DON'T LET A DRUG CHARGE RUIN YOUR FUTURE!
Drug Charge Defense
Austin DWI Lawyer
Reduce your chance of severe punishment by working with an aggressive Austin drunk driving attorney from Tillman Braniff, PLLC.
Many people wrongly assume that, because they have been arrested for a DWI, they’re automatically guilty. There are many ways to defend against a drunk driving conviction, and it’s in your best interest to do so. Driving while intoxicated is a serious conviction, and having a crime like that on your record can impact you for life.
You may automatically lose your drivers license for several months or years, often leading to job loss, as well. You may spend some time in jail, and future job prospects will be in jeopardy, even if the charge is just a misdemeanor. You’ll pay hefty fines, and your DWI could ruin housing, job, and loan applications many years into the future.
You should fight with everything you’ve got because the legal penalties and the lifelong consequences of a DWI conviction are severe. Hire an Austin DWI lawyer who understands the importance of a clean record and will fight alongside you to get your drunk driving case dismissed.
Understanding Texas DWI Laws
In Texas, if you are driving drunk, the technical term is driving while intoxicated. Usually, for adults, this means that you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .08. Although there is a “limit,” you can still be charged with a DWI even if you don’t meet that threshold. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
The reason the law allows for you to be charged with drunk driving even under the legal limit is different people handle alcohol differently. For example, you may have had only one alcoholic beverage and were under the legal limit, but because of the way alcohol affects your body, you were impaired. You may be a danger to others on the road.
So how can you avoid a DWI if you can still be charged when you don’t even meet the legal limit? The best way is to never drive after consuming any alcohol at all. If you’ve been charged with driving while intoxicated in Austin, you can avoid a conviction by fighting the charge. You don’t have to automatically admit guilt or give up.
Penalties for Texas DWIs
The legal penalties for Austin DWIs will depend heavily on your particular case. There are many circumstances that can take a first-time misdemeanor DWI and shoot it up to the felony level, such as driving drunk with a child in the vehicle. The below list is a general idea of the penalties you could be facing if you’re convicted:
- First-Offense Texas DWI (Misdemeanor) – Up to six months in jail, up to one year with a suspended drivers license, fines up to $2,000, and additional fines and surcharges in order to keep your driver's license
- Second-Offense Texas DWI (Misdemeanor) – Up to one year in jail, up to two years with a suspended drivers license, fines up to $4,000, and additional fines and surcharges in order to keep your driver's license
- Third-Offense Texas DWI (Felony) – Between two and ten years in prison, more than two years of drivers license suspension, up to 10,000 in fines, community service, and possible rehabilitation program
Keep in mind that there are many ways in which penalties can be increased, such as injuring someone with your vehicle while intoxicated (intoxication assault).
Other Impacts an Austin DWI Conviction Can Have
For a minor misdemeanor DWI—perhaps a first offense—the penalties may not seem all that severe. Maybe you don’t drive much and don’t mind your license being suspended for a few months, or maybe the fine is no big deal for you.
Be aware that it’s really the long-term consequences that could turn what seems like just a nuisance DWI conviction into a nightmare that never ends. Down the road, your criminal record could influence what kind of job you get, what kind of neighborhood you can live in, and what loans and government programs you qualify for.
Suddenly, that pesky Austin DWI charge has morphed into a monstrosity intent on destroying your life. That’s why it’s so important to fight against a conviction. Fighting the conviction with a lawyer’s help will often lead to the prosecution reducing the charges. Reduced charges will have less severe impacts on your life.
Defenses Against an Austin DWI Charge
Even when you’ve been pulled over, been given a sobriety test, and submitted to a blood or breath test, that still doesn’t make you guilty of a DWI. What makes you guilty is that you either pleaded guilty to an offense or the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law that you were driving while intoxicated.
For your offense to become a conviction, a jury of twelve people must be completely convinced that you were driving drunk and must find you guilty. There are many ways to put reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury. One of those ways is demonstrating that sobriety tests aren’t foolproof.
The following are some of the defenses your attorney can use to fight a conviction:
- Sobriety Test Issues – There are many ways to challenge sobriety tests. Perhaps you were doing the walk-and-turn test, but you’re naturally clumsy, which led to you tripping.
- You Weren’t Properly Mirandized – Officers must follow the legal procedures in order for your arrest to be valid.
- No Cause to Pull You Over – Police officers must have a valid reason for pulling you over, or the traffic stop could be deemed illegal.
- You Weren’t Drunk – Maybe you weren’t drinking at all, but you might have been taking a legal prescription medication.
Austin DWI FAQ
Your questions can be answered at any time when you call our office, but we have listed a few frequently asked questions below for your convenience.
Can minors be charged with a DWI?
Yes, but it’s referred to as a DUI for minors. For drunk driving charge purposes, minors in Texas are those twenty-one years old and younger. They aren’t legally allowed to drive with any alcohol in their systems.
What happens if I refuse a chemical test?
Drivers in Texas must give implied consent in order to operate a vehicle. Although it’s your right to refuse a chemical test, the officer can still apply for a warrant to obtain a sample, and you could still be prosecuted for a DWI. Additionally, a refusal can result in an automatic administrative license suspension.
Will I have an ignition interlock device?
That is up to the judge who decides your case, but many who are convicted or plead guilty to DWIs in Austin must have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicles.
Call an Austin DWI Attorney
Drunk driving convictions can have a long-lasting impact on your life. The only way to avoid those negative effects is to avoid being convicted altogether. Your best chance of having your case dismissed or your charges dropped or reduced is to work with an attorney who has experience defending against DWI convictions.
