracting unnecessary attention to your watercraft by operating it in a safe and responsible manner.

Planning ahead for a safe ride home after a party or another event is a great way to avoid getting a DWI during the upcoming holiday weekend. If the party is at your place, there are additional things that you can do to help your guests make responsible choices and avoid drinking and driving. Encouraging guests to select a designated driver is a tried and true strategy for making sure that everyone gets home safely. Some people don’t drink alcohol, but they still enjoy going to parties, so finding a designated driver is not always as hard as one might think it would be. Paying for taxi fares is another alternative. Having plenty of delicious food, nonalcoholic beverages, and fresh, cold water available can help your guests balance out their alcohol intake. The aforementioned tried and true strategies for preventing drunk driving work, and there are some suggestions are even more fun and creative, such as offering tents, bedding, and other amenities to guests who are interested in camping overnight instead of driving home after the party. Checking in with guests as they are leaving and helping them to find an alternative way home if they seem intoxicated is a thoughtful gesture that will help your guests stay safe and avoid the financial and other life altering impacts of a DWI conviction.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Experienced Support for DWI Defendants

If you are facing DWI charges, experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra may be able to help you resolve your DWI case. To learn more, call (903) 753-7499.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses a Rare Medical Cause of Elevated Blood Alcohol

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Sometimes, the facts of a DWI case indicate that something out of the ordinary is going on. Fortunately, attorneys who dedicate a substantial portion of their practice to DWI defense have enough experience with the types of things that often occur before, during, and after a DWI arrest, so they are often able to spot unusual circumstances quickly and investigate them further.

For example, a woman in New York was admitted to the hospital after taking a breathalyzer test that registered her blood alcohol at four times the legal limit. However, the hospital wanted to release the woman soon after she was admitted because she was not exhibiting any symptoms that required medical attention. Ordinarily, a person with a blood alcohol level that high would be rather ill.

Fortunately, the attorney who represented the woman noticed that the facts of her case did not seem to make sense. He investigated possible causes of high blood alcohol levels without accompanying symptoms, and he found that a rare medical condition called auto brewery syndrome or gut fermentation syndrome does just that.

The woman’s unusual blood alcohol level was closely examined, thanks to to the efforts of her husband, who urged doctors to do additional testing, and her attorney, who hired medical professionals to monitor her and test her blood alcohol level at regular intervals for a period of twelve hours. Instead of decreasing as time passed since the woman had had her last drink of the evening, her blood alcohol increased over time. That pattern of increasing blood alcohol over time is consistent with what happens when an individual with auto brewery syndrome consumes food or drink, because abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert the carbohydrates from the things that they ate or drank into ethanol, which is alcohol.

Since something unusual was going on in the woman’s DWI case, her attorney had to build a defense case that would explain what auto brewery syndrome is, and, even more importantly, that that was the reason why his client’s blood alcohol level was as high as it was at the time that she was arrested. The attorney brought a pharmacologist to court, and the pharmacologist explained how alcohol would be metabolized by a woman of the same size and weight as the defendant. That information was presented along with the information that had been gathered from the defendant’s blood tests, which showed that the drinks that she had consumed were not metabolized in a normal way. The end result is that the evidence of what happened with the woman’s blood alcohol, along with the explanation for why it had happened, which is because she suffers from a rare medical condition, led to dismissal of her DWI charges.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Your Source For Comprehensive Defense

If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, you do not have to navigate the road ahead of you alone. A seasoned defense attorney can build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has helped DWI defendants in many different types of circumstances. If you have questions about your DWI, call us today, at (903) 753-7499.

 

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Describes What Happens After a DWI Arrest

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Many people are familiar with what happens prior to a DWI arrest – a law enforcement officer stops a vehicle, determines that they think that the driver is intoxicated, and arrests them. Unless you have been arrested for DWI before, you may not know what happens after a DWI arrest. Of course, each arrest is a unique situation, but there are some things that do occur after most DWI arrests.

