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JBABB Criminal Defense Attorneys > Articles posted by editor

Weighing Your Chances in a Texas Criminal Trial

Weighing Your Chances in a Texas Criminal Trial

Is Trial a Good Idea?

 

Criminal trials are complex legal proceedings. Weighing your chances at a Texas criminal trial is impossible without a full examination of the facts and circumstances of your case. Even then, a good attorney can only give you a general idea of what the outcome may be. For this reason, you should consult with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney to discuss your case. But, in the meantime, here is some helpful information on the factors that can affect the outcome of a trial.

 

Who Decides?

 

Trials in Texas are most commonly jury trials, meaning a panel of jurors decides the verdict and sometimes even the sentence. Jurors are everyday citizens. They are selected to be free from bias and prejudices. But it’s difficult to know how any given jury will decide. An attorney with trial experience should give you an idea of the factors that come into play when juries decide on cases.

 

A criminal defendant in Texas has the right to have the jury decide the punishment. Jurors are educated on sentencing guidelines and instructed on what factors can influence a sentence. In some cases, letting the jury decide the sentence is the best way to ensure a fair punishment. In others, it may be advisable to let the judge decide.

 

The Timeline

 

It could take a while before your case goes to trial. If you are awaiting trial while in jail, your case will move more quickly. But, in general, much of the delay in criminal trials comes from the court’s backlog of cases. In fact, this is why prosecutors are keen to offer plea bargains when defendants plead not guilty. The plea bargain works in the defendant’s and the court’s favor. The prosecutor may offer the defendant a lesser charge or a reduced sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. The court, in turn, reduces its backlog of cases awaiting trial.

 

Every Case Is Different

 

It’s best to explore all your options for fighting your charges with an attorney. While your chances of acquittal may be hard to estimate, a seasoned attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you on the best course of action. Trial isn’t for everyone. In many cases, plea bargains are preferable. But it requires going over all the details in your case with a skilled Texas criminal defense attorney to know what your best option is.

 

 

If you are facing criminal charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

How to Quickly Lift a Texas Warrant

How to Quickly Lift a Texas Warrant

First Steps to Deal With Your Warrant

 

Many people panic when they find out they have an outstanding warrant. Even if your warrant is for unpaid traffic tickets, police can arrest you at any time and any place.

Warrants are not easy to resolve or “lift.” While you may have many options for doing so, each of those options comes with pros and cons. You could easily choose the wrong option for your case and suffer the consequences.

In some cases, those consequences can end up costing you much more than the ticket itself. Thus, you should always work with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you have a warrant. An experienced attorney can learn about your case and lift your warrant quickly and cost-effectively. Review this basic information on lifting Texas warrants to increase the productivity of your meeting with your attorney.

 

You can lift your warrant with a number of methods.

 

Do Jail Time

 

Many people mistakenly believe doing jail time instead of paying their ticket will be the cheapest way to lift the warrant. Some people even think this is their only option if they can’t afford to pay their expensive ticket. In reality, doing jail time is the equivalent of pleading guilty to the offense. It may have the indirect result of resolving your warrant, but it doesn’t save you from the other penalties associated with the offense, and some Class C convictions have very expensive surcharges and/or suspensions associated with them.

 

Pay the Ticket

 

You can also pay your ticket to lift the warrant. But paying the ticket is also seen as a guilty plea. So, once you pay the ticket and lift the warrant, you can be subject to more penalties, including surcharges. If you fail to pay those surcharges or miss a payment, your license can be suspended.

 

Post a Cash Bond

 

Another option is to request a new court date. To do this, you may have to pay a cash bond. But this is a high-risk move. If you miss your new court date, even accidentally, you forfeit the cash bond amount and are right back to square one.

 

Hire an Attorney to Post a Surety Bond

 

The best option is to hire an attorney to post a surety bond on your behalf. This lifts the warrant and reinstates the case on the court’s docket, and you have someone knowledgeable to appear for you in court to obtain the best deal for you, which may be to have the case dismissed! Moreover, you don’t have to take time out of your busy schedule to appear in court; the attorney does that for you!!

