We Defend Drunk Driving Charges and Drugged Driving Charges in Dickinson and Throughout All of Galveston County
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Dickinson DWI defense attorneys are experienced, reliable, and solutions-oriented advocates. Facing a drunk driving charge or drugged driving charge is stressful. You do not have to take on police and prosecutors alone. If you or your family member was arrested for a DWI in Dickinson, TX, we can help. Contact us today to set up your strictly private, no commitment consultation with a top Texas criminal defense attorney.
Your Guide to DWI Laws in Texas
Have you found yourself facing a DWI charge in Dickinson? It is crucial that you have a general understanding of your rights and responsibilities under state law. Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.01 governs DWI charges. To convict a defendant of impaired driving in Galveston County, police and prosecutors must prove the following two foundational legal elements:
- Intoxication: The standard is clear. Prosecutors need to establish intoxication. In Texas, this typically means a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Yet, in Dickinson, you can also be hit with a DWI charge if you are deemed to have lost standard mental or physical functions due to alcohol, drugs, or some combination of controlled substances.
- Operation of Motor Vehicle: To be sure, DWI charges are not merely about intoxication. To convict a motorist of drunk driving or drugged driving in Dickinson, the prosecution must also confirm the accused was at the helm of a motor vehicle during the arrest. It is important to note that Texas defines “motor vehicle” relatively broadly—the term even includes non-traditional vehicles, such as ATVs and golf carts.
Our Defense Lawyers Handle All Types of DWI Charges in Dickinson, TX
Most DWI charges are Class B misdemeanor offenses in Texas. However, there are some circumstances in which different standards apply to these cases. Further, a defendant could face a felony charge for intoxicated driving in some situations. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we handle all types of DWI charges in Dickinson, TX, including:
- Underage Drinking and Driving (Underage DUI)
- Commercial Driver DWI (CDL DWI);
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID);
- A Third-Time DWI offense;
- DWI With a Child in Car;
- Intoxication Assault (DWI accident causing an injury); and
- Intoxication Manslaughter (DWI accident causing a death).
The Key Things to Know About DWI Penalties in Dickinson
Arrested and charged with intoxicated driving in Dickinson, TX? You may have questions about the criminal penalties that you will face with a conviction. The fallout from such allegations can be daunting. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) highlights that the ramifications of a DWI vary based on a driver’s history. Here is an overview of DWI penalties in Texas:
- First-Time DWI Offense: Potential fines up to $2,000, a jail stint of up to 180 days (with a compulsory 72 hours), and a possible one-year driver’s license suspension.
- Second-Time DWI Offense: Fines may escalate to $4,000, incarceration ranging from a month to a full year, and up to a two-year driver’s license suspension.
- Third-Time DWI Offense: Fines can touch $10,000, a prison term between 2 and 10 years, and the possibility of a two-year suspension of driving privileges.
The direct fines associated with a DWI conviction in Galveston County are not the only financial consequences that a person may face with a conviction. The Texas Driver Responsibility Program allows for the levying of a special DWI surcharge. Have specific questions about the penalties associated with a DWI? Contact our Dickinson, TX criminal defense lawyer for immediate help.
Know Your Rights in Texas: Breathalyzers, Blood Tests, and Field Sobriety Tests
Pulled over for a suspected DWI in Dickinson or elsewhere in Galveston County? You could be asked to perform one (or more) alcohol or drug tests by law enforcement. It is imperative that you know your rights and responsibilities regarding these tests. Here is an overview of Texas law:
- Chemical Tests (Implied Consent): When you get a Texas driver’s license or you use an out-of-state license to operate a motor vehicle in Galveston County, you give your “implied consent” to a breath test or blood test in Texas. If you say “no” to the test, you could lose automatic administrative penalties—most notably, the automatic administrative suspension of your license. You could also be charged with a DWI even if you refuse a chemical test.
- Field Sobriety Tests (No Implied Consent): A field sobriety test is a non-chemical test that a law enforcement officer may ask a person to perform at the scene of a DWI arrest. Texas does not have an implied consent law for field sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse a field sobriety test in Dickinson without facing the automatic suspension of your license. Of course, you could be arrested and charged with a DWI based on other factors, regardless of whether or not you agree to perform a field sobriety test.
An Overview of Strategies to Defend a Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving Charge in Texas
As stressful and frightening as it can feel to be arrested and charged with a DWI in Dickinson, it is crucial to remember that you are out of options. As with any other criminal charge, you have the right to defend yourself in court. A criminal charge is an allegation. To get a conviction, prosecutors must prove all of the required elements of the charge. Some notable examples of defense strategies that are used in drunk driving/drugged driving cases in Dickinson include:
- An Unlawful Stop (No Probable Cause): As a starting point, the arrest itself that led to a DWI charge should be evaluated. Indeed, it is essential to evaluate the legality of the initial traffic stop. Officers must have a valid “reasonable suspicion” in order to initiate a stop. If it is proven that your stop was baseless or merely based on a hunch, any evidence or testimony stemming from that stop could be invalidated. A Dickinson, TX DWI defense lawyer can prepare a motion to exclude unlawfully obtained evidence. If the stop is deemed illegal, the criminal charges may fall apart.
- Fighting the Validity of the Breath Test or Blood Test: Although there are some exceptions, chemical test results—breath tests and blood tests—are central to most DWI cases. Indeed, their reliability can be challenged. Faulty equipment, incorrect administration procedures, or even mishandled samples can all render test results unreliable. By casting doubt on the accuracy or methodology of these tests, you can weaken the prosecution’s case. If a breath test or blood test is not reliable, the DWI charges may be dismissed outright.
- Insufficient Evidence to Support a Conviction: For a successful DWI conviction, the prosecution needs to present airtight evidence that unequivocally proves intoxication. Sometimes, however, the evidence might be more suggestive than conclusive. A person’s conduct that may have been suspicious—such as erratic driving—might actually be due to reasons other than alcohol. Ensuring a thorough examination of all presented evidence can uncover weaknesses in the prosecution’s argument.
- Alternative Arrangement (A Plea): In some cases, the best defense approach is to negotiate rather than to battle the charges aggressively. Indeed, depending on your individual circumstances, a plea agreement may get you better results than fighting the charges in a Galveston County courtroom. This is especially if you are a first-time offender or if the case against you is not rock solid. Through a plea agreement, you may be able to get lesser charges or alternative penalties, such as counseling or community service. If you are considering a plea bargain, you should also be represented by an experienced Dickinson, TX DWI defense attorney.
Why Trust Our Dickinson, TX Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys
There are few things more unnerving than seeing the flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. It is even more stressful if the officer suspects or accuses you of intoxicated driving. A DWI charge is a serious matter in Texas. If you were arrested in Dickinson, you need a reliable advocate on your side. Our founder Tad A. Nelson and our associated attorney Amber R. Spurlock are both experienced DWI defense lawyers. We are proactive and solutions-driven. Among other things, our Dickinson DWI defense lawyers are prepared to:
- Listen to what you have to say and explain what comes next in your DWI case;
- Investigate the arrest and the charges—securing the evidence needed for a defense;
- Represent you before police officers and Galveston County prosecutors; and
- Develop a comprehensive defense strategy focused on getting you the best outcome.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With Our Dickinson DWI Defense Lawyer
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Dickinson DWI defense attorneys are passionate, devoted advocates for justice. We can take on all types of drunk driving and drugged driving cases. Call us (409) 765-5614 or contact us online to arrange your completely confidential, no obligation case evaluation. We defend DWI charges in Dickinson and throughout all of Galveston County.
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.