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Montgomery County DWI/DUI

Montgomery County DWI/DUI Attorney

What's a DWI?

Texas defines driving while intoxicated as operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. A public place could be a roadway, a lake, river, highway, or more.

Intoxication is the most controversial issue in DWI cases. Ronnie Yeates is adept at cross-examining witnesses and scrutinizing evidence to resolve technical problems.

Typically, officers will ask you to complete several field sobriety tests. An in-car and/or body camera will record your movements and take photos. The state will attempt to use all statements or actions against you in court. Field sobriety tests are not an accurate indicator of intoxication, and hiring a knowledgeable DWI layer to review your case is very important to ensure your rights are protected.

What Happens After I'm Arrested for DWI?

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Texas DWI Laws & Statutes

Texas has some of the harshest penalties for intoxicated driving.

Texas Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas is defined in Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code as:

  • "A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place."

Intoxicated in Texas is defined in Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code Section as:

  • "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 those substances, or any other substance into the body."
  • "having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more."

Blood Alcohol Level & Charges

In Texas, DWI is determined by the amount of alcohol in your blood (or blood alcohol content) at the time you were arrested.

Texas Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated

Texas DWI law raises the penalties for DWI offenses based on the number and severity of DWI offenses.

It is important to note that Texas does not have a look-back period for DWI.

Possible punishment for your first DWI offense with BAC less than .15:

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $2,000
  • Jail term: Between 72 hours and 180 days
  • License suspension: Maximum two years
  • Community service hours
  • DWI intervention or education program
  • Mandatory civil fee of $3,000
  • Possible ignition interlock device

Possible punishment for your first DWI offense with a BAC of more than .15:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $4,000
  • Jail term: 72 hours to one year
  • License suspension: Maximum two years
  • Community service hours
  • Mandatory civil fee of $6,000
  • Possible ignition interlock device

 Possible punishment for your second DWI offense:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $4,000
  • Jail term: 30 days to one year
  • License suspension: Maximum two years
  • Community service hours
  • DWI intervention or education program
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device

Third offense and subsequent DWI offenses:

  • Third-degree felony
  • Fine up to $10,000
  • Jail term: Between two and 10 years
  • License suspension: Maximum two years
  • Community service hours
  • DWI intervention or education program
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device

Other Alcohol-Related Offenses

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) for persons under 21

Anyone under 21 can be charged with DUI in Texas. An officer can arrest for simply having the odor of an alcoholic beverage on your breath while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. There doesn't have to be any tests. But, if they do tests and get a breath or blood sample, a person under 21 can be charged with DWI, a much more serious offense.

Punishments for Class C misdemeanor DUI conviction (drivers 17 to 20 years of age):

First and Second Offense

  • Fine up to $500
  • Community service hours
  • Alcohol awareness class
  • License suspension

Third Offense

  • Fine of $500 to $2,000
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Community service hours
  • Alcohol awareness class
  • License suspension

Possible punishment for someone under 21 convicted of DWI in Texas:

  • Class B Misdemeanor
  • Fine from $250 up to $2,000
  • Jail term: Between 72 hours and 180 days
  • Possible ignition interlock device
  • License suspension for one year (unless driver has an ignition interlock device)
  • Community service hours
  • DWI intervention or education program
  • Mandatory civil fee of $3,000

Public Intoxication

Anyone, regardless of age, found in public places and intoxicated to the point that they could endanger others or themselves may be charged with public intoxication. Public places include sidewalks, common areas of schools, hospitals, apartment buildings, office buildings, transport facilities, and shopping areas.

Minor in Possession (MIP)

“Minor in possession” is against the law. Anyone under 21 years old cannot possess alcohol unless it is within the scope of employment; the visible presence of a parent, legal guardian, or spouse; or under the supervision of the police when doing MIP stings.

Punishments for MIP:

First and Second Offense

  • Fine up to $500
  • Community service hours
  • 30 to 60-day DL suspension
  • Alcohol awareness class

Third Offense

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Fine from $250 up to $2,000
  • Jail term: Between 72 hours and 180 days
  • 180-day DL suspension
  • Community service hours
  • DWI intervention or education program

DWI with a Child Passenger

Anyone who operates a motor vehicle in a public place and has a child with them may be charged with child endangerment. Texas child harm convictions can result in up to $10,000 in fines, a 180-day suspension of driver's license, and jail time.

Possible consequences for being convicted of Texas DWI with a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle:

  • 180 days to two years in the Texas Department of Corrections (prison)
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • Up to 1,000 hours of community service
  • An ignition interlock device must be installed in your vehicle
  • Possible probation
  • Repeat alcohol offender's courses
  • Victim impact panel
  • Higher auto insurance costs

Defending Your Rights

 

Why You Should Get a Lawyer to Represent You at Your ALR Hearing

An experienced lawyer can help you make the most robust case for your driver's license reinstatement. If the judge rules in favor of the state, your driver's license will be suspended.

Obtaining an Occupational Driver's License After a DWI

If your driver's license has been suspended, you may be eligible for an occupational driving license. Depending on the facts, you could drive with little to no restrictions or many restrictions, including curfews on driving and restrictions on locations. This allows you to drive to work, school, home, and necessary events or buildings.

