Being charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is scary, and you might be tempted to plead guilty. Given the harsh penalties given out even to first offenders, you would be better off seeking the advice of a skilled Denton DUI lawyer who has handled these tough issues before. It is important to know all of your rights before dealing with any sort of criminal allegation. The burden of proof is always on the state, not the individual. Experienced criminal attorneys can help with these matters.
State Laws Regarding DUI
In Texas, a driver of a motor vehicle is considered under the influence of alcohol if a chemical screening test shows a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. No other evidence (such as field sobriety tests) is necessary to get a DUI conviction. A driver who is less than 21 years old must not test positive for any blood-alcohol content (BAC) at all. Such a driver may be charged with DUI even if the amount tested is under 0.08 percent. A driver testing 0.15 percent or more over the legal limit of 0.08 percent faces more severe penalties for enhanced BAC.
Should a Driver Submit to the Breathalyzer Test?
The decision to submit has consequences for both refusing and consenting (if the resulting BAC is over or near the limit). When drivers refuse, they often have their driver’s license revoked for one year. To revoke a license for a refusal, drivers must have been arrested (or stopped if they were under 21), and the police officer conducting the traffic stop must have had reasonable grounds to believe the driver was operating a motor vehicle in an intoxicated condition. Denton DUI lawyer has argued these issues before and can challenge the government to produce its evidence on these points.
If a field sobriety test shows a BAC to be just slightly over the limit, lawyers for the defense may be able to get the state to change the charge from DUI to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving—a much less serious offense that is still a misdemeanor, but which will result in a much less onerous penalty. A first-offense DUI will result in a fine, at least. Those fines rise quickly for second and third offenses.
Harsh Penalties for Convictions
That is only the beginning with regard to potential penalties, which may also include:
- License suspension or revocation
- Ignition interlock device
- Points on one’s driving record
- Restricted driver’s license
- Payment of restitution
- Mandatory community service
- Jail time
Contact a Denton DUI Lawyer
Lawyers who have an extensive background in DUI cases will be able to evaluate the police’s evidence and assess it thoroughly before deciding on a course of action. It is crucial to look at all the circumstances of the incident. Every American has the right to an attorney and the right to confront the state’s witnesses against them. Americans do not have to prove themselves innocent; the government has to prove them guilty. DUI law is extremely complex. Do not allow yourself to be intimidated by the police. You deserve to have a Denton DUI lawyer on your side who will do whatever it takes to defend your rights.