Driving While Intoxicated

DWI 1st: Class B Misdemeanor: Punishable from 3 to 180 days in the County Jail and up to a $2000 Fine.

DWI 2nd: Class A Misdemeanor: Punishable from 5 to 1 year in the County Jail and up to a $400 Fine. If you receive probation you must do 3 days in jail and have an ignition interlock on your vehicle for at least half the term of probation.

DWI 3rd or More: 3rd Degree Felony: Punishable from 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Corrections and up to a $10,000 fine. If you receive probation you must do 10 days in jail and have an ignition interlock on your vehicle.

Arrested for Driving While Intoxicated? Not everyone who is arrested is actually guilty of driving intoxicated. By far, the most successful way to defend a DWI case is by attacking the opinion of the officer that the driver was driving intoxicated in the first place. In Texas, intoxication is defined as the loss of one’s mental and or physical faculties due to the introduction of alcohol or a drug. An officer’s information in that regard is limited. His opinion on whether a person has lost their normal use is based on what he hears and sees at the scene of the stop. He has no information about the driver’s true physical and mental abilities, and unless the driver made some admission, he doesn’t know how much he had to drink.

With the exception of the driver who is so drunk that he stumbles out of his car and falls to the ground, the officer must develop his opinion of driving while intoxicated by giving field sobriety tests that he learned in a 24 hour DWI course. Although somewhat helpful, these tests are flawed and they do not mean necessarily that the accused is driving while intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed them thirty years ago to aid peace officers in identifying intoxicated individuals. Even NHTSA recognizes that these tests aren’t foolproof. Further, no matter how “scientific” they claim these tests are. The tests are scored by police officers, whose perception, interpretation and bias are used in determining the arrest decision. NHTSA makes clear in its teaching materials that unless the field tests are given in the standardized, prescribed manner, it could affect the validity of the results. Unfortunately a vast majority of the officers do not know how to perform these test correctly or don’t know the proper way to interpret the results.

The ramifications for a Driving While Intoxicated conviction are extremely harsh. First of all it is the only misdemeanor offense that you cannot get deferred adjudication on. If convicted, the conviction will be on your record forever, and can be used to enhance your punishment on any future DWI. Secondly, you may have to have an ignition interlock on your vehicle for all or part of the term of your probation. Your license can also be suspended and you could face mandatory days in jail.

With all these possible ramifications for a DWI conviction, why not hire an attorney who has taught police officers and prosecutors about DWI? James Angelino is one of the few defense attorneys who is actually certified by the State of Texas in the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests Battery.

Credentials and Experience

Spent 7 and ½ years as a Dallas Police Officer and a total of 19 years as a Certified Texas

Peace Officer

Holds a Masters TCLEOSE Certification

Certified by the State Of Texas in Standardized Field Sobriety Tests

Spent 11 yrs. in the Denton County District Attorney’s office

Created and was the Chief of the Denton County DWI Prosecution Unit

During his 7 years as Chief of the DWI Prosecution Unit, he was one of a handful of experts on intoxication offenses for the State.

Has lectured all over the Country on topics such as Cross Examination, Standard Field

Sobriety Tests and Intoxication Manslaughter

Has provided hundreds of hours of advanced training to law enforcement

Has tried over 200 jury trials and has handled over a thousand Intoxication Offense cases

Has personally handled every phase of a Driving While Intoxicated case, from arrest all the way to trial.

Let my vast expertise and knowledge about intoxication offenses work to get you the best possible result. Call (972) 377-0088 for a free consultation today!