When a driver is being arrested for DWI, their vehicle is not simply left on the side of the road indefinitely as they leave the scene in a police car. In some cases, the driver is fortunate enough to be able to make contact with a family member who can move their car. Unfortunately, in other cases, a tow truck must be called to move the vehicle which will add to the total cost of the driver’s DWI arrest experience.

Depending upon where you are arrested, you may be transported by law enforcement to the magistrate’s office, or to the county jail. Wherever you end up, you will spend some time there as things get sorted out. Many drivers spend between ten and twelve hours at the magistrate’s office or in jail, but if it is a holiday or a weekend, they may have to stay there a lot longer because they have plenty of company. Sometimes, drivers have a physical or mental health emergency and must be transported to a hospital or brought to the medical center of the jail instead of to the magistrate’s office or a holding cell.

Once those initial steps of the process have occurred, you will be booked into the system and allowed to make two phone calls. Usually you are restricted to making local calls, but people from outside of the local area may be permitted to make long distance calls. The next step in the process is that the police will decide where you will stay until it is time for you to be released. These intermediate steps often take about an hour, but as mentioned before, if there are many people being arrested at the same time that you are, your experience may take substantially longer. Before you are able to be released, bond must usually be paid by someone on your behalf. Depending upon the situation, you may be eligible to be released on a personal recognizance bond, which means that you do not have to supply any bond money. Once bond has been taken care of, there is further processing and paperwork which must be completed before your release actually occurs.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Defending Texas Drivers Against DWI Charges

If you ever get arrested for DWI and you are taken into custody, use one of your two phone calls to contact an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney. Your DWI defense attorney can provide you with the legal support that you need during all of the stages of your DWI experience. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra has experience with helping Texans stand up to their DWI charges. To learn more, please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses Changes to Drunk Driving Laws

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

As of September 1, 2015, Texas laws regarding drinking and driving got even tougher. Ignition interlock devices will now be required for all offenders with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher if they wish to continue driving after they have been arrested for DWI. The devices prevent people from driving if they have consumed any alcohol, because the driver must breathe into the device before attempting to start their vehicle. The old DWI law gave arrested offenders the option of applying for a restricted driver’s license following their arrest. The new law gives drivers who are arrested for DWI the choice of either applying for an ignition interlock within fifteen days of their arrest or giving up their driving privileges altogether. The length of time that a driver must use an ignition interlock for depends upon whether it is their first offense, in which case they must use it for ninety days, or a subsequent offense, which will require one hundred and eighty days of use.

The new law is a significant departure from previous rules which only required repeat offenders and individuals with blood alcohol levels of .15 or greater to install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. The new drunk driving law, with its harsher penalty, raises the stakes for drivers who are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. If you are arrested and charged with DWI, it is essential that you contact a Texas criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can examine your case from every possible angle, so that you have the greatest possible chance of avoiding a conviction and the intrusive ignition interlock requirement.

While it is true that license suspensions are hard to enforce and ignition interlocks do enable individuals to continue driving as long as they refrain from drinking alcohol, it is important that these devices be reserved for drivers who actually need them. The new law, with its requirement that all offenders, even first-time offenders, obtain an ignition interlock creates a risk that drivers who are wrongfully convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol will be required to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra – Comprehensive Legal Support When You Need it Most

Now that ignition interlock devices are required for all drivers who are arrested for DWI, drivers have even more at stake following a DWI arrest then they did previously. In addition to fines, jail time, and other far-reaching consequences, a driver who is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol could be required to install an ignition interlock device on his or her vehicle. This means that now, more than ever, it is absolutely essential that any driver who is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol contact an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. If you have been arrested for DWI, call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online.

 

 

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Says Be Careful if you Travel on Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 15th, 2015

If you plan to travel out of state to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, it is important that you know that in many states, law enforcement officers will have DUI checkpoints set up along major roadways. Texas does not currently use DUI checkpoints to enforce drunk driving laws, but they are common in other states, and holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day are time when drivers should expect to encounter them.

