San Antonio DWI Lawyer
Drunk driving defense is a very specialized area that requires an expert, not just a general criminal practitioner. The Law Offices of Kevin L. Collins feature the services of DWI attorney Kevin L. Collins. Mr. Collins, a San Antonio DWI lawyer, is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has handled hundreds of DWI cases in Texas, including many successful jury trials.
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) will be treated by Texas Courts as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the circumstances of the DWI case and the prior record of the citizen accused.
Drunk driving or DWI, when a first offense in Texas, is a Class B misdemeanor. The Texas Penal Code reads that "A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place."
Jury trials are guaranteed by the Texas Constitution in Texas DWI trials. DWI convictions are obtainable only if the prosecution can convince all jurors that the Defendant is guilty of driving under the influence beyond a reasonable doubt.
The elements that must be proven are the following:
The Defendant, on or about a particular date, was:
- Operating a motor vehicle
- In a public place (street, highway, parking lot, beach, etc.)
- Intoxicated (either or both alcohol and drugs)
- In a particular county
The Texas DWI Law then defines the term intoxication in two ways:
- Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of these substances, or any other substance into the body; or
- Having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Types of DWI/DUI Cases
As an expert DWI defense attorney, Kevin Collins has had success with such case types as:
- Intoxicated Manslaughter
- Intoxicated Assault
- Texas Open Container Violations
- Teenage Drunk Driving
- Ignition Interlock Violations
Punishment Classification and Ranges
Most persons convicted of a DWI first offense are granted probation. The general length of DWI probation is two years. There are many conditions of DWI probation including Drug/Alcohol Evaluations, Alcohol Education Course, and attendance at a MADD victim impact panel. Additional conditions of probation may be ordered if the case presents unusual facts such as an accident, an extremely high breath alcohol content, or a bad driving record. These conditions include jail time and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Enhanced penalties apply if it is shown that a person has been previously convicted of DWI. The offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor, DWI-2nd, and the penalties increase accordingly, including potentially one year in county jail. Third and subsequent offenses are felonies, and carry up to a possible 10 years imprisonment.
Texas DWI and Administrative License Suspension
A DWI arrest in Texas creates two cases — the criminal charge and also a civil proceeding against the motorist's driving privileges. This is called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR).
An ALR proceeding is initiated against a driver arrested for DWI or DUI when he or she refuses to submit to blood or Breathalyzer® testing, or fails a blood or Breathalyzer test.
These proceedings are automatic, and will result in a period of license suspension on the 41st day after the arrest unless a hearing is requested within 15 days of the arrest! Failure to make a timely request will result in a suspension of at least 90 days, and often longer, based on past alcohol and/or drug contacts against the accused driver, and whether the suspension is based on a refusal or a failure.
Mr. Collins, a San Antonio DWI lawyer, requests these hearings for his DWI and DUI clients, and often times can prevail and prevent license suspension. The ALR hearing is also an excellent way to obtain discovery, including police reports and cross-examination of the arresting officer. These evidentiary findings can later play a significant role in defending the criminal DWI case.
Contact Kevin L. Collins, P.C. in San Antonio, TX
Contact Kevin Collins when you need a DWI attorney.