 

 

If you have a warrant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Occupational Driver’s License: Drive Legally When Your License Is Suspended

Occupational Driver’s License: Drive Legally When Your License Is Suspended

The Step to Save Your License

 

If your license is suspended, it can be difficult to meet your daily responsibilities. You may need a license to drive to work, school or carry out essential household duties. Fortunately, the State of Texas allows people with suspended licenses to obtain an occupational driver’s license under certain circumstances.

 

An occupational driver’s license is a restricted driver’s license that allows you to perform essential functions. Typically, allowable uses include driving to work, school, and the grocery store or to medical providers. An occupational driver’s licenses (ODL) can help you if your license was suspended. But there are limitations to the benefits, so here are some important things you should keep in mind.

 

A Look at Occupational Driver’s Licenses

 

ODLs can be a lifesaver when your license is suspended, but you need to get to work or school. We can obtain an ODL that allows for the operation of a vehicle for up to 12 hours (actual driving time) during any 24-hour period.

 

You cannot drive a commercial vehicle with an ODL. You may use your ODL to drive to your place of employment, but you cannot drive a commercial vehicle. Commercial drivers who are facing license suspensions should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss their options.

 

To obtain an ODL, you have to submit proof of financial responsibility to the Texas Department of Public Safety. This is also called an SR-22 filing. We recommend that our clients use a specific company for SR-22 insurance, Accurate Concept Insurance Agency. They have a method that permits the issuance of SR-22 insurance without your current insurance company raising its rates. It’s a no-brainer!

 

You will have to petition the court for your ODL, which can then be issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

 

Obtaining Your ODL

 

Although the entire process involves several steps and can take weeks, we generally can obtain one in a matter of a few days, and sometimes we can get it by the next day. If you are in a hurry to get an ODL so you can resume your daily activities, speak with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Find one with experience handling driver’s license matters such as occupational driver’s licenses. An attorney can tell you whether or not you are eligible for an ODL.

 

 

If you need criminal defense help in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Demystifying Texas Drug Cases and Search and Seizure Laws

Demystifying Texas Drug Cases and Search and Seizure Laws

Know Your Rights

 

The U.S. Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Law enforcement routinely searches people and their property to seize valuable evidence. This is particularly common in drug cases. Search and seizure remains a large component of law enforcement protocol. When investigating drug cases, obtaining evidence is of utmost priority. Texas has very strict controlled substance laws with severe penalties. The consequences of drug possession can vary widely based on the substance, the quantity, the context and the defendant’s criminal history. Thus, it’s essential to thoroughly understand search and seizure laws when facing drug charges.

 

Following Protocol

 

Typically, a police officer must have a warrant signed by a judge to search your person or property. If police conduct a search without a valid warrant, a judge may rule the evidence seized is inadmissible in court. Inadmissible evidence cannot be held against you.

 

But there are situations where law enforcement cannot obtain a warrant in a reasonable amount of time to apprehend suspects or seize evidence. The law provides police officer certain situations where they can perform a search without a warrant, including:

 

  • The officer saw the defendant commit the crime then conceal the evidence
  • The officer must enter private property to continue the pursuit of a suspect
  • The officer checks for weapons to ensure officer safety during a stop
  • The officer is arresting the subject and must search for weapons and contraband

 

Outside of these situations, there are very few instances in which a law enforcement officer may search your person or property and seize evidence in your possession.

 

Factors in Drug Cases

 

In drug possession or possession of drug paraphernalia cases, search and seizure laws are fundamental. It’s crucial to understand your rights and protections under the law, especially when facing a possession charge. One of those protections is freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

 

Speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you think a law enforcement officer illegally searched you or your property. An attorney can evaluate the facts and circumstances of your case and advise you on whether the officer performed an illegal search. If so, the attorney can file a Motion to Suppress evidence in your case. Suppressing evidence can significantly weaken the prosecution’s argument. In some cases, this results in the case being dismissed altogether.

