When you’re behind the wheel, life can change in a brief instant. One moment you’re headed home from dinner with friends and the next moment you’re in police custody, under arrest for driving under the influence or “DUI.”
A DUI arrest can be an extremely sobering experience, especially for those who’ve never been involved in any sort of legal trouble before. You could be facing the loss of your driver’s license, court hearings, fines and even jail time! There’s also the shame and embarrassment you may be feeling; emotions that can be intensified and compounded by the fear of facing criminal proceedings!
You could be arrested for DUI if you’ve been drinking alcohol, took illicit drugs or even took a prescription drug exactly as the doctor ordered! The latter point is often a shock to many motorists, who had no idea that they could be arrested for driving while taking a prescription medication!
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our Dallas law firm has the skills and experience required to help you get through this challenging experience. Don’t try to handle this on your own! Trust your case to an experienced Dallas DUI lawyer who can maximize chances are of seeing a positive case resolution. Our practice founder, Attorney Jeffrey C. Grass, has over 20 years of experience, including time as a U.S. Navy Judge Advocate (JAG). He also maintains an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI in Dallas or the surrounding area, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass today to arrange a confidential and free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.
Frequently Asked Questions After a Dallas County DUI Arrest
A DUI arrest often represents a person’s first-ever arrest, making the experience even more frightening and stressful. This is especially true of those who don’t drink or use illicit substances; individuals who didn’t realize that driving after taking their prescribed medication was unlawful!
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, we believe that addressing your questions and concerns can go a long way toward reducing some of the stress and fear that you’re experiencing. So, let’s look at some of the most common questions that we discuss with clients arrested for DUI and drunk driving in Dallas, Texas.
What’s the Legal Limit in Texas?
The legal limit refers to your blood alcohol content or BAC. Texas BAC limits vary depending upon factors such as age and vehicle type;
For a driver age 21 or older – .08%
For a commercial driver – .04%.
For a driver under age 21 – .02%.
Please note that BAC does not apply for drivers accused of driving under the influence of another substance such as a drug (illicit or prescribed.) These cases are evaluated differently by looking at whether the drug is present in your bloodstream.
Is a Texas DUI a Misdemeanor or Felony?
Texas law allows prosecutors to pursue a DUI case as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the unique circumstances in your case.
The prosecutor will consider factors such as:
whether you’ve been convicted of DUI previously;
whether there was a child (age 15 and younger) in the car at the time of the alleged crime;
whether there is an element of severe recklessness; and
whether another person was injured or died as a result of the alleged DUI.
Cases involving a repeat offender, a young passenger, injury/death and extreme recklessness can result in a felony DUI in Texas. A first-time offender who is just over the limit and has no prior history of a DUI arrest may face a Class B misdemeanor.
Will I Lose My License for DUI in Dallas County and the state of Texas?
DUI lawyers often address the question of whether a DUI will lead to the loss of driving privileges. Texas does have very strict DUI laws. In fact, even a drug crime conviction can result in loss of license in this state.
Each case is unique, but generally speaking, it is likely that your Texas driver’s license will be suspended if you have a BAC of .08% or more. You will face suspension if you are convicted or if you refuse to take a test.
Texas has what’s known as an implied consent law. In other words, you are required to submit to a chemical test to determine if you are under the influence. Some suspects believe that by refusing the test, they can avoid conviction because the prosecutors will not have conclusive evidence. And while this is true – the prosecutors will not have your test results as evidence – refusal will result in a monetary fine and an automatic 180-day license suspension for a first-time offender. If you have one or two prior DUIs, the mandatory suspension timeframe is two years for refusing a chemical test.
Typically, the administrative license revocation begins 40 days after you’re notified. It’s typical to receive notification when you are arrested. The suspension typically last 90 days for first-time offenders. If your license is suspended, you typically need to pay a reinstatement fee in order to get your driving privileges restored.
It is possible to seek a hearing with the Texas Office of Administrative Hearings to avoid getting your license suspended, but you must contact our DUI lawyers promptly because you have just15 days to submit a request! Your attorney can offer representation at this hearing and at court proceedings.
Will I Have to Go to Jail for a DUI in Texas?
Jail time is a very real concern for some clients, but this is where you can really benefit from retaining the services of an experienced Dallas DUI defense lawyer.
In the case of a first-time offender, Texas law allows for probation or a jail sentence of 3 to 180 days, plus a license suspension of anywhere from 90 days to one year. It’s also common to be subject to a monetary fine of up to $2,000 or more if there was a child in the vehicle, along with a court-mandated treatment program evaluation, community service and a DUI education program.
In Texas, the Driver Responsibility Program with the Texas Department of Transportation results in an annual surcharge of $1,000 to $2,000 (depending upon BAC) for a period of three years. You could also be ordered to install an ignition interlock device if you have a BAC of .15% or above or have a prior DUI on your record.
The penalties for subsequent DUI offenses carry much harsher penalties.
Trust Our Dallas County DUI Defense Lawyers to Handle Your Case
If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, you could stand to suffer some serious consequences and penalties, ranging from the loss of your driver’s license, the loss of your ability to get to work, and as a result, the loss of your ability to provide for yourself and your family.
At the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass, our firm was founded by a talented DUI defense attorney with over 20 years of experience handling first-time and subsequent DUI cases, felony DUI offenses, DUI cases involving a child in the vehicle, intoxication assault, resisting arrest and intoxication manslaughter.
Our Dallas law firm will work hard to help you maintain your driving privileges and your freedom. Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey C. Grass to arrange a fully confidential and free case evaluation. Call (214) 431-3897.