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Police Make Mistakes

A 911 Call is Not Enough Evidence to Prove Intoxicated Driving

An officer can stop someone based on a 911 call, but an anonymous 911 call is insufficient to warrant a DWI arrest.

A Vehicle Can Be Stopped Without Any Evidence of the Violation

Officers cannot pull people over because they feel they have to. Without this evidence, any arrest or stop will be inadmissible before the court.

Mistakes in BAC Testing Equipment

The Intoxilyzer (breath test machine) can detect alcohol in a person's breath. But it is not infallible. There are many ways a machine can give an inaccurate reading. Lifestyle factors like diabetes or diets can also cause abnormally high readings. Also, unkept machines, radio frequency, and other human error issues can throw off the readings. Hiring an experienced DWI lawyer is vital to finding these mistakes and issues and making the state prove its case.

Blood testing instruments are used in hospitals, but the requirements to operate them are different for the state analyst and those treating you in a hospital. These instruments must be validated annually, use specialized mixtures to assure proper testing, and count on the near-perfect human ability to ensure everything is done correctly. Making sure you have someone who knows how to attack these tests is essential.

Call (832) 957-9077 to confidentially discuss your case with Ronnie Yeates.

Defending All of Montgomery County

Ronnie Yeates provides aggressive defense for individuals charged with DWI and other intoxication offenses. The consequences of a DWI conviction can be as severe as a conviction for almost any crime in Texas. Those consequences include fines, probation, community service, and jail time. The state could also suspend your driver's license and even charge you a surcharge of $1,000 per year for up to three years after your convictions — all of this even for a first-time offender.

At Ronnie Yeates Law, our defense attorneys have significant experience handling DWI cases. At the very least, our goal is to minimize the consequences of a DWI conviction. But our ultimate goal is to avoid a DWI conviction altogether by persuading the prosecutor to dismiss the case or being found not guilty at a jury trial.

Understanding the process of defending against a driving while intoxicated charge in Texas is paramount. Ronnie has over 17 years of working as a prosecutor of DWI cases in Texas and uses this experience to explore all angles, including:

  • Challenging the stop
  • Challenging the arrest
  • Challenging the field sobriety tests
  • Challenging a breath or blood test

Unlike many attorneys, when you hire Ronnie Yeates, he will represent you in all aspects of your case, including the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing, if necessary. If successful in challenging your driver's license suspension, you get to keep your driver's license, and the likelihood of success in your criminal case improves. If unsuccessful at your ALR hearing, the officer who arrested you has given a recorded version of the facts, from which our DWI lawyers may cross-examine them at your trial.

Remember that after receiving a notice of suspension of your driver's license, you only have 15 days to request a hearing to prevent your license from being suspended or revoked.

An Aggressive Lawyer to Fight Your DWI Charges

The system works against you. Police rush to judge in their investigations. Jurors are naturally inclined to believe the testimony of the police. People who are otherwise law-abiding but find themselves in an unfortunate situation of being arrested for DWI will often try to negotiate a plea bargain to avoid the worst and get back to their lives. You are innocent unless the jury finds you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the prosecution's burden to prove every element of the alleged crime beyond any reasonable doubt. If the state cannot prove the elements of the crime, the jurors should find you not guilty. It is crucial to have a skilled attorney who can present criminal cases before juries. Receiving a DWI charge will have severe setbacks for your life. 

Ronnie Yeates doesn't want to see a single mistake ruin your life. He will sit you down, listen to the facts, and help you fight your case.

Driving while intoxicated is a serious crime, and Montgomery County is one of the toughest counties in the country for prosecuting DWI offenses. Law enforcement in Montgomery County is aggressive in searching for DWI drivers. For this reason, police will use any legal basis to pull you over for a traffic violation. They can also ask about your drinking habits or if you are under the influence of drugs. The police will ask you to perform field sobriety checks and to submit to a breath or blood test. DWI officers may request a search warrant for your blood to obtain a blood sample. 

A DWI conviction can have serious collateral consequences, especially if it's a felony. You will face the usual consequences of a DWI or criminal conviction, including incarceration, severe fines, and suspension of your driver's license. These consequences can have a profound reverberating impact on your life. A conviction will go on your criminal record. For many convictions, like DWI, the record cannot be expunged. Your criminal history will be revealed in future background checks. You can become frustrated and have potential setbacks in your life. If you are convicted of a felony, you will lose your civil rights to possess and use a firearm or to vote.

Dealing with a DWI charge in court is stressful. You want an aggressive and skilled DWI attorney to represent you. As a criminal trial lawyer, Ronnie Yeates has dealt with many different DWI cases for more than two decades. You can trust that he will fight for you.

Free Initial Case Evaluation

If you have been arrested for a DWI offense, do not try to handle the legal situation yourself. Contact the experienced and respected Montgomery County DWI/DUI lawyer at Ronnie Yeates Law to ensure your rights are protected. Ronnie Yeates has a long history as a criminal defense lawyer, representing individuals accused of all intoxication offenses, including intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, and public intoxication (PI).

Call (832) 957-9077 to discuss the details of your case.

  • "From the first five minutes of my initial conversation with Ronnie, he seemed to know exactly what I was going through and I knew he was who I needed"
    Bert S.
  • "From day one he listened and made sure I was taken care of"
    Jason B.
  • "I trusted him throughout the process and he always kept me informed and made me feel at ease."
    Lorissa P.
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