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License Suspension

JBABB Criminal Defense Attorneys > License Suspension

How an Out of State DWI Can Affect Your Texas License

How an Out of State DWI Can Affect Your Texas License

Each state maintains a department or agency that oversees the driving privileges of state residents. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) holds that role in the lone star state. The DPS even handles Texas DWI license suspensions and could take similar actions against your license if you receive an out of state DWI or DUI.

 

An Interstate Agreement

 

The Interstate Driver License Compact (DLC) facilitates record sharing between states that are members of the compact, including Texas. This means, essentially, that another state’s licensing agency could notify the Texas DPS of a DWI conviction you picked up while traveling in another state. And, even if you received a conviction in another state, the DPS can still treat that offense as one you committed while in Texas.

 

One Driving Record

 

The DLC, however, does not dictate when and how a conviction in another state can affect your Texas license. All it does is make it easy for state licensing agencies to share information about convictions and suspensions. It operates under the principle of “one driver, one license, one record” even though driver licenses are state-issued.

 

It’s important to know that the Texas DPS will only suspend your license for an out of state conviction if your offense would have been illegal in the State of Texas. The specific law you broke must be equivalent to the law in Texas. For example, if you received a traffic ticket in California for an offense that was not illegal in Texas, the ticket would not automatically be transferred to your Texas driving record.

 

All states have DWI/DUI laws and share the same BAC (blood alcohol concentration) threshold of .08%. So, if you are convicted of a DWI in New Mexico and had a BAC of .08%, through the DLC, the Texas DPS could suspend your Texas driver’s license.

 

Underage DUI laws, however, vary from state to state. Texas is a zero-tolerance state, which means a minor caught driving with any traceable amount of alcohol in his or her blood could face DUI charges. Some states exercise more leniency for minors and require a BAC of .02% or higher for underage DUIs.

 

An out of state DWI could prompt the DPS to suspend your Texas driver’s license if the law you broke is equivalent to the law in Texas. Unfortunately, because Texas is a zero-tolerance state for minors, any out of state minor conviction of DUI is likely to affect your Texas license.

 

When in doubt about how an out of state DWI/DUI conviction could affect your Texas driving record and license, speak with a Dallas-Fort Worth DWI/DUI defense attorney about the consequences you could face back home. An attorney can explain what could happen to your license and potentially help you fight your suspension.

 

If you’re facing DWI/DUI charges and live 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 to handle your case. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Are Traffic Tickets Just Revenue Producers?

Anyone who has faced an expensive Texas traffic citation has wondered just where does that money go? And how do all the extra fines, fees and penalties add up so quickly? Are traffic tickets simply revenue producers? For anyone who has had to break the bank for a traffic offense, understanding the breakdown of the true cost of a traffic ticket can shed light on the best method of dealing with tickets when they arise.

 

The Cost of Traffic Violations in Texas

 

Texas traffic tickets can be expensive, both in direct and indirect costs. A ticket for not having insurance could incur penalties, charges for late payment and contribute to increased insurance rates. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will also issue surcharges for driving record points and driving convictions. Under the Driver Responsibility Program, the DPS assesses the surcharges annually until the points drop off your record or for three years for a conviction. You must pay the surcharges to keep your license valid.

 

For example, you could have to pay a ticket of between $175 and $350 if the court convicts you of not having insurance. Add on another $260 per year for three years in DPS surcharges ($780), and that simple ticket will end up costing you $955 to $1,130 in fines alone, not to mention the increase in insurance rates you’ll face.

 

You’re Not Done Yet

 

Paying a traffic ticket doesn’t mean you’re done covering costs. By paying a traffic ticket, you are admitting guilt. The offense will go on your driving record and could count against you the next time you find yourself in traffic court. The same applies if you want to “sit out” your ticket by serving jail time instead of paying the fine.

 

When you consider these numerous factors, it’s easy to see why fighting your traffic ticket is often the most cost-effective way to deal with it.

 

Pay or Fight?

 

In reality, municipalities don’t profit as much as you’d think from traffic tickets. A lot of that money leaves the court’s hands as soon as you pay your ticket, headed directly to State government. Recent controversy over the use of highly lucrative red light cameras highlights this fact. For example, the city of Denton’s red light camera program netted only $668,000 from ticket revenues of $2.2 million after paying the State of Texas and the manufacturer of the red light camera technology, Redflex.

