Handling Your First DWI Charge The Right Way
If you have never been pulled over for a DWI (driving while intoxicated), the first time can be a bit frightening. You are probably worried about your future and what will happen next. In Texas, you may face harsh penalties, even for a DWI first offense. Penalties for your first DWI offense could include jail time, a fine of $2,000 and your license could be revoked anywhere from 90 days to one year. If you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 percent or more, you could face even more penalties.
The most important thing you can do for your future is to fight your charges. A DWI on your record can impact your job, your personal life and even your education. Not to mention that it will count against you should you be charged with another DWI. The attorneys at Vela & Del Fierro, P.C., can help you. We have decades of combined experience and know how the process works. We are skilled trial attorneys, ready to fight for your rights.
What Should You Do When Pulled Over?
We have many people ask us what they should do if the police pull them over. It helps to know your rights in these situations. It also helps to stay calm and remember the following:
- You do not have to answer questions. Officers may ask if you have been drinking, but they will use your answer against you. You should always be polite, and you must show your identification, but you have the right not to answer. You may simply say you prefer to only answer questions with an attorney present.
- The officer will ask for a breath or blood test. You have the right to refuse this test, but you will automatically lose your license if you do. If you agree, they will take you to a facility with the proper equipment to take the test.
- Stay in your car. Unless the officer orders you out of the car, stay put. If the officers ask to search you or your car, politely refuse. They may demand a search, but make sure they are demanding and not requesting permission.
- Refuse a field sobriety test and roadside breath tests. These tests are unreliable and highly subjective. In addition, you do not have to do them. Roadside breath tests are also unreliable. The officer will probably choose to take you to a station for a breath test or another facility for a blood draw if they suspect you of drunk driving.
The sooner you call an attorney, the sooner we can get to work on your DWI defense and minimize the penalties you will face. We can also review your case to see if you are eligible for the “second chance” law, allowing some first-time offenders to keep their DWI charges private. At Vela & Del Fierro, P.C., we take every criminal charge seriously and work hard to protect your rights.
Contact Us Today
If you are charged with a DWI, you need an attorney right away. Call our San Antonio office today at 210-617-3925 or send an email to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout Texas. We are just a phone call away.