 

If you are facing drug charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collins, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

How to Be a Proactive (and Productive) Criminal Defendant

How to Be a Proactive (and Productive) Criminal Defendant

The Road Ahead

 

Many people feel helpless when facing criminal charges. But what they don’t realize is they have more control than they think. You control—in part—the outcome of your case. And, oftentimes, the more you put into your defense process, the more you get out. Criminal defendants who don’t make an effort often get disappointing results. But those who are proactive and thus productive can obtain case outcomes that far exceed their highest expectations. To help you be the latter, here are some essential tips on how to be a proactive criminal defendant.

 

Don’t Do Their Job For Them

 

Exercise your right to remain silent. Too many criminal defendants think they can talk their way out of things or provide the police with an explanation so good they will drop the charges. In reality, they are giving law enforcement and the district attorney’s office everything they need for a conviction. They are essentially giving them a confession, making their job easier. Don’t do the work for them. Make them find other sources of evidence to convict you. Protect your Constitutional rights.

 

Do Your Homework

 

Keep good records of your case. This will help your attorney get the best outcome possible. Try to compile the following helpful information:

 

  • What your formal charges are
  • The date of your arrest
  • Information about your bail
  • Names and contact information for any witnesses that may help you
  • Court dates and courthouse locations

 

You will need most of this information whether you are working with a private attorney or a public defender.

 

Also, educate yourself on the penalties you could face and your options for handling your case. An attorney can help you do this. Ask your attorney what the best course of action is. In certain circumstances, you can negotiate a plea bargain or even stand a good chance at trial. But you need to learn about these potential options to be able to choose the best one to shoot for.

 

Foster a Good Working Relationship With Your Attorney

 

Help your attorney by providing the information they need to help you. Common courtesies such as showing up to meetings on time, bringing requested documents and being polite and respectful of their time can go a long way toward a productive working relationship. Remember, your attorney is trying to help you get the best outcome possible given your situation. You may feel overwhelmed now, but taking the time to handle your case wisely will pay big rewards.

 

Facing criminal charges is something you are rarely prepared for. But if you can heed these tips, your chance of being satisfied with the outcome of your case will be greater. Consult with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney if you are facing criminal charges. A seasoned attorney can help prepare you for the difficult journey you face, giving you peace of mind and a better chance at a favorable outcome.

 

If you need criminal defense help in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Top Tips for Facing Felony Charges in Texas

Top Tips for Facing Felony Charges in Texas

Facing a Felony? Here’s What You Need to Know

 

The State of Texas defines felonies as crimes that are punishable by terms in state prisons or Texas Department of Correction. Felonies are typically considered more serious than misdemeanor crimes because of the potential of prison time. Felony convictions also carry the possibility of steep fines. Federal law prohibits felons from owning or possessing firearms. In addition to these consequences, you could lose your professional license or even your job.

 

When the stakes are this high, it’s normal to feel anxious about what your future holds. You are right to be worried, but do not give up hope. Our experienced attorneys who’ve helped many Texans face and overcome felony charges compiled this list of tips to guide you in your time of need.

 

Stay Quiet

 

The most important piece of advice for anyone facing felony charges is to remain silent. Do not speak with police officers, detectives or anyone from the district attorney’s office. You have a Constitutional right to freedom from self-incrimination. Simply put, this means you do not have to give the courts the information they need to convict you. You hold the cards when it comes to information about the allegations you face. Keep that information to yourself and for your attorney.

 

Learn About the Penalties

 

The best thing you can do when facing felony charges is to consult with a Texas criminal defense attorney. Ask about the court-imposed penalties you could face and what those mean. Educating yourself on the consequences of a conviction should be one of the first things you do in your case. Knowing what is at stake will help guide your decision-making.

