Facing a charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious matter, but when the charge involves having a child in the vehicle, the stakes are raised even higher. In San Antonio, Texas, the legal system takes these cases very seriously, as they involve the safety and well-being of a child. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is crucial to understand the elements of a DWI charge with a child, the potential consequences, possible defenses, and the importance of seeking professional legal guidance.
When charged with DWI with a child in Texas, it's important to note that there is only one charge, regardless of the number of children present in the vehicle. Under Texas law, a person can be charged with a DWI with a child if they are operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated and there is a child under the age of 15 years old in the vehicle. Intoxication refers to having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher or being impaired by drugs or alcohol to the extent that normal use of physical or mental faculties is impaired.
Although the age of a “Child” is defined differently depending on the crime, in the context of DWI with a child, Texas defines a child as an individual under the age of 15 years old. If you have a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time of your arrest, this enhancement will apply.
Being convicted of DWI with a child in San Antonio can result in severe consequences. The penalties are enhanced compared to a standard DWI charge, reflecting the increased concern for the safety and welfare of the child. If found guilty, you may face:
Incarceration: DWI with a child carries possible jail time from 6 months to 2 years in State Jail. The specific duration depends on the circumstances of the case. However, in certain cases, the court may allow probation instead of jail time.
Fines and Fees: The fine for DWI with a Child can be up to $10,000.00. Additionally, court costs, probation fees, and other associated expenses may apply.
License Suspension: A DWI with a child can lead to a license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years. The ability to obtain an occupational license to drive for essential purposes may be available under certain circumstances.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID): If placed on probation, the court must order the installation of an IID, which requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the vehicle.
Possible Defenses for DWI with a Child in Texas
When charged with DWI with a child, it is crucial to explore potential defenses to protect your rights. Some common defenses in these cases may include challenging the validity of the traffic stop or arrest, disputing the accuracy of field sobriety tests or chemical tests, questioning the legality of the search, or presenting evidence of a medical condition that may have affected your performance on the tests. An experienced DWI attorney can analyze the specific details of your case and help determine the most effective defense strategy.
Possible Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Suspensions or DWI with a Child in Texas
In addition to criminal penalties, individuals charged with DWI with a child may face administrative penalties related to their driver's license. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) may initiate an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) process, which could result in a suspension of your driving privileges. It is essential to act promptly to request an ALR hearing within 15 days of receiving notice to contest the suspension.
San Antonio DWI with a Child Attorney Brad Thornton
When facing a DWI charge with a child in San Antonio, it is crucial to navigate the legal process with the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in DWI cases. Brad Thornton, a Board-Certified Criminal Law attorney, former chief prosecutor, and former prosecutor on the DWI Task Force, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. With substantial experience in trying DWI cases, Brad Thornton is well-equipped to handle the complexities of your situation.
Hiring an attorney who is board-certified in criminal law ensures that you are working with a legal professional who has demonstrated exceptional competence and expertise in this specific area of law. Brad Thornton's certification is a testament to his dedication to excellence, ensuring that he stays updated with the latest developments and strategies in defending DWI cases.
Furthermore, Brad Thornton's experience as a former prosecutor on the DWI Task Force provides him with valuable insights into how the prosecution builds their cases. He understands the tactics and strategies employed by the opposing side, allowing him to anticipate their moves and craft a strong defense on your behalf.
With Brad Thornton's substantial experience trying DWI cases, he has honed his skills in the courtroom, mastering the art of effective advocacy. He will thoroughly analyze the evidence, challenge the prosecution's case, and fight aggressively to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.
Remember, time is of the essence in DWI cases. Contact Brad Thornton today to schedule a free consultation and discuss the details of your case. His comprehensive understanding of DWI laws and his commitment to providing top-notch legal representation will give you the peace of mind and confidence you need during this challenging time. Trust Brad Thornton to be your ally, guiding you through the legal process and fighting relentlessly on your behalf.