Waco DWI Lawyers
Defending Drivers in Lorena, Waco, Baylor University & Across McLennan County
If you have been charged with DWI (often referred to as driving under the influence or DUI in other states), you are likely afraid, embarrassed, ashamed, nervous, and maybe even angry. Though the emotions may vary, there is always one constant: You need a good DWI lawyer to handle your case. Without a doubt, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is the most complex and confusing charge there is in the entire Texas penal code.
Turn to Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC — our team has more than 30 years of experience standing up for rights. Our Waco DWI attorneys help Baylor University students and clients across Waco, Lorena, and all of McLennan County in the face of drunk driving arrests and charges. We use our skills to help you face the serious consequences of a DWI conviction.
Discuss your situation in a consultation with our Waco DWI attorneys today.
Understanding Texas DWI Laws
Because DWI laws can vary in different areas, learning more about Texas DWI laws may work in your best interests. This information could help you understand how the circumstances of your arrest — or the arrest of your child — could impact the charges and subsequent legal endeavors.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
One of the biggest factors involved in a DWI case relates to the blood alcohol concentration level (BAC). For adults over the age of 21, the legal BAC limit caps at .08 percent. This limit also falls under the "per se" limit, which means that if your BAC reaches or exceeds this amount, authorities can consider you intoxicated without additional evidence.
If you have concerns regarding a DWI charge due to your underage child having this allegation brought against him or her, you may need to know that a .02 percent BAC limit applies to underage drivers. This low level means that even if your child had a minimal amount of alcohol, he or she could still face a serious charge.
Those numbers do not cover every area in which BAC may play a role in DWI charges. If your BAC level reaches or exceeds .15 percent, the allegation becomes an aggravated DWI charge. This enhancement means that you could face more severe penalties if a conviction takes place.
State law also includes implied consent to take a BAC test. This law means that if you refuse to take a breath test or other test that could measure your blood alcohol concentration, you face automatic penalties. Typically, that consequence results in a 180-day suspension of your driver's license.
Misdemeanor vs. Felony DWI Charges in Texas
DWI starts out as a Class B misdemeanor but can be enhanced for a number of reasons. It becomes a Class A misdemeanor if:
- There is a breath or blood test of .15% or higher, or
- You have already been convicted of DWI.
DWI becomes a state jail felony if a child passenger (14 years old or younger) was riding with you at the time. It becomes a third-degree felony if you have been convicted of DWI twice before. Each enhancement triggers different punishments and different probation conditions. We will be sure to discuss these with you carefully and thoroughly.
You Only Have 15 Days to Protect Your Driver's License
During your initial consultation with a Waco DWI attorney at our firm, we will discuss the status of your driver's license. Many different things can happen to your driving privileges, depending upon the facts of your case.
Remember that you only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your license – so contact us right away. In the event your license does become suspended, we can help you seek an occupational license so that you can legally continue to drive throughout the suspension period.
Don't Settle for an Inexperienced DWI Attorney
Too many criminal defense lawyers try to handle DWIs simply because they are licensed to practice law. This should not be — handling a DWI arrest and charge requires technical and scientific knowledge. An attorney should not defend a DWI charge unless he or she has specific training in this area.
Sit down with a Waco DWI lawyer at Sutton Milam & Fanning, PLLC., We will show you how we can fight the standard field sobriety tests, blood tests, or breath tests that you were forced to take on the side of the road. Too many citizens think that you can't fight a DWI if there is a breath or blood test with a result of .08% or greater. This is simply not true.
"I hired Seth Sutton to represent me on my DWI charge. From the word 'go' it was obvious that he knew his stuff... The jury was right there with him the whole time and they found me NOT GUILTY!" - Jessica