 

Explore Your Options

 

Learning about your options may give you peace of mind. Facing felony charges does not mean a conviction is imminent. A good attorney will be able to evaluate the facts and circumstances of your offense and advise you on what you can do to fight your charges, negotiate a plea bargain or receive a reduced sentence.

 

Be Patient

 

Resolving your case almost certainly will not happen overnight, especially if you want a good deal or even a dismissal. Some people plead guilty or no contest as a knee-jerk reaction. They want to be done with the whole ordeal. But pleading guilty only means the criminal courts will be involved in your life for longer. Not only will you face sentencing, but you could also be subject to probation for up to 10 years. Also, you will carry your criminal record with you for years to come. Use this time to explore all your options and learn about your rights.

 

As a last word of caution, don’t face your charges alone. Work closely with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney. Do not take any chances when facing felony charges. You need savvy legal representation to avoid the worst outcome.

 

If you are facing felony charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Criminal Record Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Criminal Record Cleaning: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

A Clean Start

 

Now is a better time than ever to explore criminal record cleaning. More employers are running background checks on employees and applicants. And almost anyone can access your criminal background online. Unfortunately, the discrimination against those with criminal convictions hasn’t lessened, putting many at an unfair disadvantage.

 

But the good news is there are steps you can take to clean your record. You may be able to limit public access to your record or remove certain pieces of information. The best way to have a clean criminal record is to avoid run-ins with the law in the first place. But if you’re past that point, here’s what you need to know about criminal record cleaning.

 

Your Options

 

For those with adult criminal cases, there are two options for cleaning your record: expunctions and Orders of Nondisclosure.

 

Expunctions

 

Expungement permanently removes certain pieces of information from your criminal record. If the court grants your request for an expunction, you can deny the incident ever took place. You can legally say you were never arrested for, charged with or convicted of the crime you had expunged. Expunctions are a good option for those who are eligible as they reduce the stigma associated with a criminal conviction. You may be eligible to file a Petition for Expunction for:

 

  • An arrest for a crime you were never charged with
  • A charge that was eventually dismissed
  • Certain misdemeanor juvenile offenses
  • A conviction for failure to attend school (truancy)
  • A conviction as a minor for certain alcohol-related offenses
  • A conviction for a crime that was acquitted by the trial court or Criminal Court of Appeals
  • A conviction for a crime for which you received a Governor’s or Presidential Pardon
  • Arrests, charges or convictions due to identity theft (if the perpetrator was then arrested, charged or convicted)
  • Class C violations for which deferred disposition was successfully completed

 

Other eligibility requirements may apply. Always speak with an experienced Texas expungement attorney before filing your petition.

 

Orders of Nondisclosure

 

An Order of Nondisclosure limits the information law enforcement agencies can release to the public. This is crucial given the ease with which the public can access criminal records. The information will still be visible to law enforcement agencies and courts, but not to the public, including landlords and most employers. This is an ideal option for those ineligible for an expunction.

 

You may be eligible to file a petition for an Order of Nondisclosure if you successfully completed a deferred adjudication and finished your community supervision. There may be other requirements, so confirm your eligibility with an attorney. For example, you cannot petition for an Order of Nondisclosure until statutorily permitted to do so, and subsequent charges may affect your eligibility.

 

The process and requirements for cleaning juvenile adjudications and offenses from your record may differ. Work with a Texas criminal defense attorney if you want to clean your juvenile record.

 

Starting Fresh

 

Criminal record cleaning can give you a chance to start fresh. It can improve your chances of getting a job, an apartment or a loan. But courts can deny Petitions, so it’s essential you first speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney before you file one. An attorney familiar with the specific facts and circumstances of your offense can best explain the full list of eligibility requirements and restrictions and the complete step-by-step process. It is well worth your time and resources, however, to move on from your arrest, charge or conviction confidently.

