Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is strictly prohibited everywhere in the United States. However, every state has different laws and regulations surrounding this offense. These cases can easily become complicated and often cause significant issues for the accused.
Though many people believe that DUI cases are always intentional, it is easy to be accused of drunk driving when you are innocent or misunderstood. This can lead to unfair charges, strict penalties, and other issues for you and your future. If you have experienced a DWI arrest and are waiting for a DWI charge, it is important to find legal help right away.
Our DUI lawyers in Richmond, TX are here to help you with your DUI or DWI charges.
For well over a decade, our team at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC has been fighting for those who are facing criminal charges. We know that many situations are not how they appear, and criminal defense cases are complicated. Our team is here to make sure your rights are protected, as well as to listen to your story and make sure your voice is heard. We are passionate about fair legal representation for the accused, which is why we provide such services to our community in Richmond.
It is our mission to make sure you feel heard and understood when you work with our DWI defense lawyers. You can trust us to be your fierce legal advocates throughout your case, but you can also trust us to provide honest, straightforward information for you and your family. We want you to feel empowered to make decisions that are right for you throughout your case.
If you are looking for a DUI or DWI lawyer in the Richmond area, look no further than the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC.
Driving under the influence, or a DUI, is a criminal offense in which a driver gains control over a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% or higher, they can be arrested on DUI charges and brought into custody. The same occurs if the driver is under the influence of any amount of drugs of any kind.
A police officer determines if a driver’s BAC is above the legal limit through the use of field sobriety and breathalyzer tests. These tests are some of the only evidence that is available in these cases.
If a driver is under the age of 21, the state has a zero-tolerance policy. This means a BAC of over 0.0% constitutes a DUI for those under the legal drinking age. Similarly, commercial drivers cannot have a BAC over .04%, which is half of the limit of standard drivers.
The consequences of a DUI are severe, even if it is your first offense. Most people found guilty of a DUI face fines, suspended license privileges, and incarceration. A first-time offense can result in felony charges if the conditions are right. These consequences can affect a person’s entire future. You may have difficulty getting a job, keeping custody of your children, finding housing, and more if you have a DUI on your record.
With so much on the line, it is important to make an effort to fight back if you receive a DUI charge. The most effective way to do this is with the help of an experienced DUI attorney. Because we understand the complicated world of DUI law, we can formulate an effective argument in your favor, something that requires precision and vast experience in the industry.
Do not let the legal system take advantage of you. Stand up for your rights and work to clear your charges with the help of a DUI lawyer.
The punishments you receive if you are convicted of a DUI are going to depend on your circumstances. The law considers your history, the severity of the offense, and the damages that you created when formulating a punishment. However, there are some standards that many judges follow when assigning consequences for a DUI.
The consequences for a first DUI are relatively light in most circumstances. First-time DUI offenders can expect jail time between three days and six months, though a judge may offer alternative sentencing options. If the driver’s BAC was .15% or higher, which would be almost twice the legal limit or higher, they may be sent to a county jail for a maximum of one year.
Texas has steep fines for DUI offenses. A first DUI results in a $3,000 fine, or $6,000, if the driver’s BAC was .15% or higher.
Finally, DUI offenders can expect a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year for a first-time DUI. During this time, you may be eligible for a restricted license or an “occupational license,” which allows you to drive to certain pre-approved locations such as school and work.
The punishments increase significantly for your second DUI offense. Second-time offenders can expect to spend between 30 days and one year in county jail. In some circumstances, a judge may allow alternative sentencing. However, this is not as common as it is with first-time offenders.
The fines for a second DUI total $4,500. A second offender’s license suspension will last between 180 days and two years.
A third-time DUI offender can expect between two days and ten years in state prison, as the case is a felony rather than a misdemeanor. Judges do not offer alternative sentencing for third-time offenders.
After a third DUI, you can expect to pay $10,000 in fines. Your license may be suspended for up to two years but no less than 180 days.
Misdemeanors are a “wobbler” offense — they may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Most DUI offenses are misdemeanors unless there are mitigating factors.
A DUI is considered a felony if:
If any of the above factors are true, you will likely face a felony charge, even if it is your first or second offense.
A: The cost of your legal representation depends on many unique factors, including the attorney’s experience level and the complexity of your case. Because of this, you should preview an attorney’s costs before you hire them. This way, you can maintain a budget and prepare for the costs associated with your case. If you find that you cannot afford your attorney while your case is progressing, it may jeopardize your case.
A: As U.S. law states, criminal defendants are entitled to legal representation. If you cannot afford your own private representation, a public defender will be assigned to your case. Though you technically could waive your right to an attorney, it is not wise to do so. If you waive your right to an attorney, it will be difficult to win your case, and you will likely face full charges. With an attorney, a plea bargain may be available.
A: DUI defenders can help you to maintain your innocence in court through evidence and argument. If your case is very straightforward, or if there is no evidence in your favor, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain. This agreement states that you will plead guilty to the charges in exchange for a lighter sentence. Plea bargains are a good last resort, and they likely would not be available to you if you did not have an attorney.
A: A DUI/DWI lawyer is a criminal defense attorney who represents those who have been accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). These lawyers aim to maintain their client’s innocence, and if they are unable to achieve this, they negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. As DUIs are criminal offenses, defendants have the right to a public defender if they cannot afford a private attorney.
Being accused of or arrested for a DUI does not mean that you are guilty. Do not sacrifice your rights because you believe you do not have a claim. Our team at the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC can help you to build a strong case in your favor.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact the Law Office of Joseph Ruiz, PLLC.