What Could Happen After My First Charge For DWI?

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Many people in Texas enjoy having a few beers at the sports bar or having a glass of wine at dinner.  Unfortunately, if you drive home after having a few drinks and you get pulled over, your likely going to be charged with a DWI.

The first thing to expect is that you are going to be arrested.  If there is not a sober driving to take control of your vehicle, it will be impounded.  So not only do you need to bond yourself out of jail, your going to pay to get your vehicle back.

In most cases, your drivers license will be confiscated and you will be given a temporary driving permit.  The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) suspension starts forty days after the arrest unless the person requests a hearing for an occupational license within 15 days of the arrest.

As long as your blood or breath alcohol concentration is below .15, you are over 21 years of age, there were no children in your vehicle at the time and you were not involved in an accident, you will likely be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.

The Class B misdemeanor will include probation up to two years, monthly probation fees, court costs, a fine up to $2,000.00, complete all classes and counseling ordered by the court and probation office and community service hours at a place determined by the probation office.  The court may also require you pay to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle and to pay a monthly charge to maintain it.

This does not include how your vehicle insurance will be affected, or what will happen with your employment.  If you’ve had a few drinks, call a friend to come get you, call a taxi or Uber.  If you don’t one of your next calls needs to be to an attorney.  Drive safe.

Daniel L Morris, The Morris Law Firm, (214)357-1782 info@themorrisfirm.net

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WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO DURING ARREST

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If you are ever arrested, there are some common sense “Do’s and Don’ts” to remember.  It is not a pleasant experience, but you will get through it ok with a little patience.

DO:

-Remain polite.

-Provide your name, address, date of birth and politely let them know you are invoking your 4th Amendment right to remain silent. Then REMAIN QUIET.

-Request that your family or friend that is present take vehicle or personal items into their possession.

-Provide your Driver’s License.

-Stay alert on your ride to the jail (you are likely be video taped).

-Have your lawyer present whenever you are questioned.

-When they ask you to sign your property slip, read it to make sure what is on it.

DO NOT:

-Do not resist arrest (likely to add additional charges).

-Don’t let your friends or family argue or become combative with the police. (It could reflect upon your case).

-Do not try and explain your side to the officer (not likely to help and may hurt your defense).

-Get the names and contact information of any witnesses at the scene.

-Do not give them permission to search.  If there are witnesses express your refusal loud enough for the witnesses to hear.

-If the police are searching, do not assist them in the search.

-Do not allow police to enter your vehicle or home, even if it is to retrieve items such as your clothes or personal items (they will naturally search any area you allow them into).

-Do not talk about your case with your family and friends while you are in jail (assume your conversations are being monitored).

-Do not talk with other inmates about your case (you don’t know who they really are).

Daniel L. Morris, The Morris Firm, (214)357-1782, info@themorrifirm.net

TEXAS DWI TAKING A SPECIMEN

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A person in Texas who has been stopped for suspicion of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is often asked to provide a specimen to check their blood alcohol content.  The test may be a vapor test, breathalyzer or a blood sample test.

The Statute states that a specimen may not be taken if refused by the suspect.  Refusal will cause the suspects Texas Drivers License to be automatically suspended for not less than 180 days.

After a refusal, the officer will generally be required to obtain a warrant to take a blood sample.  In Texas is there now precedent that the suspect’s blood may be drawn without a warrant. The Court determined that to be valid, such a warrant-less search must

(1) Be supported by probable cause,

(2) occur in the presence of exigent circumstances, in which the delay necessary to obtain a warrant would result in the destruction of evidence,

(3) Employ a reasonable test, and

(4) Be executed in a reasonable manner.

If you have been arrested for a DWI and the specimen was taken without your consent make sure to consult with a Texas attorney familiar with these issues.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782

Texas DWI: Driving While Intoxicated

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In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration). However, a person is also intoxicated if impaired due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC.

If you do not have a commercial drivers license, did not have an accident or child in the vehicle while driving intoxicated, the penalty ranges are as follows:

1st Offense

  • Up to a $2,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
  • License suspension for up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your           license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

2nd Offense

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.
  • Jail time between 1 month and 1 year.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

3rd Offense

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.
  • State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.
  • License suspension up to 2 years.
  • Annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.
  • DWI intervention or education program.
  • Possible ignition interlock device.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net, (214)357-1782

Texas Workers’ Compensation: Average Weekly Wage With Multiple Jobs

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If a worker’s claim is handled under the Texas Workers’ Compensation system, their disability benefits are calculated by using their Average Weekly Wage (AWW).

Many people hold done multiple jobs to make ends meet.  An accident in one job may prevent the worker from working multiple jobs.  A calculation of benefits should include all earning that an injured worker is disabled from performing.

Unlike the DWC-3 form filed by a workers’ employer, the additional earnings from other employers are provided by the injured worker in an Employee’s Multiple Wage Statement Form.

A worker should always confirm their AWW to make sure that it contains all their earnings.  It affects the weekly amount and can be a large amount over a two year span.

The Morris Firm, info@themorrisfirm.net (214)357-1782