 

 

If you need to clean your record and are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

3 Reasons to Fight Assault Family Violence Charges

3 Reasons to Fight Assault Family Violence Charges

Why You Should Defend Yourself

 

Assault family violence charges are very serious. The consequences of an assault family violence conviction are far-reaching. Thus, you should not take them lightly. No matter the degree of the offense, an assault family violence conviction can result in severe penalties. Specifically, here are three reasons why you should always fight family violence charges.

 

Court-Imposed Penalties

 

Texas courts aggressively prosecute family violence offenders. Defendants face a lifetime of legal and social repercussions for a conviction. A first assault family violence conviction is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by:

 

  • Up to 365 days in county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • Illegal under Federal law to possess firearms
  • Unable to Expunge or Seal the case from the public
  • Any future assault family violence charges can be enhanced to a felony (including Class C)

 

The judge can also order you to pay victim restitution. Restitution compensates the victim for costs associated with the incident, such as medical bills or counseling. The judge may also probate your sentence, giving you probation or “community supervision” instead of the maximum sentence.

 

These penalties aren’t the only reasons why you should fight an assault family violence charge. The penalties for a second assault family violence conviction increase significantly. You can be charged with continuous family violence for a second assault family violence conviction in one year. Continuous family violence is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

 

Subject to a Protective Order

 

In some assault family violence cases, the judge will issue an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). EPOs are also known as a “stay away” orders. EPOs and their long-term counterparts (Protective Orders) restrict the restrained person in many ways. Most notably, the restrained person is prohibited from contacting or coming near the victim or the victim’s family. Violation of a Protective Order is a criminal offense and can result in jail time and additional penalties. EPOs are typically short in duration, from between 31 and 91 days. Final Protective Orders can last up to two years.

 

Loss of Your Family

 

If convicted of assault family violence, you may suffer social consequences as well. You could lose custody of your children, be prevented from entering your home and lose respect in your community. These effects can be even more deleterious than criminal penalties and can affect you for years to come.

 

Never underestimate the consequences of an assault family violence conviction. Do not let the court convict you without a fight, and for assault family violence cases deferred equals a conviction. The first step to fighting your assault family violence charges is to speak with an attorney about your case. The specific facts and circumstances of your offense will significantly influence your options for fighting your charges or receiving a reduced sentence or even an outright dismissal.  The overwhelming supermajority of assault family violence cases that we handle result in dismissals.

 

 

Are you facing charges of assault family violence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area? If so, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Arrested for Texas Family Violence? Essential First Steps

Arrested for Texas Family Violence? Essential First Steps

After Your Arrest

 

Being arrested for family violence is a stressful experience. It can feel like a violation of the privacy of your home life and as if the State doesn’t care about your side of the story. When facing family violence charges, your first steps are the most crucial. To help you navigate the initial stages of your family violence case, here are some essential first steps you should take after your arrest.

 

Think Before You Speak

 

Don’t plead guilty or no-contest before learning about your options and your rights. The State of Texas treats assault/family violence cases more seriously than assault cases. Even just one assault/family violence conviction on your record could cause you to lose custody of your children, your right to enter your home or even your job. A plea on an assault family case will come with an affirmative finding of family violence. What does this mean? It means that you will no longer be able to possess firearms without violating Federal law, you will never be able to erase or seal this case from the public record, and if you are ever accused of family violence in the future, even at the Class C level, the State can choose to enhance the case to a felony level charge! These cases are always worth fighting. In fact, it makes absolutely no sense not to fight a family violence case. But it’s essential you fully understand your rights before you make any decisions that may have lasting consequences.

 

Keep to Yourself

 

Stay clear of the victim and the victim’s family if the court ordered you to do so. The consequences of an assault/family violence charge often include an Emergency Protective Order (EPO). EPOs are also known as “stay away” orders. EPOs prohibit the restrained person from coming near or contacting the victim, the victim’s family, home or place of work. Heed all conditions of your EPO even if the victim tries to contact you. Typically, EPOs are legally enforceable for 31-91 days, during which time you could be arrested for violating the Order. The court can also issue a final Protective Order when your case resolves. Courts issue EPOs in many—but not all—assault/family violence cases.

