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College Station DWI lawyer Answers top DWI Questions on Video

College Station DWI lawyer Answers top DWI Questions on Video - Brian Foley Board Certified Criminal Defense Lawyer

Sure, here's the corrected version:

"Hey, I'm Brian Foley. We're going to be going over the top questions related to DWI cases in Brazos County or College Station. Brian, that area.

The first question we've got is: What are the potential penalties for driving while intoxicated in College Station in Brazos County, Texas?

Well, a DWI, if it's your first offense, the first time you've ever been arrested for something, that's going to be typically a Class B misdemeanor. That's 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine as the worst-case scenario. But a lot of times, the cases are settled either for a dismissal if there's a legal error in the case that was made, if you're not guilty, or just that they can't prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

If your blood alcohol or your breath shows a concentration greater than 0.15 at the time of the testing, then they could increase the charge from a Class B to a Class A misdemeanor. That's up to a year in jail, up to a $4,000 fine. Often times, we can get those cases reduced back to the Class B level or obviously avoiding jail time is a key priority for most of our clients and we can typically do that if it's your first offense.

If it's the third time you've been convicted or alleged to have been committing a DWI and you've got two prior convictions, they'd call that a DWI3. That's a felony offense. It's two to 10 years in prison and much more serious.

So, how does the legal process work for these types of charges?

Well, it's not like a traffic ticket. It's not like a driving with your license invalid kind of a case. It is a DWI, driving while intoxicated. The first part of the legal process is that you go to jail. You get arrested by a police officer. Sometimes people get in a wreck and they have to go to the hospital, so the police don't take them to the jail. What they'll do then is put a warrant out for your arrest later on. Sometimes they'll get the hospital and medical records and they'll look at the blood alcohol content from your medical records and try to put out a warrant for that. We call that a hospital blood case.

But typically, they're arresting an individual for DWI from the side of the road after doing tests. Then you'll go to the jail, you'll get a bond where you pay money to a bail bondsman or you provide a cash bond to the county clerk, and then they'll let you out of jail and give you a court date.

We go to that first court date, negotiate with prosecutors. If we can reach an agreement in the first few court settings, the case could be over in as little as four to six months. If it takes longer than that, it may take longer than that, or if the case goes to trial, it could take a year or sometimes even two years. Brazos County and College Station are very slow typically in comparison to some other surrounding counties, so DWI can take quite a while.

Will you lose your driver's license if you get convicted of driving while intoxicated?

The short answer is you could lose your license. There's a process where we can try to save your license called an ALR hearing. It's a hearing with the Department of Public Safety. The officer can be subpoenaed to come to that hearing and testify, and if they do not have sufficient evidence to prove the different elements that they have to prove for a driver's license revocation, then your license may not be revoked initially. Even if it is revoked or let's say we waive that hearing, the ALR hearing, we could get you what's called an occupational driver's license. It's a special driver's license that you can continue to use while you have an active suspension. It allows you to go to work, get groceries, go to church, things like that, the necessities, and that can keep you from having an expired license and keep you driving legally.

How might a conviction for these charges impact my future, such as employment opportunities or other licenses?

Well, if you are planning on having a career where you need a license from the state, like a lawyer, a doctor, a CPA, even a barber college license, those types of things can be affected by criminal background checks. Almost every large corporation will have some type of insurance policy on the work that you do, especially if you work in a safety-related organization. That can be very difficult. Teachers, nurses, everyone again with any kind of licensing, there's a criminal background check that normally occurs, and if you have a DWI on your record, you may not be the best candidate in the group if they believe that's a negative for you. So, getting the right representation, trying to get these cases off your record can be extremely important for job opportunities.

How long will the charges stay on your record if you're convicted?

If you are convicted, meaning you have a complete conviction, it was like a jail sentence or you paid a fine only, no probation, anything like that, a full final conviction for a DWI, there's a special loophole in the law that was written in a few years ago, and it says that if it's your first conviction, you have no subsequent convictions, you could get your case non-disclosed even if you had a conviction, even if you took probation on a conviction, or even if you went to jail. If it's your first DWI and there was no blood test over 0.15 and nobody else was involved in the wreck, you're probably going to be eligible for a non-disclosure. That's not as good as an expunction, which is what you would get if the case is totally dismissed, but it could come off of your record. The longest waiting period on that is five years. There are some shorter ones depending on what happened in your punishment case. But if you have a DWI second or third or DWI with a child, that one's going to be stuck on your record forever if it's a conviction. If you have a criminal conviction in Texas that's not a DWI, any other charge, those are typically on there forever.

Will I have to appear in court or can my lawyer handle everything on my behalf?

Well, you won't have to say anything while you're in court. We will handle everything that's in the courtroom, talking to the prosecutors and the judge. But you will have to go to court if you have a court date for a Class B or higher charge. Typically, the courts all over the state, except for some of the larger metropolitan areas, they are going to require you to be present in person for those hearings. Now, not a whole lot happens on the first few court dates. It's really just an opportunity for the lawyers to discuss the case back and forth. But you do have to be present. They're going to mark absences, and if you're not present in court, they could revoke your bond, put you back in jail."

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