Austin DWI Lawyer


Wondering why you need an Austin DWI lawyer? Simply giving up and taking a plea bargain to a DWI conviction results in costly and painful consequences later on:

  1. A first offense is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, up to a $2000 fine, or both. Keep in mind that final convictions NEVER go away.
  2. An arrest for DWI triggers a driver’s license suspension from the DPS, called an Administrative License Revocation (ALR). A first offense with a breath test of .08 or over results in a 90-day suspension, whereas a breath test refusal warrants a suspension of 180 days.
  3. If you are convicted, your insurance will find out, and you will be paying through the nose as a high-risk driver, or worse yet, dropped.
  4. In addition to the ALR suspension, if you are convicted, the DPS will issue you a surcharge for the privilege of keeping your license. It lasts for 3 years, and begins at $1000/year for a first offense if you submitted a breath sample. If you refused, or are a repeat offender, you can expect to pay $1500/year. Even worse, if you gave a breath or blood sample that was .16 or over (twice the legal limit), you will be charged $2000/year.


How to Fight Your DWI

The most important aspect of any criminal case, DWI and DUI charges included, is to realize that just because you were arrested does not mean that you are guilty of a criminal charge.  This is the time to contact an Austin DWI Lawyer to minimize the damage, and protect your reputation and license. There is one set of rules for a DWI arrest at the roadside, and another set of rules in court to determine guilt or innocence of the DWI charge in court. It can make all the difference:

  • An officer needs only PROBABLE CAUSE to arrest you for a DWI.
  • A jury must be convinced BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT that you are guilty in order to convict you. Furthermore, they must agree UNANIMOUSLY.

It’s easy to see that there is a huge difference between the two standards, which leaves a lot of room for discussion at trial.  Every person who is arrested brings a unique set of characteristics to the table, many of which may make them appear less coordinated or able to communicate than others.  An Austin DWI lawyer at Tillman Braniff will review all the circumstances around your DWI arrest, and ensure that you are treated as an individual, not just another suspect.

From the moment the police cruiser’s lights come on, the camera is on YOU. If your appearance is reasonable, the video of the stop can be the best evidence on your behalf. Many cases rest largely on how the suspect looks on videotape, answering questions and performing field sobriety tests. The best policy is to identify yourself, and then politely refuse to answer questions or submit to any tests or searches until you can speak to your lawyer. You may be taken to jail, but there will be little on video that can be used to convict you.


Non-Legal Consequences of a Drunk Driving Conviction

If you have already been arrested for DWI, please call our office to speak with an Austin DWI Lawyer, Brian Tillman or Rhett Braniff. Also contact us if you have a friend or loved one in jail and need an Austin jail release. There are many ways to fight DWI charges, and we will be happy to schedule a free consultation to review your case.  A DWI conviction can mean loss of a job or future jobs, higher car insurance, DPS license surcharges, and most importantly, a conviction that never goes away.


The Process of Beating a DWI Charge

The state of Texas is serious when it comes to enforcing laws related to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. The punishments are severe, and it is far more advisable to hire an Austin DWI lawyer than to go through the court system on your own. There are certain things that you should always remember when dealing with the criminal justice system, and one of the most important of these is that the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor.

What this means in the case of a DWI, is that the prosecutor has to prove that you were driving while under the influence or that your blood alcohol level was above the legal limit. The breathalyzer tests are notoriously unreliable, and the arresting officer is going to have to show up to testify about any sobriety tests that were issued. All of these can work in your favor, if you have the right criminal defense attorney who can challenge the evidence and make sure that unfavorable results are mitigated or, if possible, excluded from the case altogether.

All of this works towards getting you a favorable plea agreement or a not guilty verdict, even if your DWI arrest involved marijuana or prescription drugs rather than alcohol. Finally, you have the right to a trial by jury, your ultimate defense with the right criminal defense lawyer in your corner.


An Austin DWI Lawyer Can Examine Any Police Footage

Today almost all police cruisers are equipped with video cameras to record everything that happens at the roadside. In addition, more and more police forces are adding body cameras to their officers while on duty. This may seem to work against you, but can actually be very helpful. An officer can write or disregard anything in his offense report, and video allows us to see and hear things that may have been neglected or left out.

How you conduct yourself during the stop can make a large impact on how your criminal defense attorney handles your case. In every arrest situation, being respectful and cooperative with the police is always a good idea.


It Is Important to Fight DWI Charges

In the state of Texas, a DWI conviction (or other conviction) never goes away. What’s more, DWI convictions have a compounding effect with regard to future sentences and punishments if you ever get charged again. For example, if you have a conviction for driving while intoxicated and are arrested for DWI again, the maximum potential fine and jail time double. With two prior DWI convictions, the third charge becomes a felony. When you are fighting your first DWI, nobody expects to be arrested for the same thing again in the future.

However, because of the potential future charge and sentence enhancements, it is better to have an Austin DWI lawyer who can help you beat your first offense rather than being in jeopardy of on an enhanced second or third offense later.


Speak with an Austin DWI Lawyer Today

Don’t leave your future freedom and wellbeing to chance. Get the defense you need to beat your charges of have them reduced. Contact Tillman Braniff, PLLC to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Austin DWI lawyer. To get started, give us a call at 512-236-0505 or contact us online through the form below.