We Defend DWI Charges in Texas City and Throughout Galveston County
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Texas City DWI defense lawyer is an aggressive, effective advocate for clients. With decades of collective experience and hundreds of jury trials, we take a proactive approach to every case. If you or your loved one was arrested and charged with a DWI in Texas City, it is crucial that you have a strong Houston DWI lawyer on your side. To set up a confidential consultation with a top defense lawyer, call today for your free consultation!
An Overview of DWI Laws in Texas: Know the Basics
Charged with a DWI in Texas City? It is crucial that you understand the basic elements of the charge. Intoxicated driving charges are state-based crimes and will require a criminal case. In Galveston County, these cases fall under Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.01. Here are two key things to understand about the Texas DWI laws:
- Intoxication: The prosecuting DWI attorney must prove that a defendant is intoxicated. For most drivers in Texas, intoxication is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. That being said, a driver in Texas City could also be charged with a DWI if they lack “the normal use of mental or physical faculties” due to alcohol or drugs.
- Operation of Motor Vehicle: Beyond intoxication, prosecutors in a DWI case in Galveston County must also prove that a defendant was in operation of a motor vehicle at the time of their arrest. Notably, the term “motor vehicle” is defined more broadly than many people realize. It includes things like motorcycles, ATVs, and even golf carts.
We Defend All Types of Intoxicated Driving Charges in Texas City
As a baseline criminal offense, a DWI in Texas City is a Class B misdemeanor criminal charge. That being said, a motorist could face more serious criminal charges if certain “aggravating factors” are present. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we are more than ready to protect your rights, freedom, and future—no matter where you find yourself. Along with other types of intoxicated driving charges in Texas, we have the skills and experience to take on:
- Underage Drinking and Driving (Underage DUI)
- Commercial Driver DWI (CDL DWI);
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID);
- Third-time DWI;
- DWI With a Child in Car;
- Intoxication Assault (DWI causing injury); and
- Intoxication Manslaughter (DWI causing fatality).
No matter the level of criminal offense, our specialized criminal defense lawyers are at the ready to help you! With many years of experience, Tad Nelson, a criminal law specialist, knows all the ins and outs of the law to help you with any of your criminal defense cases! Call the best, Call Tad Law!
Understanding the Penalties for a DWI in and Around Houston, TX
Were you or your loved one arrested and charged with a DWI in Texas City? It is crucial that you take a proactive approach. These cases can carry serious criminal consequences. As explained by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the penalties for drunk driving or drugged driving depend, in large part, on a driver’s prior history of DWI convictions or lack thereof. Here is an overview of the potential penalties for a DWI conviction in Texas City:
- First-Time DWI Offense: A maximum fine of $2,000, up to 180 days in jail (72 hours mandatory), and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year.
- Second-Time DWI Offense: A maximum fine of $4,000, between 30 days and 365 days in jail, and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years.
- Third-Time DWI Offense: A maximum fine of $10,000, between 2 years and 10 years in state prison, and the suspension of your driver’s license for up to two years.
Notably, a driver in Texas City who is convicted of a DWI could also face other financial penalties as well. The Texas Driver Responsibility Program allows state authorities to impose a DWI surcharge. If you have any questions about DWI penalties in Texas City, our Houston DWI attorney can help.
What to Know About Breathalyzers and Field Sobriety Tests in Texas Criminal Cases
Following an intoxicated driving stop in Texas City, you may be asked by police to perform a field sobriety test, a blood or breath test. It is imperative that you understand your rights and duties regarding these types of tests in the state. Here are the key things to understand:
- Chemical Tests (Implied Consent): Texas has implied consent law for post-arrest chemical DWI tests. By obtaining a driver’s license or operating a vehicle, you automatically consent to chemical tests like breathalyzers and blood tests. You can face automatic penalties if you refuse to take these types of tests. Your driver’s license could be suspended at the administrative level for a DWI refusal—and you could still face a drunk driving charge.
- Field Sobriety Tests (No Implied Consent): Unlike chemical tests, there is no implied consent for field sobriety tests. These physical tests— the walk-and-turn, one-leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus—are not especially reliable. You have the right to refuse them without any automatic consequences. Still, refusing a field sobriety test does not protect a person against being arrested or charged with a DWI.