 

Find an Advocate

 

The State of Texas takes family violence very seriously. These aren’t the type of cases the court is likely to go easy on. Expect to fight for your rights and your freedom. Even if the victim agrees to drop the charges, the district attorney’s office has all the decision-making power. The district attorney will often prosecute the defendant no matter what the victim wants. When facing the potential penalties of a family violence conviction, which are severe, you need to find a legal advocate. Specifically, find one who knows Texas assault/family violence laws thoroughly. Only a Texas criminal defense attorney with experience handling assault/family violence cases can help you face your charges and work to minimize the negative consequences of your arrest.

 

If you’re facing assault/family violence charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb Criminal Defense Attorneys can aggressively protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Texas DWI: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Texas DWI: What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Facing the Penalties

 

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI in Texas, you face many life-altering consequences. If you’re thinking, “what’s the worst that can happen?” you are being sensible. The best thing you can do when facing any criminal charge is to find out what penalties the court could impose, so you can make informed decisions about how to handle your case. And when it comes to DWI charges in Texas, those penalties can be severe. Let’s take a look.

 

Texas DWI

 

DWI in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. The penalties imposed for a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction in Texas include:

 

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Between three and 180 days in jail
  • A driver’s license suspension of between 90 and 365 days, and
  • A surcharge fee of $1,000 to maintain your license (assessed annually for three years)

 

This range of court-imposed penalties is for a first offense with no aggravating circumstances. The penalties increase significantly if:

 

  • You have a prior DWI conviction
  • Your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) was equal to or greater than .15
  • You had an open container of alcohol in the car
  • You caused an accident or property damage
  • You injured or killed someone
  • You had a child passenger with you while driving

 

A Note on Probation

 

Some defendants may receive probation instead of a full sentence. But beware because probation is costly. The terms of a standard Texas DWI probation may include:

 

  • Commit no other crimes
  • Payment of all fines and court costs (fines generally run around $1,000 and court costs are around $450, but payment schedules are allowed)
  • Report to probation once a month for 18 to 24 months
  • Pay $60 a month in probation fees ($60 x 18 = $1,080)
  • Take a 12-hour DWI education program ($150)
  • Attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel (VIP)($50)
  • Take a drug and alcohol evaluation ($150)
  • 24 to 40 hours of community service restitution ($50)
  • Pay $25 to Crime Stoppers
  • Do not leave the state without permission
  • Do not spend the night outside of Dallas County
  • Do not move (relocate) without court permission
  • Submit to periodic drug testing (about $35 per test)
  • Consume no alcohol
  • Keep an interlock device in your vehicle ($80 per month), and
  • Have a SCRAM device on your leg ($360 a month!)

 

We typically do not recommend that someone take probation for a first-time DWI because the total costs can run about $4500. Also, there is little benefit with regard to a person’s record; probation and jail time are both considered criminal convictions in Texas.

 

Texas DWI penalties can be severe. The good news is juries give many first-time offenders reduced sentences. In some cases, the jury will give someone the minimum punishment possible which may be either 72 hours in jail or 0 days in jail depending on the charge.

 

This sounds counterintuitive to what you might have heard, right? For this reason, you should always consult with a seasoned Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney when facing DWI charges. We’ve represented clients who have completed a short jail sentence and probation. Guess what they tell us? If they had it to do over again, they would take the short jail sentence so that the case is finished instead of spending 12-24 months of their life under the government’s thumb, jumping through a bunch of hoops. The sooner you involve an attorney, the better your chance of minimizing your punishment. Plus, by going to trial on the case you may be found not guilty which means there is no punishment and you can immediately remove the arrest and charge from your record. That’s the outcome you really want!

 

 

If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email clients@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.