 

With only a fraction of your ticket cost going to funding for transportation improvements, fighting your ticket makes even more sense. You just have 20 business days after being issued the ticket to decide whether to pay (and admit guilt) or fight it. The good news is reviewing your case with a seasoned Dallas traffic ticket attorney can help alleviate some of your concerns. An attorney can go over the facts and circumstances of your offense and advise you on whether paying the ticket is wise. In many cases, it is a better investment of your time and money to contest the ticket. A clean driving record is worth protecting, especially in the State of Texas.

 

If you want to fight your ticket and protect your license 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 to protect your license and keep your driving record clear. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Pros and Cons of Breath and Blood Tests

Pros and Cons of Breath and Blood Tests

In most cases, law enforcement will ask you to submit to a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) test when arresting you for a DWI in Texas. Typically, the arresting officer must inform you of the consequences if you refuse a breath test, including a mandatory license suspension and the potential of a warrant to take your blood by force. Increasingly, people are refusing the breathalyzer test in favor of the blood test because they’ve heard the breath test is the less reliable of the two. Unfortunately, neither the blood or breath BAC tests are foolproof, but each has its pros and cons. Making the right decision when arrested for a DWI takes understanding both.

 

Breath Tests

 

Breath chemical tests are taken using a breathalyzer device. They analyze samples of “deep lung” or alveolar air from the alleged offender’s breath. The science behind breathalyzers assumes the evaporated alcohol in your breath is a direct reflection of that in your bloodstream, meaning the results are viewed interchangeably. In reality, breath tests are generally less accurate than blood tests because they do not directly measure blood alcohol content. Instead, they measure breath alcohol. They are also not conducted by trained laboratory professionals, as blood tests are.

 

Many factors can produce false positives in breath tests, such as your state of health, what medications you take, what you recently consumed or even what type of diet you are on. The unfortunate truth is if you submit to a breath test, the results might not be reliable. A seasoned Texas DWI attorney can usually challenge breath test results, however, as there are many known weaknesses in breath test science.

 

Blood Tests

 

Blood tests are run using a blood sample from the alleged offender. Blood draws are supposed to be taken by trained personnel in a laboratory environment. They must also be preserved, stored and analyzed according to a certain procedure. These stringent standards reduce the risk of degradation or contamination of the sample. Because BAC can be directly measured using a blood sample, many argue blood tests are more accurate and thus should be chosen over breath tests. It’s true; blood tests eliminate some of the varying factors that can produce false positives in breath tests. It may be more difficult, however, to challenge blood test results if you think they are inaccurate.

 

While neither the breath or the blood BAC test is 100% accurate, the good news is, regardless of which you took, an attorney might be able to help challenge the results. In an ideal situation, it’s best to consult with a Dallas DWI defense attorney before agreeing to submit to a breath or blood test. If you already took one or refused to submit to one, speak with a highly experienced Dallas DWI defense attorney about the consequences. Again, blood draws can be forced in some instances. Also, you face an automatic license suspension if you refuse to submit to a test. Discuss the details of your case with a DWI defense attorney to learn about the consequences you could face and how you can challenge the results of a BAC test.

 

If you need help fighting your DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will help you aggressively fight your charges. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Insurance, License Reinstatement and Record Cleaning After a DWI

Insurance, License Reinstatement and Record Cleaning After a DWI

Your Criminal Record

 

In the past, a Texas DWI (even a first offense) would stay on your criminal record indefinitely. You would be required to disclose your conviction every time an employer, a landlord or even a lender asks for the rest of your life. With the recent passage of HB 3016, however, certain first-time DWI offenders may petition the court for a Nondisclosure after an applicable waiting period (usually 2-5 years).

 

Petitioning for a Nondisclosure is a complicated legal process, however, especially if the court challenges it, meaning you will need to work with an attorney on this step. And, for at least a few years following your conviction, you must disclose your DWI when asked by employers, lenders, landlords, insurance companies and even some schools.

 

Getting Back on the Road

 

A DWI license suspension will remain on your Texas driving record permanently. Even after you reinstate your license, you will face increased insurance rates for several years.

 

Furthermore, Texas requires proof of financial responsibility following certain convictions or license suspensions, including DWIs. Proof of financial responsibility is better known as an SR-22 filing. SR-22 filings ensure drivers have the minimum level of liability insurance, and you must maintain it for two years following a DWI conviction.

 

While your car insurance carrier may cancel your policy for being a “high-risk” driver, some companies provide SR-22 filings exclusively, allowing you to maintain your current auto insurance policy and meet the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) SR-22 requirement. The DPS will also charge you an annual surcharge of $1,000 (for a first-time offense) to $2,000 for three years to maintain your license.

 

The bottom line is you should expect to face significant costs if you want to drive again after a DWI conviction. When you calculate the costs of increased insurance rates, the SR-22 filing and the DPS surcharges alone, you can begin to see just how costly moving on from your DWI can be.

