Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Bayou Vista DWI Defense Attorney
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Bayou Vista DWI lawyers, located in League City and Galveston, are aggressive, experienced advocates for justice. We believe that everyone deserves their day in court. Your rights matter and you need personalized legal representation. If you were arrested and charged with a drunk driving or drugged driving offense in Bayou Vista, we are here to help. Contact us now for a fully confidential, comprehensive consultation with a top-tier Texas criminal defense attorney.
DWI Laws in Texas: An Overview of the Elements of a Charge
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense in Texas. Under Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.01, a motorist who is unlawfully under the influence while behind the wheel in Bayou Vista could be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense—or in some cases, even a felony. Here are two required elements of a criminal DWI charge in Texas:
- Operation of Motor Vehicle: The first crucial element focuses on the actual operation of a motor vehicle. It involves the active engagement of an individual in driving or operating a car, motorcycle, or any other kind of motorized vehicle in a public place.
- Intoxication (Alcohol or Drugs): The second element is intoxication. Texas law describes intoxication as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties resulting from alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. For most drivers in Texas, the maximum allowable blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08. The limit is lower for underage drivers and commercial drivers.
Our Firm Defends All Types of Intoxicated Driving Charges in Bayou Vista, Texas
The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates is a top-tier criminal defense law firm that takes on all types of drunk driving cases and drugged driving cases in Bayou Vista. While a DWI is a misdemeanor offense as a base-level charge in Texas, it can sometimes be heightened to a felony offense. No matter the charges you are facing, we stand ready to fiercely defend your rights, liberties, and your future. Along with other types of DWI offenses in Bayou Vista, we have the experience to take on:
- Underage Drinking and Driving (Underage DUI);
- Commercial Driver DWI (CDL DWI);
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID);
- Third or More DWI Charges; .
- DWI With a Child in Car;
- Intoxication Assault (DWI Causing Bodily Injury): and
- Intoxication Manslaughter (DWI Causing a Death).
What are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction in Texas?
Arrested for a DWI in Bayou Vista or elsewhere in Galveston County? It is imperative that you have a full understanding of the potential consequences that could come with a conviction. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) explains that the DWI penalties vary based on a number of different case-driven factors. The DWI penalties in Texas include:
- First-Time DWI: A first-time DWI charge carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail, with 72 hours being mandatory. A person could also be fined $2,000 and face a one-year suspension of their driver’s license. Arrested for a first-time DWI in Bayou Vista? Contact our Texas criminal defense lawyer today.
- Second-Time DWI: A second-time DWI charge carries a maximum sentence of 365 days in jail. A person could also be fined $4,000 and face a two-year suspension of their driver’s license. Facing a second-time DWI charge? Our Bayou Vista DWI defense lawyer can help.
- Third-Time DWI: A third-time DWI charge carries a maximum sentence of ten years in state prison. A person could also be fined $10,000 and face a two-year suspension of their driver’s license. If you are facing a third-time DWI offense, it is imperative that you have a top-tier Bayou Vista attorney on your side.
A person’s prior history of DWI offenses—or lack thereof—is not the only factor that can affect criminal penalties in Texas. There are other factors that could result in a person facing a more serious felony offense. As an example, if you were arrested for a DWI that caused a serious bodily injury in a crash, you could face a felony charge that carries significant jail time even if it was your first ever DWI offense.
What to Know About DWI Testing Laws in Texas
Understanding DWI testing laws in Texas is essential. The test results—whether chemical or non-chemical—can have a huge impact on a criminal DWI case. Here are the most important things that drivers in Bayou Vista need to know about their rights and their options:
- Breath Tests and Blood Tests: In Texas, implied consent laws play a significant role in DWI testing. There is implied consent for both post-DWI arrest breath tests and blood tests. In other words, any person who operates a motor vehicle in Bayou Vista or elsewhere in the state automatically consents to undergo breath or blood tests if lawfully arrested for suspected DWI. Refusal to submit to these tests can lead to severe penalties—including the suspension of driving privileges.
- Field Sobriety Tests (Non-Chemical): In Texas, field sobriety tests (non-chemical tests) are not mandatory. These tests often involve physical tasks such as walking in a straight line or standing on one leg, designed to assess a person’s coordination and balance. Since these tests are not required, individuals have the option to politely decline participation, minimizing the risk of subjective interpretation adversely affecting their case.