Save Your License: A Comprehensive Guide to What Happens After a DWI Charge in Texas
At its core, an arrest for any type of criminal charge in an allegation. That you were arrested for a DWI in Texas City does not mean that you are guilty of a DWI. It is the prosecution that has the burden of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt. That being said, in Texas, a motorist can start to feel the consequences of a DWI arrest before they ever get a chance at a day in court. The reason is that our state has a comprehensive administrative license suspension process for DWIs.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) explains that a driver will face the automatic administrative suspension of their driver’s license if they are arrested for drunk driving or drugged driving. In Texas, administrative suspension is a process separate from criminal court proceedings. In other words, your license could be suspended by Texas authorities at the administrative level before you ever get a chance to raise your legal defense.
There is good news: You can take proactive measures to fight back against an administrative license suspension. In Texas, a driver will generally receive a notice of suspension at the time of your arrest or stop. From the date of this notice, that driver will then have 15 days to request a hearing to contest the suspension. While you are waiting for the hearing, the administrative suspension will be set aside. Our Texas City DWI defense lawyers are ready to fight to protect your rights to drive.
Depending on the specific circumstances, the DWI charges may be dropped outright before any administrative license suspension hearing ever takes place. You may never lose your ability to drive. In other cases, the best approach may be to apply to get a limited purpose driver’s license during the administrative suspension process that protects your ability to drive for work reasons, school reasons, and/or family obligations. Our Texas City DWI defense attorneys will help you determine the best available option for your case.
How to Defend a DWI Charge in Texas City
An arrest is not the same thing as a criminal conviction. You have every right to defend yourself in court. Remember, the burden of proof always rests on the shoulders of the state. Prosecutors must prove every element of the charge(s) beyond a reasonable doubt. Depending on the specific situation, some strategies that may be used to defend DWI charges in Texas City include:
- Illegal Stop (No Reasonable Suspicion): One of the primary grounds for challenging a DWI charge in Texas City is asserting that the initial traffic stop was illegal. For police officers to make a stop, they must have reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime or a traffic violation. If the officer did not have a valid reason to stop you, any evidence collected during that stop—including things like field sobriety tests and verbal statements—may be deemed inadmissible in court. For example, if you were pulled over simply because you were driving late at night and not due to any visible violation or suspicious behavior, it might be argued that the stop was baseless.
- Challenging a Breath Test/Blood Test: Breath and blood tests are common tools used to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, they are not infallible. The equipment used might malfunction, the officer might not be properly trained to administer the test, or the samples could be mishandled or contaminated. In Texas City, you have the right to challenge the validity of these tests. A top-rated Texas City DWI defense attorney can help determine if protocols were followed correctly and if the results can be deemed reliable. If there are inconsistencies or procedural errors, the court might discard the results.
- Lack of Sufficient Evidence: Prosecutors need to provide sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were intoxicated while driving. However, there might be instances where the evidence is not solid. For example, merely having bloodshot eyes or a flushed face does not necessarily indicate intoxication. Moreover, behaviors like weaving in your lane or fumbling for your license might be attributable to reasons other than intoxication, like fatigue or nervousness. It is crucial to examine all pieces of evidence and possibly challenge their relevance or validity.
- Considering Options for a Plea Agreement: An aggressive defense strategy is certainly not the right approach in every DWI case in Texas City. In some cases, it might be in your best interest to consider a plea agreement. This is where you, with the guidance of your attorney, negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduced charge or lesser penalties. For first-time offenders or in situations where the evidence is not overwhelmingly against you, a plea deal might lead to probation, community service, or mandatory alcohol education programs instead of jail time. An experienced Texas City defense lawyer can review your DWI case and help you assess all of the available options.
DWI Charges in Texas City: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will I Go to Jail If I Am Charged With a DWI in Texas City?
All DWI charges in Texas carry the risk of jail time. If you will be sentenced to time behind bars—and for how long depends on a wide range of case-specific factors. Factors that you should discuss with your Texas DWI defense lawyer include your history of prior offenses, your alleged intoxication at the time of arrest, and any other aggravating factors that may have been present. In Texas, jail time for a first-time DWI offense can range from 3 days to 180 days. Second/third time DWI charges carry the risk of an even more lengthy prison sentence.