 

Fight Your Charges Now, or Deal With the Consequences Later

 

Moving on from a DWI conviction isn’t as simple as you’d think. Unless you want to face the stigma of a DWI conviction for the rest of your life, you will have to head back to court a few years to ask the court to remove it from your record, and the judge could deny your request.

 

You will also face significant ongoing costs just to drive your car, which, for many, is a necessity. You could also face community service, DWI classes, a lengthy license suspension, jail time or even have to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

 

In sum, moving on from a DWI isn’t easy or cheap. Conversely, having an initial discussion about fighting your DWI charges with an attorney is easy and, typically, free. You owe it to yourself to fully explore your options for fighting your charges before you plead guilty. A Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney can give you the rundown of the potential penalties you could face and outline your options for beating your charges.

 

 If you’re facing DWI/DUI charges and want to fight them 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 so you can avoid the lasting negative consequences of a conviction. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

 

Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion

Ignition Interlock Devices: Inconvenience and Invasion

An Inconvenient Consequence

 

License suspensions are an unavoidable reality for all those with Texas DWI convictions. Perhaps the most life-altering consequence of a DWI, a license suspension can make it difficult if not impossible to get to work or school or take care of your family. Even when you reinstate your license after your suspension, the judge could order you to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

 

The Ins and Outs of IIDs

 

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are inconvenient and highly invasive. They work essentially as a breathalyzer, which is wired into the car’s ignition system. The motorist must blow into the device, and if there are any traces of alcohol on his or her breath, the device will prevent the ignition from firing. Defendants will typically be required to install an IID in every vehicle they own for one year following the initial license suspension.

 

Most first-time offenders will escape the ignition interlock requirement unless their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .15% or higher or they caused an accident, or injured or killed someone. Judges are more liberal with this specific penalty, however, when sentencing defendants with prior DWIs on their record, particularly if they have prior DWI convictions with high BACs.

 

Earning a Second Chance

 

First-time DWI offenders may be given an incentive; if they install and successfully use an IID in their car for six months, they can petition the court for a Nondisclosure. Nondisclosures effectively remove the conviction from your record. This is touted as a “second chance” for first-time DWI offenders who have a BAC of .08%-.14% and do not cause property damage or injure or kill anyone.

 

IIDs have proven to be effective in reducing DWI recidivism, which is an ongoing battle Texas law enforcement face. But they come at a significant cost in terms of money and time for defendants. Even with the new incentive for first-time DWI offenders, we still urge those facing DWI charges to speak with a DWI defense attorney prior to pleading.

 

You may think because an IID will allow you to petition for a Nondisclosure after six months that pleading guilty is your best option. In reality, the costs associated with a DWI, including court-mandated fines, increased insurance rates and numerous fees and surcharges to keep your license, are not worth it. It’s best to speak with a Dallas DWI defense attorney about your options before consigning yourself to six months or more of invasive monitoring.

 

If you’re facing charges for DWI/DUI 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 to fight your charges. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

What Happens if You Can’t Pay Your Court Fines?

What Happens if You Can't Pay Your Court Fines?

In 2016, 95% of warrants Texas courts issued arose from unpaid court fines. While being in debt is not a crime in and of itself, failure to pay court fines can effectively land you in jail. If you are facing court fines, fees and penalties, being able to pay is a top concern. But if you can’t pay, what happens?

 

Facing the Penalties

 

When the court fines you for a traffic citation or a low-level offense, paying that fine is a penalty for your conviction. Like community service or jail time, you must pay those fines to satisfy the requirements of your sentence. If you don’t fulfill that requirement, you could potentially face jail time. You might be able to make payment arrangements, but you could incur additional fines if you default on your payment and don’t contact the court. You could also face arrest and even lose your license, which could affect your ability to make a living. In light of these facts, it’s easy to see how court-issued fines can effectively perpetuate the cycle of crime for defendants who lack financial resources.

 

Driven by recently passed legislation, Texas courts are making changes to give low-income defendants the break they need. To lessen the disproportionate burden court fines place on low-income Texans, judges must now offer low-income defendants community service in lieu of fines. Judges are also granted the power to reduce or waive fines if they would place an undue burden on the defendant.

 

Texas courts extend this option only to defendants convicted of low-level crimes. Defendants who do not qualify as low-income or those fined for more serious offenses (which typically carry more serious fines) could face arrest for failure to pay.