In states where DUI checkpoints are used, they may be present at any time of day or night. That said, most checkpoints are set up late at night or early in the morning, as that is when there are likely to be the greatest number of intoxicated drivers on the road. If you do encounter a DUI checkpoint while you are traveling, the following tips may help your experience go more smoothly.

Drivers who are prepared for an encounter with law enforcement at a DUI checkpoint are more likely to be let through quickly, instead of being detained for investigation. Your attitude will, in large part, shape your experience at the checkpoint. Try your best to be polite and cooperative without providing too much information, because any information that you provide could be used against you in the future. Do give the officer basic information, like your license, car insurance, and vehicle registration if you are asked to provide them.

Whatever you do, remember that you do not have to answer every question that is asked of you. Many well-meaning and legally sober drivers are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after answering questions about where they have been and what they have been doing, or by participating in field sobriety tests. In most places, you cannot be penalized for refusing to perform a field sobriety test. Many tests are set up for the driver to fail, even if they are sober. Nerves, footwear, and agility can cause sober drivers to fail field sobriety tests, and their effectiveness has come into question many, many times.

Sometimes, despite a driver’s best efforts to cooperate with law enforcement officer, an arrest may occur. If you are arrested at a DUI checkpoint, it is essential that you immediately exercise your right to remain silent, after respectfully asking the arresting officer to permit you to speak with your attorney. Your attorney can further advise you regarding whether you should participate in blood or breath testing, because the rules for those tests and the consequences of refusal vary from state to state.

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, it is important that you have someone by your side who can protect your rights. Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra works hard to protect the rights of DUI defendants, and it is possible that he can help you, too. Please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online via our website.

 

 

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Discusses Enhanced Penalties for Certain DUI Situations

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

If you are facing DUI charges, you may feel that the penalties that you will experience if you are convicted are harsh. While the penalties for a DUI conviction are harsh, there are a few situations in which a driver who is convicted of driving while intoxicated could receive penalties that are even greater than those that they would receive for a regular DUI conviction.

Driving with an open container of alcohol is one situation which could increase the penalty that you could receive. If a driver is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol with an open container of alcohol, they could receive the standard DUI penalty in addition to a minimum of six days in jail and a fine of up to two thousand dollars.

A DUI conviction can also have effects on future criminal charges. For example, if you have a prior DUI conviction and you are charged with drag racing, your drag racing charge will be classified as a Class A Misdemeanor instead of the usual Class B misdemeanor. Drag racing is also classified as a Class A Misdemeanor if the driver has an open container of alcohol in their vehicle at the time of the offense.

Another situation in which a driver is likely to receive a penalty greater than they would for a standard DUI offense is if they are arrested in Texas for driving while intoxicated and there is a child passenger in the vehicle with them. Texas law considers any person under the age of fifteen to be a child passenger. If you are charged with driving while intoxicated with a child passenger in your vehicle, know that this particular offense is considered a state jail felony, which means that you could be sentenced for up to two years in state jail and fined up to ten thousand dollars.

Automobile accidents can also increase the penalties associated with a DUI arrest. For example, if you are arrested for driving while intoxicated in connection with an accident where someone was seriously hurt and it is determined that your intoxication was the proximate cause of the victim’s injuries, you could be charged with intoxication assault, which is a third degree felony that is punishable by a sentence of two to ten years in jail and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. If someone dies in an accident or because of other injuries that were caused by your intoxication, you could be charged with intoxication manslaughter. A person who is convicted of of intoxication manslaughter could face two to twenty years in jail and up to ten thousand dollars in fines.

Whether you have been charged with a standard DUI or a related offense which carries an enhanced penalty, it is important that you contact a Texas DUI Defense Attorney. Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra is here to help you, so please call our office at (903) 753-7499, or contact us online via our website.

