Defending Drunk Driving and DWI Cases in Santa Fe, TX
Nothing is quite as scary as getting pulled over for a Texas DWI. Many people call our DWI lawyer at our law office in a panic because they fear that their friends and family will find out about the DWI arrest and they’ll end up in jail. Others are afraid their jobs could be at risk if an employer discovers the offense and assumes the worst. A Texas DWI is a very serious criminal charge, even if this is your first DWI arrest. Penalties include driver’s license suspension, criminal fines, and possible time behind bars. You need an experienced, award-winning Santa Fe, TX DWI lawyer on your team. Please call our Texas DWI lawyers at the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates to schedule a free consultation to take care of your Texas DWI.
The Law of Drunk Driving in Texas
Our state’s primary Texas DWI law is found at Section 49.04 of the Penal Code. This criminal law makes it a crime to operate a vehicle in public while intoxicated. You are legally intoxicated if either of the following is true:
- Your alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher, or
- You do not have normal use of your faculties due to any alcohol, controlled substance, combination, or other substance.
Only one of the above must be true for a DWI case. You can have a BAC under 0.08 and still face felony DWI charges (and be convicted) if you had any alcohol, drugs, or dangerous substance in your system and were not driving carefully. Increasingly, DWI defendants are arrested for driving after smoking pot, doing cocaine, or even taking prescription medications like cough syrup.
The DWI law applies to all drivers in the state. But those under 21 and anyone with a commercial driver’s license will have lower BAC thresholds. Call our DWI attorney to avoid the negative consequences and harsh penalties that follow a DWI conviction!
Penalties for a DWI Charge in Santa Fe, TX
This is one of the most serious criminal charges in Santa Fe, TX and other Texas counties. Anyone—even a first-time offender—can face jail time and lose their license for a DWI conviction. However, a person’s criminal charges will likely depend on certain factors, with your prior criminal history being one of the most important:
- First DWI charge. One-year license suspension, $2,000 fine, and maximum 180 days in jail (with three days mandatory).
- Second DWI charge. Two-year license suspension, $4,000 fine, and maximum 1 year in jail (30 days mandatory).
- Third DWI offense. Two-year license suspension, $10,000 fine, and 2-10 years in prison.
The state also levies other fines related to a DWI charge, so you can expect to pay much more than the numbers listed above. Remember that DWI convictions or DUI convictions in a different state can count as a previous conviction and may lead to jail time from a DWI case. Consult our Santa Fe, TX DWI lawyer to review the minimum DWI case penalties you face for DWI charges.
Other factors can increase the punishment and jail time for DWI cases:
- Child passenger (under 15 years of age). $10,000 fine, and 180 days to 2 years in state jail.
- DWI accident with serious bodily injury (intoxication assault). $10,000 fine and 2-10 years in prison.
- DWI accident with fatality (intoxication manslaughter). $10,000 fine and 2-20 years in prison.
You owe it to yourself to fight these DWI charges with an experienced DWI Lawyer and come up with a strong DWI defense. Our DWI Lawyer can force the state to come forward with strong evidence of your guilt.
Administrative License Suspension for DWI Charges
A DWI case in Santa Fe, Texas has two parts: a criminal part and an administrative part. Many people are shocked to find out their license can be suspended before DWI conviction. But it’s true. The state aggressively fights DWI charges, so you will automatically lose your license if you are arrested for a DWI:
- First offense: 90-day suspension
- Second or subsequent offense: 1 year suspension
- If you refuse to take a requested chemical test (like a breathalyzer), then you’ll lose your license for a longer period of time:
- First refusal: 180-day suspension
- Second refusal: 2 year suspension
Fortunately, you can try to stop the driver’s license suspension if you request a hearing within 15 days of receiving the notice of administrative license revocation for your DWI case in Santa Fe, TX. This is not a lot of time. At the hearing, your DWI attorney can present reasons why the stop or the arrest was unconstitutional and invalid. If you do not request the hearing in time, your suspension immediately goes into effect, so reach out to Tad Nelson today.