 

If you have unpaid court fines, even just a traffic ticket you forgot about, we can’t stress the importance of speaking with a Dallas traffic ticket and criminal defense attorney enough. Before you pay those fines, talk to an attorney about your options. By paying a traffic ticket, you are essentially pleading guilty, which results in a conviction. Even if you pay your fine, the Texas Department of Public Safety will add points to your driving record, and you could face surcharges and increased insurance rates. You could even lose your job if you are a CDL holder. If you have an unpaid court fine for a low-level offense, you could have a warrant out of your arrest. An attorney can play a crucial role here in getting you out of hot water without having the bear the burden of excessive court fines.

 

If you are facing court fines 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 to clear your name and remove any warrants. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

How to Reinstate a Texas Driver’s License

How to Reinstate a Texas Driver’s License

Losing your license due to a conviction or traffic citation can put a wrench in your gears. But when you’re ready to get back on the road, here’s how to reinstate your Texas driver’s license.

 

Check Eligibility

 

First, you’ll want to check your reinstatement eligibility. You can do this by using the Texas Department of Public Safety’s online portal. This should give you any balance you owe for your offense, your eligibility status and any compliance documents you need to submit during the reinstatement process.

 

Pay Fees

 

Pay all fees and surcharges owed to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). You must pay court-imposed fines to the court. You will not be able to reinstate your license until you’ve fulfilled all your financial obligations even if your suspension has ended. The offense that triggered the suspension will influence the fees you owe. The fee for the reinstatement alone is $125. You may also need to complete an SR-22 filing, which is your proof of financial responsibility. We recommend using http://www.conceptsr22.com for SR-22 insurance.

 

Submit Compliance Documents

 

After paying your fees, you will have to fill out and submit your compliance documents to the Texas DPS. You can mail or fax these or convert them to PDF and submit them via email. The specific documents you must complete will depend—in part—on the reason for your suspension. It can take up to 21 days for the DPS to process your reinstatement documents.

 

Fulfill any Additional Requirements

 

Please note these are the necessary steps for reinstating your Texas driver’s license. Depending on the reason for your suspension, you may need to complete other requirements. For example, if your license was suspended due to an alcohol or drug-related offense, you may need to complete an alcohol or drug education program. You may also have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) before you can reinstate your license.

 

Work With an Attorney for Quick and Easy Reinstatement

 

If your license is suspended, work with a Dallas-Fort Worth driver’s license defense attorney to get back on the road. If you are not eligible for reinstatement, talk to an attorney about your options. You may be able to apply for an Occupational Driver’s License so you can drive to work or school. An attorney can help you navigate the Texas DPS so you can get your driving privileges back as soon as possible.

 

If you need help getting your license back 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 to get back on the road. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Refuse the BAC Test? Here’s What to Expect

Refuse the BAC Test? Here’s What to Expect

Implied Consent

 

Under Texas’s implied consent law, all Texas drivers arrested for a DWI must submit to a BAC (blood alcohol content) test. To give you some much-needed guidance on this little-understood area of DWI law, here’s what to expect if you refuse a BAC test.

 

The Police Should Inform You

 

First, you should expect the arresting officer to inform you of the consequences of test refusal. Officers must warn you of what will happen if you refuse before accepting an official test. If the arresting officer did not inform you of the consequences, you should reach out to a Texas DWI defense attorney right away. Your refusal might not have the same implications if your arresting officer did not inform you of your rights and responsibilities pertaining to BAC tests.

 

What Are the Consequences?

 

If you refuse after being informed of the consequences, Texas Department of Public Safety will administratively move to suspend your license for 180-days. This is the consequence for a first refusal. If you have an alcohol or drug-related contact within the previous ten years, you will face an automatic two-year license suspension. These administrative suspensions are separate from any court-imposed suspension that may result from a criminal conviction. However, a judge may give credit for these suspensions if you are later convicted in the criminal proceeding for the DWI.

 

How to Fight a License Suspension for a Refusal

 

These administrative license suspensions for a BAC refusal go into effect automatically if you do not request an ALR hearing within 15 days. Always request a hearing! This is your one chance to fight your license suspension. If you refuse a BAC test in Texas, do not give up hope yet. Consult with an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney immediately after your arrest. An attorney can jump into action and request a hearing date at which you can contest your suspension. You only have a limited number of days after your arrest in which to request a hearing, so call an attorney right away.

 

If you’re facing charges for DWI/DUI 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 to clear your name. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

Boating While Intoxicated: Staying Out of Trouble on Texas Waters

Boating While Intoxicated: Staying Out of Trouble on Texas Waters

Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is dangerous, be it a car, truck or boat. Many Texans enjoy the numerous lakes of the lone star State when summer rolls around. But those who do so can put others at serious risk. Alcohol is involved in half of all boating accidents, some of which are fatal. Consequently, those operating a watercraft while intoxicated can face charges of BWI, or boating while intoxicated. Read on to learn more about BWI charges in Texas and what you should do if you are arrested.