 

 

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Offers Advice for Drivers Facing Their First DUI

Friday, March 13th, 2015

DUI defense is something that most people do not think about until they have already been charged with a DUI. Since any driver is at risk of being charged with a DUI any time they drive anywhere and whether or not they have been drinking, it is a good idea to know in advance what to do if you are charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

The first thing that drivers should know is that if they are charged with driving under the influence, they should get help from a DUI defense attorney right away. Criminal charges like a DUI can have far-reaching effects on your day to day life for an extended period of time, even if you are not convicted. Your DUI defense attorney will help you understand the charges that have been brought against you. Perhaps even more importantly, they can explain the defenses that they may be able to use to get the charges dismissed or the penalties reduced. For example, your attorney may be able to speak with the prosecutor to pursue the offer of a plea bargain, or some other alternative to a trial. Once your attorney has an idea of which strategies they may be able to implement in your case, they can help you understand your options so that you can make an informed choice about what will work best for you.

First-time DUI defendants may wonder whether they must spend time and effort looking for a DUI defense attorney, or whether any criminal law attorney could help them just as well. Criminal defense attorneys certainly do their best to obtain the best possible results for their clients, but they do not all have experience with DUI cases. DUI defendants need their attorneys to understand all of the laws and all of the defenses that may be relevant to their cases.

Defendants should also know the difference between a public defender and private counsel. A public defender is an attorney who is paid by the state to provide legal assistance to defendants who cannot afford private attorneys. When a defendant has private counsel, it means that they are represented by an attorney that they selected and that they are paying for themselves. Unfortunately, public defenders have less control over their case load than private counsel do, and many have hundreds of clients. Because of this, they often have very little time to devote to each case.

Whether you are now facing your first DUI or a subsequent offense, you can give yourself the most successful defense by enlisting the aid of a Texas DUI defense attorney. Your attorney may be able to reduce or eliminate the consequences associated with the charges that you are facing. To learn how Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra can help you, please call our office today, at (903) 753-7499. You may also reach us by submitting a convenient contact form on our website.

 

 

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Talks About the Role of Gender in DUI Cases

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

At the present time, women make up approximately one quarter of all DUI arrests. While this means that significantly fewer women are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol than men, it also means that the number of women who are being arrested for DUI in recent years is much higher than it was twenty years ago.  Specifically, during the 1980s, only about nine percent of all DUI defendants were women.

The increase in the proportion of women who are being arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol is not often publicized, as well as the idea that women’s drunk driving cases may actually be different than those of their male counterparts.  Nonetheless, there are differences between men and women’s DUI cases, and these differences may have a significant impact on the outcomes of the cases of female DUI defendants who acknowledge them.

Scientific evidence is important in DUI cases. The manner in which alcohol affects a person’s body is dictated, at least in part, by their metabolism. Men and women metabolize things differently, so a man and a woman with the same body weight could drink the same amount of alcohol and end up with different blood alcohol levels. The woman’s blood alcohol level would be higher than the man’s after drinking the exact same amount of alcohol over the same period of time because she metabolizes alcohol more slowly than he does. Also, women experience fluctuations in hormone levels throughout the course of their menstrual cycles. These changes affect metabolism, and, can therefore affect blood alcohol levels. The differences in how men and women metabolize alcohol are important because breath testing devices are calibrated to produce an accurate reading for the average male driver. This difference in calibration can cause breath testing devices to produce readings that are not only inaccurate for female drivers, but which overestimate the amount of alcohol in their bodies.

The differences between men and women carry over into other areas of DUI arrests, too. Field sobriety tests are designed to measure the physical performance of men. Women who engage in these tests are more likely than men to perform them poorly, even when they are sober. The experience of a traffic stop is stressful, and under that stress, many women act on the mistaken belief that compliance will prove their innocence or reduce the consequences. They may comply with every request that is made of them and answer every question that the officer asks without realizing that they have a right to answer very few questions and even to refuse the field sobriety tests without a penalty.  In other words, a woman’s willingness to answer every question and comply with every request does not decrease her chance of being arrested. It actually increases the chance that she will be arrested because she has given the police more information that they could use to support their arrest.

Men and women deserve equal treatment under the law. Unfortunately, there are differences between men and women which make getting equal treatment difficult in DUI cases. To learn more, contact Texas DUI Defense Attorney Alex Tyra today. Schedule your consultation now, by calling (903) 753-7499, or use the convenient contact form on our website.