What Happens If I Refuse to Take a Breath Test at a DWI Stop in Texas?
You can lose your license. In Texas, refusing a breath test during a DWI stop can lead to immediate consequences under the state’s “implied consent” law. Here is the most important point to understand about the law: By driving in Texas, you have agreed to submit to breath or blood tests if suspected of drunk driving or drugged driving. Refusing the test can result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for up to 180 days for a first offense. To be clear, you could still be arrested for a DWI even without a failed breath test.
Can You Be Charged With a DWI for Drugs in Texas?
Yes. In Texas, you can be charged with a DWI for operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs. The statute applies to illegal drugs and to prescription medications that impair your ability to drive safely. Law enforcement officers assess impairment through field sobriety tests and may request blood tests for drug detection. A DWI charge for drug impairment is treated seriously in Texas and carries penalties similar to alcohol-related DWI charges. That being said, these are more complicated cases. Officers are more likely to make errors in drugged driving cases. Arrested for alleged drugged driving? Contact our Texas City DWI defense lawyer for immediate help
Can You Be Charged With a DWI for Prescription Drugs in Texas?
Yes. In Texas, driving while impaired by prescription drugs can lead to a DWI charge. Even if you’re taking medication legally prescribed by a healthcare provider, if it impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle in a safe manner. Prescription drug-related DWI cases can be complex—and they often involve disputes about the drug’s alleged impairment effects. Facing a charge for a prescription drug-related DWI offense? Contact our Texas City DWI defense attorneys for a strictly confidential, no obligation initial consultation.
Are there Any Special Options for First-Time DWI Offenders in Texas City?
First-time DWI offenders in Texas City may have access to special options, such as diversion programs or probation. These programs are designed to provide education and rehabilitation instead of jail time. For instance, a first offender might be eligible for probation, which often includes conditions like attending DWI education classes, community service, and regular check-ins with a probation officer. The availability and eligibility for these programs can vary based on a number of different situation-specific factors. No matter what you find yourself dealing with, our Texas City DWI defense lawyers are ready to help you work towards the best solution.
Should I Hire an Attorney for My Texas City DWI Case?
Yes. There is a lot on the line when you are facing a DWI charge. Whether it is your first ever arrest or you have a prior history of offenses, you need a top-tier attorney on your side as early in the criminal justice process as possible. An attorney can help in evaluating the evidence, negotiating plea deals, or representing you in court. They can also advise on potential defenses, the implications of any plea, and the possibility of reducing charges or penalties. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we are a DWI defense firm that fights aggressively to protect clients in Texas City.
Why Trust Our Texas City Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys
A DWI charge is stressful. If you were stopped and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving or drugged driving in Texas City, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect your rights. Your license and even your freedom could be at stake. Texas DWI defense lawyers Tad A. Nelson and Amber R. Spurlock both stand ready to review your case and determine the best course of action. Founded by a former State Prosecutor, our firm brings unique insight. When you contact our team, you will have an opportunity to consult with a Texas City DWI defense attorney who can:
- Hear your story and answer questions about the criminal justice system;
- Carefully review your DWI charges, explaining what comes next;
- Investigate the arrest and the charges—gathering evidence; and
- Develop a personalized defense strategy focused on securing you the best outcome.
What Sets Us Apart From Other DWI Defense Law Firms that Serve Texas City?
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about DWI charges. While facing one can feel like your world is coming crashing down, you can rest-assured knowing that our law firm has been there many times before. We stand out from the competition in the field of DWI defense in Texas. Not only does our criminal defense team have a strong commitment to our clients, we also bring truly unique qualifications and expertise to the table in these cases. With a combination of legal expertise, scientific acumen, and real world courtroom experience, we are able to offer guidance and support that goes beyond that of the other DWI defense law firms in Texas City. Here are the key aspects that distinguish the Texas City DWI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates:
- ACS/CHAL Forensic Lawyer: We take pride in having an attorney who is an ACS/CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist. It is a very rare distinction awarded by the American Chemical Society’s Chemistry and the Law Division. The certification means our team possesses an advanced understanding of the science behind chemical tests used in DWI cases. Our in-depth knowledge of forensic science allows us to scrutinize the evidence against our clients with exceptional precision, often uncovering critical errors or misinterpretations that can significantly impact the outcome of a case.
