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When a person is accused of committing a drunk driving offense, they may feel extremely intimidated. This may be especially uncomfortable for a person who is arrested for their first driving while intoxicated offense. Law enforcement views drunk driving as a serious offense and the prosecution aggressively prosecutes such cases. Someone who has been arrested and charged with their first DWI should contact an experienced El Paso first-offense DWI lawyer. A skilled DWI attorney could review the factors surrounding the allegation and work to build a credible legal strategy. Call today and schedule an appointment to start evaluating your potential legal options.
How the Prosecution and Judge Treat a First-Time DWI Offense
Every prosecutor is different, but they are becoming increasingly aggressive towards DWI cases. Drunk driving often places the driver along with other individuals on the roadway at risk for experiencing a severe collision. As a result, it is common for intoxicated driving accidents to produce extensive or fatal injuries. While most prosecutors consider the circumstances of a collision and a person’s prior criminal record, they may pursue the charges in a harsh manner to reduce the chance a person commits the act again.
The way a judge or jury approaches a first-time DWI charge may fluctuate in a similar manner. If convicted, some judges will implement the standard punishment, regardless of the facts. While other judges may be very fact specific and show leniency. Additionally, most cases involving first-time DWI charges in El Paso typically are heard at the Bexar County Courthouse in the misdemeanor courts.
Potential Penalties for a First-Offense DWI Conviction
A first-time DWI, assuming a person is not hurt or killed, is typically charged as a Class B misdemeanor or a Class A misdemeanor. The actual charge also may depend on if the person has a chemical score from blood or breath that is above a 0.15 at the time of the test. This score generally will make it a Class A misdemeanor.
A first-offense Class B misdemeanor often carries a minimum of three days in jail and up to 180 days in jail along with a fine of up to $2,000. If it is a Class A misdemeanor with a chemical test result of 0.15 or more, the person may get up to 365 days in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. If eligible, they could potentially receive probation or may have to serve jail time as a condition of that sentence. Furthermore, El Paso does not typically offer a standard diversion program for DWI offenses. However, an aggressive El Paso first-offense DWI lawyer could fight for a person’s rights and work to refute the charges in court.
Fighting First-Time DWI Charges in El Paso
To build a comprehensive defense, a devoted El Paso first-offense DWI attorney could assess the allegation fact by fact. They may also request letters of recommendation from character witnesses to help demonstrate credibility to the court. In addition to these letters, a seasoned criminal defense lawyer could study the police report, lab tests, and any video evidence found. A resourceful attorney could consult with a qualified expert witness to discuss the results of any administered field sobriety tests. A discrepancy could allow an accused person to dispute the allegations further in court. Furthermore, the reason for a traffic stop that led to the DWI charge may be unconstitutional and if an attorney can demonstrate this, it may substantially improve an accused person’s case.
Partner with an El Paso First-Offense DWI Attorney
A conviction for driving while intoxicated can lead to significant legal penalties which may include, probation, jail time, and costly fines. Someone who has been charged with such an offense should immediately request legal counsel. A hard-working El Paso first-offense DWI lawyer could examine the factors surrounding the arrest and work to develop a credible legal defense. Call today and arrange for a time to begin fighting your DWI charge. Preparing a thoughtful defense may strongly and positively impact your case.