After a DWI in Austin or anywhere in Texas, a driver's license will be suspended following the DWI arrest. The officer should hand the driver a temporary license, typically valid for a very short period of time, such as thirty days from the date of DWI arrest. Once the temporary license has expired, the driver may no longer legally drive, unless the Texas Driver's License is restored and valid, or unless you have an Occupational License.
Sometimes called DWI 1, in Austin and anywhere in Texas a first time DWI arrest is a Class B Misdemeanor, punishable by no more than six months in the county jail and/or no more than $2,000 fines. This means the punishment could be anywhere from jail time and probation, up to 180 days in the county jail. Fines are additional, as are typically a driving class focusing on DWI and driving safety, and mandatory insurance. Every case differs, so punishments can vary within the above range. In cases with higher BAC levels or other issues, other terms of probation are often added; such as a DWI interlock device (blow tube in the car), Restitution, and SCRAM or other devices to ensure a person does not consume alcohol. In many instances, community service or SWAP can be given rather than the 72 hours in the county jail for 1st time DWI arrests and offenses.
A growing trend among district attorney's offices is to challenge and gauge the community when it comes to prosecuting DWI cases with less than .08 legal limit of alcohol. A DWI case may be filed when the DA feels the person was too intoxicated to drive, however, the legislature specifically selected 0.08% BAC as the legal limit, and cases where an individual is charged under that limit, should be challenged. The argument will center on the BAC level at the time of driving, and whether that level was above 0.08% when driving, despite a later test showing 0.07% or less.
In short, Yes, if you can afford it. Many times a defense DWI expert witness is a tactical decision that has a profound effect on a jury. While lab techs from the coroners or sheriff???s department are supposed to be unbiased scientists, the fact remains that they are being asked to testify by the prosecution to prove your guilt, and being paid by the sheriff or the county to do so. Testifying at criminal trials is part of the job description and part of their normal salary. So it often helps for the jury to hear the defense side of the evidence, to not only counter the testimony of the prosecution, but also challenge the validity of the procedures and testing measures of law enforcement and the crime lab.
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