- Certified SFST Instructor: Another key and unique feature of our criminal defense lawyer firm is that we have a Texas City DWI defense lawyer who is a Certified Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) Instructor. This certification equips us with a comprehensive understanding of the procedures and potential flaws in field sobriety tests administered during DWI stops. Our ability to critically analyze these tests often reveals procedural mistakes or subjective judgments by officers—thereby providing the highest level of support for our clients. If an alleged failed field sobriety test is an issue in your case, you need to contact our Texas City DWI defense lawyers as soon as possible.
- Chromatograph Training: Our team includes professionals with specialized training in chromatography. Broadly explained, chromatography is a technique used for blood alcohol testing. Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) matters. It is a key piece of evidence for the prosecution in many DWI cases in Texas. Issues over alleged BAC levels can be the difference between charges being thrown out and a conviction. Our expertise enables us to rigorously evaluate the accuracy and validity of blood test results presented in DWI cases. We understand the nuances of this technology.
- Masters in Forensic Science: Criminal defense is changing. Technology has transformed how cases are handled. Forensic matters. Our unique educational background means that we have a Texas City DWI defense lawyer who holds a Masters in Forensic Science. This advanced degree signifies a deeper understanding of the scientific principles and methodologies applied in criminal investigations. It enhances our ability to dissect complex forensic evidence and present robust, scientifically grounded defenses for our clients.
- Founded By a Former Prosecutor: Finally, our firm’s founder, Tad A. Nelson is a former prosecutor. We have been on the other side and we know exactly how the prosecution thinks about DWI cases. It is unique experience that provides us with valuable insights into what needs to be done to protect the best interests of our clients. By knowing how prosecutors think, what their motives are, and how they handle cases, we are able to secure better results in DWI cases in Texas City.
The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates has Proven, Verifiable Results in DWI Cases
Facing a DWI charge in Texas City, Galveston County, or elsewhere in Southeast Texas? You do not want to trust your case to an amateur. Your right to drive, your freedom, and even your future could be at stake. During such stressful times, you need a legal advocate who has been there before. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we are a law firm that puts clients first. With over thirty years of successful courtroom experience in Texas, our attorneys have handled more than 325 trials. We have the proven, verifiable results that you can count on when it matters most.
Hear What Our Clients Have to Say: Why People Count On Our Defense Team
“I would recommend this guy to anyone in trouble. He did everything that he was going to do and more.”
“Mr. Nelson delivered on every promise and was very sympathetic to all my questions and concerns. My case was dismissed and it’s like it never happened. If you want a serious, experienced, sympathetic, and a straight-shooting attorney…Mr. Nelson is your man.”
“I can’t thank you and Amber enough for seeing that my case was dismissed. I was told “you should see him in court”. Having the opportunity to do so was a memory that I will never forget.”
“I would highly recommend Tad to ANYONE in need of a great attorney….It was the best money that I have ever spent in my life”
We Provide Cost-Effective Criminal Defense Representation in DWI Cases in Texas City
A DWI arrest can cost you. Even if you are innocent, it is entirely reasonable to be worried about the costs. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we appreciate the challenges that our clients are facing. Our Texas City DWI lawyers are committed to providing cost-conscious, reliable criminal defense representation. It should not break the bank to defend a drunk driving charge or a drugged driving charge in Texas City. You deserve top-tier, fully personalized representation from an experienced Texas City DWI defense attorney who you can afford.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation With Our Texas City DWI Defense Lawyer
At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Texas City criminal defense attorney has the professional knowledge to take on all types of DWI charges. Were you arrested for impaired driving? We can help. Call us (409) 765-5614 or send us a message online to arrange your confidential initial appointment. No matter the situation, our legal team is here to help you determine the right path forward. We defend DWI charges in Texas City, Galveston County, and across the wider region.
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.