Your Options for Defending a DWI Charge in Bayou Vista, Texas
Navigating a DWI charge in Bayou Vista, Texas, can be a truly daunting process. You have the right to defend yourself against a DWI charge—but there is not a true one-size-fits-all strategy in these cases. Understanding the various defense options available is paramount to protecting your rights and interests. Here is an overview for defending a DWI charge in Bayou Vista include:
- Unlawful Stop (Lack of Reasonable Suspicion): One powerful strategy in defending against DWI charges is challenging the legality of the traffic stop itself. Law enforcement officers must have reasonable suspicion to make a traffic stop. If the officer lacked a valid reason for pulling you over, such as a traffic violation or suspicious driving behavior, it may be possible to argue that the stop was unlawful. If you believe that you were pulled over without probable cause, an experienced Bayou Vista DWI lawyer can protect your rights.
- Breath Test/Blood Test Results: In many cases, prosecutors bring a DWI charge based on a failed breathalyzer test and/or a failed blood test. Breath and blood tests play a critical role in DWI cases, often serving as the cornerstone of the prosecution’s case. However, there are numerous factors that can compromise the reliability and accuracy of these tests. For instance, the equipment may be faulty, or the person administering the test may not have followed the proper procedures.
- Inadequate Evidence: Ultimately, the state (prosecution) has the duty to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a DWI case, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. They must present enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. There might be instances where the evidence against a defendant is weak or insufficient to meet this high standard. Various elements—from witness testimony to the credibility of the arresting officer—could be scrutinized to expose the inadequacies in the evidence presented.
- Negotiation of a Plea Deal: The best way to handle a DWI charge in Bayou Vista may be to raise an aggressive defense—but that is not always the case. Sometimes, considering the circumstances and the strength of the evidence, negotiating a plea deal might be the most pragmatic approach. A plea deal may involve pleading guilty to a lesser charge or receiving a lighter sentence, such as probation instead of jail time. A skilled Bayou Vista DWI attorney can evaluate the specifics of the case and advise whether negotiation is a viable strategy.
Why Trust Our Galveston DWI Lawyers
Facing a DWI charge? Even if it is a first-time offense, it is normal to feel stressed out and overwhelmed by the situation. Any criminal charge is a serious matter. You need the right legal advocate on your side. Our founder Tad A. Nelson and associate attorney Amber R. Spurlock both have the experience and expertise that you can trust. When you contact our law firm, you will be connected with a Bayou Vista, TX DWI defense lawyer who can:
- Hear your story and answer your legal questions;
- Investigate the case—gathering evidence; and
- Develop a strategy to protect your rights and interests.
Contact Our Bayou Vista, TX DWI Defense Attorneys for Immediate Help
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Bayou Vista DWI defense lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and legal expertise that you can trust. Were you arrested and charged with drunk driving or drugged driving? You need a top-tier attorney on your side. Call us at (281) 280-0100 or send us a message online for a completely confidential consultation. We defend DWI charges in Bayou Vista, Galveston County, and throughout Southeast Texas.
Contacting us will only take a moment of your day
Tad and Amber are literally top of the game. When I need results, they are the only people I trust. Quality of service, knowledge and professionalism throughout. Don't gamble with a lawyer on any legal issue, you only want to bet on the best!
Thank you Tad Nelson for standing up for me and what is right, Tad Nelson is obviously well known and respected through out the court system as he spoke with authority and precisely to the assistant DA resulting in the dismissal of my case before the case went to trial. Thank you again. if you want it done call Tad Nelson
I hired them a while back for a DWI out in Harris County, they're good and if you need help with any kind of legal matter, give em a call. For a lawyer, Tad has a great personality so working with him should be easier than working with other lawyers.
He is the one lawyer that I can call and put my trust into. We’ve used him a couple of times, once for a family matter and another time for a troubled relative. He’ll help, tell you the truth with no sugar-coating, and will work for his salt. He’s a good guy and when you go to their office, they make you feel at home, like you’re part of the team. Good lawyers and great folks.
I've had the pleasure of working with Tad personally as a technology consultant for him in the past. We've eaten lunch and dinner together. I know that Tad is very dedicated to his clients and cares for them off the clock. He's definitely the lawyer you want on your side.