 

How Does BWI Differ from DWI?

 

Much like DWIs, BWIs are serious criminal charges. They can result in jail time, steep fines and even boating and driver’s license suspensions. One significant difference lies in the law enforcement stop. Unlike traffic stops, a law enforcement officer does not need reasonable suspicion to make a boating stop. Many times boaters are stopped for safety issues such as mooring regulations and life jacket checks, but stops do not have to be motivated by a legal violation.

 

Also, assessing intoxication is complicated by the fact that many boaters experience “sea legs,” after boating. For a law enforcement officer to arrest you for BWI, he or she must have probable cause to believe you had been operating the watercraft while intoxicated. Smelling alcohol on your breath usually prompts such a suspicion. Officers also utilize field sobriety tests, like the one-leg stand, to assess intoxication during DWI stops. But a boater who disembarks and completes these tests for balance and coordination after just 15 minutes of adjustment is at a significant disadvantage. Not surprisingly, many people are unfairly accused of BWI and arrested based off of the results of such skewed tests.

 

Stay Sober for Boating Safety

 

Staying out of trouble on Texas’s lakes is easy if you always operate your watercraft sober and make sure everyone consuming alcohol on your boat wears a life jacket. Please note, the State of Texas defines “watercraft” as a vessel, one or more water skis, aquaplane, or other device made for transporting or carrying someone on water. This definition excludes crafts that are powered by the water current itself.

 

If you do find yourself facing charges for BWI, do yourself a favor and call an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth DWI defense attorney. BWI cases are similar to DWI cases and involve the same basic elements. Thus, if you are facing charges for boating while intoxicated, it’s essential you find a seasoned DWI defense attorney who can help you navigate your case for best results.

 

 

If you’re facing DWI/BWI 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 to fight your charges. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.

 

Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges

Texas Zero Tolerance Policy: 5 Tips for Minors Facing Texas DUI Charges

What Is the Texas Zero Tolerance Policy?

 

The Texas zero tolerance policy for minors driving under the influence is strict. A minor caught with any detectable amount of alcohol in his or her blood can face charges for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA). Unfortunately, this is the fate of many Texas minors, defined as those less than 21 years of age, who make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after drinking. If you find yourself making the same error, here are five tips that can make or break your case.

 

  1. Think Before You Speak

Minors and adults alike have a right to remain silent when arrested and interrogated. Don’t think because you are a minor no one will take advantage of you. It’s best to limit what you say until you can speak with an attorney. Even better, hire a criminal defense attorney to do the speaking for you.

 

  1. Find Legal Help

Some minors mistakenly plead guilty to DUI/DUIA because they assume it’s a less serious charge and carries minimal penalties. But the specific penalties you face, such as fines and a license suspension, aren’t the only negative consequences of a conviction. You will also have a criminal record that can hold you back for the rest of your life. That said, find an experienced attorney who can help you keep your record clean.

 

  1. Learn About the Consequences

Speaking with an attorney about the potential consequences of a conviction is an excellent first step. You’ll want to thoroughly understand the ramifications of a plea before you appear in court. Likewise, learning about all the costs you may face can give you a better idea of what is at stake. These costs can be hard to assess, especially if you are unfamiliar with the criminal justice system.

 

  1. Stay Sober

You may be ordered to abstain from drugs and alcohol if put on deferred adjudication. Likewise, staying sober while your case is pending can help demonstrate to the judge you are responsible.

 

  1. Don’t Drive on a Suspended License

Minors under 17 years of age will have their license suspended for 60 days for a first DUI offense. That suspension shoots up to 180 days if you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol content (BAC) breath or blood test. Minors between 17 and 20 years of age will face a one-year license suspension, although it might be reduced if you meet certain requirements. If you don’t have a license, you will be ineligible to obtain one for the duration of your suspension. Do not drive on a suspended license. Rather, speak with a DUI attorney about what you can do to save your license or have it reinstated as soon as possible.

 

Every Texan deserves to have a bright future ahead. To preserve that future, you should absolutely fight your charges. The Texas zero tolerance policy is self-explanatory. Expect no tolerance and no leniency. Find a Texas DUI attorney who has helped minors navigate the DUI process. With an experienced attorney assisting you, you will have a much better chance at obtaining a favorable outcome.

 

 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI/DUIA and need a legal advocate 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 to minimize the consequences of your charge. 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 team@jbabblaw.com, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.