Contact an Austin DWI lawyer at Tillman Braniff, PLLC so we can start building your defense right away. We will discuss your case with you and answer all your questions as we proceed. To schedule a free consultation, complete the form below or give us a call at 512-236-0505.
Austin Drug Charge Lawyer
Drug charges are a very serious offense in the state of Texas. When you are facing drug charges, regardless of the magnitude of the crime or the amount of drugs for which you are being charged, you should interview and hire an Austin drug charge lawyer immediately. The state and federal government prosecute drug charges aggressively, and defendants run the risk of lengthy jail sentences. Having a large quantity of drugs, or digital scales, cash, or guns can lead to the conclusion you are more than just a user, and result in higher level charges. It is important to remember that possessing ANY amount of some recreational drugs is a felony (such as lsd, cocaine, mushrooms, molly, and meth). If you are contacted by an investigator, you should call us immediately.
Your Austin Drug Charge Lawyer Works Hard to Protect You From Jail Time
Selling any amount of drugs in Texas is a serious crime and is prosecuted aggressively with the risk of jail time. First degree felony charges have maximum senteces of up to 99 years. Having a drug charge attorney involved early in your case provides you with as much protection as possible. We can attempt to convince the state that you are redeemable through rehablitation, and work to get you accepted into felony Court Diversion or the SHORT program. There are many possible outcomes for any drug case- not two defendants are the same, and neither are any two sets of facts. Only an experienced drug charge attorney can represent your interests in front of the court, and steer you into your most favorable outcome alternative.
Prescription Drugs May Create the Need to Hire an Austin Drug Charge Lawyer
Did you know that it is not just hard drugs that can lead you to need a drug crime lawyer? While there is no doubt that if you are arrested with some kind of hard drugs in your possession, including heroin, crack, cocaine, and methamphetamines, you are going to face some serious charges; it is important to remember that you can also face drug charges for prescription drug procession. If you are arrested with a controlled substance, and do not have a legitimate prescription for them, you can face drug charges as well. These include possession of drugs like OxyContin, Xanax, and Adderall to name a few. Keep in mind that even short sentences for drug possession can include up to six months in prison. You should always try and keep your prescriptions current and available.
Texas is Not Lenient on Drug Crime
While public attitudes about drug possession for personal use are beginning to relax, this is not the case with Texas law enforcement. Marijuana laws are gradually changing across the country, but it is still a crime to possess, distribute, or sell marijuana in Texas, and they will not hesitate to prosecute you. If you are found to be in possession of large amounts or items that could warrant the belief that you are selling, enhanced charges are a certainty. State troopers and local law enforcement are constantly doing highway interdictions on the routes from Colorado and California into Texas, and can initiate civil forfeiture proceedings to take claim to your car, cash, and anything else that could be the result of drug proceeds. Border checkpoints and airports search and seize large quantities of drugs every year, with serious consequences. In any of these scenarios, you need the counsel of an experienced drug charge lawyer.
An Austin Drug Charge Lawyer Can Represent You in State or Federal Criminal Cases
In recent years, local and federal law enforcement agencies have increasingly worked together using drug task forces to search out and confiscate drugs. Any Texas county where you are arrested may prosecute you, and almost always will. As you may imagine, juries of local citizens can be none too friendly to transients moving drugs through their communities. In addition to these state charges, if your case involves large amounts of drugs, money, firearms, or trafficking, then the federal government may also decide to prosecute you as well. The state or federal government may also initiate civil forfeiture proceedings to try and take your property if they think it was obtained with the proceeds of drugs. At Tillman Braniff, we are prepared to work for you every step of the way.
State Drug Charges
Drug charges cover a wide spectrum, depending on the type of drug and the amount. Possession of any amount of certain drugs is a felony, including Cocaine, Crack, Ecstasy, LSD, Psilocybin mushrooms, Heroin and Methamphetamine. Penalties in Texas courts can range from a low of six months in jail for simple felony possession, up to 99 years for first degree felony charges for possession and/or distribution of large quantities of drugs. Other drugs are misdemeanors in small amounts, such as marijuana and some prescription drugs, but can be enhanced to felonies based on large amounts, sale, or distribution. Anyone faced with drug charges should hire an Austin drug crime lawyer to protect your rights and future as early in the process as you can. It can make a marked difference on the outcome of the case.
Federal Drug Charges
In addition to State drug charges, an accused drug offender may be charged with violation of Federal drug laws, and be prosecuted by both the State and Federal Government over the same incident. Generally speaking, the federal prosecutors are not interested in taking relatively small cases, wanting instead to target large scale drug cases and operations. The larger the bust, the more likely the Federal Government will be interested. If you have a Federal Drug Case, then you will need to consult an Austin drug charge lawyer who is admitted in Federal Court.
Some of the most common drug charges involve:
Call for Help with Your Case
We regularly assist clients charged with all level of drug charges. In every case, an Austin drug charge lawyer at Tillman Braniff will try to get the client back to the status he or she was before being arrested. We work to get drug charges dismissed or reduced, seek alternative resolutions like Drug Court (The SHORT program), diversion, and rehabilitation. Whenever possible, we seek to get resolutions that leave the possibility of expunction or non-disclosure available in the future.
Call Rhett Braniff or Brian Tillman to discuss your case, and see how we can help. You can set up a free consultation to meet with one of our Austin criminal attorneys in person and get an assessment of your case. Once you understand where you stand legally, you can then begin making the right decisions in how to address your drug charges. To get started, contact Tillman Braniff at (512) 236-0505 or contact us HERE.