Matt Bingham Law, PLLC

Whether a felony or a misdemeanor case, driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases are aggressively prosecuted in counties across Texas. It is a very stressful event just to be arrested for DWI, as you try to navigate the legal process of being charged with a crime. You don’t have to do it alone. You need to immediately hire the most experienced lawyer you can find to represent you. It is important that you find a lawyer you are comfortable with. A lawyer who can explain the law, how this case will progress through the criminal system, and who will take the time to review the evidence and law applicable to your case with you, while working to get you the best result possible in your case.

If defended correctly, DWI cases are very complex. You have 4th Amendment Constitutional issues surrounding the stop and search, scientific issues surrounding the taking and testing of a blood or breath sample, as well as the law dealing specifically with DWI protocol such as Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requirements.

Whether the DWI is a felony or a misdemeanor, Matt Bingham, a Longview DWI lawyer, will thoroughly investigate the facts and evidence in your case and work hard to get the best resolution possible.

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Texas DWI Charges

While there are many great lawyers in the east Texas area, some are much more experienced in handling intoxicated related cases. Whoever you hire to represent you, make sure you ask questions about their experience handling these types of cases. Experience does matter.

A Driving While Intoxicated conviction can cost thousands of dollars in fines and fees, but can also result in jail (misdemeanor) or prison (felony) sentences and consequences like:

How a DWI is charged and the range of punishment in any given case will vary depending on several factors, including:

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Our DWI Attorney in Longview, TX

The following are areas that lawyers handling DWI cases should carefully examine in every case:

It is important to hire the most experienced DWI attorney in Longview, TX that you can afford. You need a lawyer who understands the complexities of DWI cases and who will carefully examine all of the evidence to get you the best result possible.

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Is a DWI a Misdemeanor?

In Texas, if you do not have a prior DWI conviction or deferred probation and the BAC is under .15, it is a Class B Misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.00. If you consent to a breath or blood test, or the officer gets a warrant for your breath or blood, and the results show a BAC of .15 or greater, then the DWI can be filed as a Class A misdemeanor, even if it is your first DWI arrest.

A second DWI in Texas, or a first DWI with a BAC of 0.15 or greater, is a Class A Misdemeanor. Punishment is up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $4,000.00.

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Can I get Deferred Adjudication Probation?

As of September 1st, 2019, if you are arrested for DWI, it is your first DWI arrest, and you have a BAC less than .15, you may be eligible for Deferred Adjudication probation. If you receive and complete a deferred adjudication probation, you will not have a conviction on your record. Additionally, you may qualify to have an Order of Non-Disclosure entered in your case upon completion of the deferred probation. However, even if you complete the Deferred Adjudication probation, it could still be used to enhance another DWI case if you are arrested in the future.

If you are arrested for DWI, contact our DWI lawyer in Longview and let us get to work on your case.

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Many times, people arrested do not contact a DWI attorney early enough to request an ALR hearing, and as a result, their license is suspended.

You can request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing. This must be completed within 15 days of being arrested for DWI. If you do not request an ALR Hearing within this time, your license will automatically be suspended.

An ALR hearing is a civil proceeding that is separate and apart from the DWI case. The resolution in in the ALR hearing does not necessarily affect the outcome of the DWI, and vice versa.

However, at the ALR hearing the officer who stopped you can be subpoenaed to give testimony under oath. This is an outstanding opportunity for the defense lawyer to develop and secure testimony from the officer that may benefit you in the DWI case.

The hearing is conducted in front of a State ALR Judge. The lawyer for the Department of Public Safety (DPS) must establish, by a preponderance of the evidence, the elements as set out in section 524.035 of the Texas Transportation Code in order for your license to be suspended.

If you are arrested for DWI in Longview, contact an experienced lawyer immediately to protect your rights and challenge the suspension of your license. Your DWI lawyer can attend the ALR hearing and cross-examine the arresting officer under oath, which can be beneficial at your trial and even result in the dismissal or declination of your case by the Gregg County DA's Office.

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Is DWI a felony in Texas? Maybe. When does a DWI become a felony?

A DWI becomes a felony when a person already has two prior DWI convictions, which can also include a prior deferred adjudication probation on a misdemeanor DWI. It does not matter how long ago the previous convictions occurred.

A third DWI conviction is a third-degree felony punishable by not less than 2 or more than 10 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000.00.

Adjudicated probation is an option if you have not previously been convicted of a felony in this State or any other State.

As with a second DWI, if your case is tried before a jury, the jury will be told that you have been convicted of DWI before, in the guilt-innocence stage of your trial. This is because previous DWI’s are jurisdictional elements of the case, and the prosecutor is required to prove them in order to establish jurisdiction.

The prosecutor will still have to prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt that you are the same person who was previously convicted, but a jury merely hearing that information can be very prejudicial to a defendant's presumption of innocence. The jury could incorrectly assume, "They did it once; they probably did it this time, too." An experienced lawyer will address this issue in jury selection, in order to select the most unbiased and fair jurors possible on your case. Your lawyer will look to select jurors who agree that they will consider the evidence in this case only, and not consider the jurisdictional allegations as evidence of guilt.

The only exception is if you were convicted of DWI before January 1, 1984, and received and completed a probated sentence.

If a defendant does receive a probated sentence, they will be required to serve a 10-day jail sentence as a condition of that probation.

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The punishment for intoxicated assault is not less than 2, nor more than 10, years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00. Intoxicated assault occurs when an accident occurs, and someone suffers serious bodily injury due to another person operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

When prosecutors allege that the vehicle driven by the intoxicated person was used as a "deadly weapon," the defendant would have to serve one-half of the prison sentence assessed before they were eligible for parole.

If you get a probated sentence, you will serve a minimum of 30 days in jail as a condition of probation.

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DWI with a child passenger occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated and a passenger is under the age of 15.

As a condition of the bond, the Gregg County Court may require the installation of an ignition interlock device on any car you operate. The Court can also require random drug and alcohol testing while on bond and awaiting trial of the case.

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When you have been arrested for DWI in Longview, TX, contact an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible.

Call the Law Firm of D. Matt Bingham 24/7 at 903-565-2084.

Address: 2203 Oak Alley, Tyler, Texas 75703
Phone: (903) 565-2084
Fax: (903) 600-6818
Hours: Monday - Friday 8AM - 5PM

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