Our Santa Fe, TX DWI Lawyers Wrote the Book on Fighting DWI Charges
Many people who blow a high number resign themselves to a conviction and a driver’s license suspension. There is no reason to immediately plead guilty to a DWI charge. The fact is that the DWI evidence is often less impressive than it sounds. At Tad Nelson & Associates, our Santa Fe, TX DWI lawyer has received extensive training in chemical analysis and can pinpoint problems with the state’s DWI case.
Some possible DWI defense we raise for defendants include:
- Lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause to stop a driver in the first place.
- Unreliable or unsubstantiated field sobriety test results.
- Witness testimony that you were not intoxicated and were driving normally.
- Gaps in the chain of custody for blood or urine samples, which undermine the reliability of tests.
- Unreliable breath test results, including valid reasons for why you blew a high number.
The best DWI defense will depend on the facts of your case. Sometimes the DWI evidence is overwhelming that a plea deal is your strongest option, but our Texas DWI lawyers always consider ways to beat the DWI charges.
Deferred Adjudication for DWI Defense
The Texas legislature recently expanded deferred adjudication process to include a first-time DWI offense. This is excellent news. With deferred adjudication, a criminal defendant agrees to serve probation for a length of time and, at the end, the judge dismisses the criminal charge. That means you will not have a conviction for DWI.
Probation comes with conditions, such as meeting with a probation officer and receiving treatment for alcohol or drug dependency. You will also most likely need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
- There are strict eligibility requirements:
- This must be your first DWI (no second or third allowed)
- Your BAC must have been below .15%
- You cannot have held a commercial driver’s license at the time of arrest
Why DWI Lawyer, Tad Nelson for Your Criminal Case?
Our lead DWI attorney Tad Nelson has handled hundreds of DWI cases for all sorts of clients: first-time offenders, repeat offenders, juveniles, and out-of-state residents. He knows the criminal process inside and out. When you hire our DWI lawyers, you are getting more than a knowledgeable legal advocate. You are hiring someone who knows the district attorneys and judges like they are neighbors. Few lawyers in Santa Fe have his proven track record of success in DWI cases.
Call our law firm today to meet with one of our DWI lawyers. We can:
- Review the facts of your DWI case, including anything you said to the officer and whether they searched your car or personal effects.
- Discuss possible penalties you face based on your past criminal offenses and any aggravating circumstances.
- Consider whether you qualify for deferred adjudication and whether this is a good option for your criminal defense.
- Talk about your goals, including whether you want to fight all the way to trial or whether you are open to a plea deal.
Once hired, we can begin picking through the state’s evidence and finding additional facts that work to your advantage. Fine tuning a DWI defense strategy takes time, but we have the resources to find evidence and present legal arguments that other lawyers never think of for these criminal matters.
What Our DWI Lawyers say to Do When Pulled Over for DWI
We recommend the following, which will improve the chances you can bring a successful defense:
- Stop your car and pull over your vehicle. Trying to evade arrest or flee the scene could result in additional criminal charges. Also, those actions make you look guilty in the eyes of a judge or jury.
- Hand over your license, registration, and insurance information when requested by the police officer. You must do this.
- Refuse to answer additional questions. You need to identify yourself, but you don’t need to answer an officer’s questions about where you are going, whether you were drinking, or anything else. Choose to remain silent. This will help your DWI case.
- Decline a request to search your phone or car. An officer is digging for information, and they need a search warrant in many cases to search.
- Consider whether to give a breath, urine, or blood test. If you decline, your license will be administratively suspended for longer. Still, the less evidence you give the police, the better. Realize that an officer can apply for a warrant to draw blood.
- Hire a DWI lawyer at our law office as soon as possible. The best DWI defense begins as soon as you are arrested. Call DWI lawyer,Tad Nelson, in Santa Fe, TX to review the facts.
Speak with Our Santa Fe, Texas DWI Defense and Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you are facing DWI charges in Santa Fe, Texas, please call our DWI lawyers. The days and weeks following an arrest are scary. There are so many unknown, including whether the state will seek the maximum penalties, including years in jail or prison. You deserve having your voice heard during the administrative license suspension hearing and your criminal case. Now is the time to hire the best DWI lawyer in Texas to pull together a powerful DWI defense against these charges. Please call our DWI lawyer, Tad Nelson, today to schedule a free consultation and confidential meeting to go over your DWI case.
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.