Facing any DWI charge in Texas can be overwhelming, but when there is a child in the car, the potential penalties are more severe. Even if this is your first arrest, you are facing a felony charge, and that can be life-altering. Now is not the time to give up and feel all is lost. Now is the time to hire a lawyer who will advise you on the necessary steps to take to protect your future, and to fight the charges.
When you hire the Wilder Law Firm, you will be putting more than 25 years of experience with Texas misdemeanor and felony DWIs in your corner. We have the skill, knowledge, and tenacity you need during this most difficult time. As we start perfecting your defense, we will also be advising you on steps you need to take to put yourself in the best possible position going forward. We are a proactive law firm who knows how to defend and win. Contact us now at 214-741-4000 so we can start defending you today.
What is DWI With a Child Passenger?
DWI with a child passenger is defined in Texas Penal Code Chapter 49 Section 49.045. According to the statute, a person can be charged with this crime if:
- They operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, and
- There is a passenger in the vehicle who is younger than 15 years old.
You could face a DWI with a child passenger charge even if there is no accident or if the child passenger is not physically injured. If the state can prove both of the elements listed above, they can convict you of DWI with a child passenger.
You Need Our Dedication and Skill Defending You
The Wilder Law Firm can establish many defenses to a DWI with a child passenger charge on your behalf. We have worked with these cases before, and we know the right questions to ask to build your defense and weaken the prosecution’s case against you. We will start by exploring defenses such as:
- The police stopped you unlawfully.
- Sobriety testing issues.
- Blood/breath issues.
- What is normal.
- Police conduct.
- Better safe than sorry, there was a child in the car.
This is not an all inclusive list of what will be investigated. All aspects of your case will be thoroughly reviewed.
The police do not have the right to stop you just to see what’s going on. They must witness a traffic violation or other illegal activity (drinking a beer while driving) in order to legally pull you over. This is called “reasonable suspicion” and it is necessary in order for the police to legally stop you. I will review the facts of your case to determine if the police had a legal basis to stop you, and if not, how we go about fighting that.
Sobriety Testing Issues
There are many issues to investigate when it comes to the sobriety tests (or coordination exercises) the police will ask you to perform. Lack of natural coordination can cause an officer to inaccurately determine that any difficulty observed was solely caused by alcohol. Wind, temperature, shoes with heels, road surface, how you handle stress and pressure, and moving traffic are just some of the factors that can all play a role in how “perfectly” a person will perform on these tests.
The sobriety tests only identify impairment according to the police. This means that anything other than perfection on any test will have to be caused by alcohol, and that is just not true. Further, if you do perform perfectly on any given test, the police will not take that as a sign of sobriety. That does not seem fair, but that is how the police are trained. It is knowing the intricacies of their training that can make for a successful cross examination.
Blood/Breath Test Issues
Far too many people just look at the sheet of paper with the alcohol results on it to determine how to proceed with a case. We do not stop there. A number is just a number. It is how the State came to get that number that matters. A blood warrant that was improperly granted can cause the results to be inadmissible. There is protocol to follow in testing procedures and all of them will be investigated. Anything that was done improperly in the entire process to obtain the alcohol concentration could affect the admissibility and believability of the results.
What is Normal
Determining what should be normal for any given person if they were to be investigated for DWI is not easy. The police expect you to be able to handle this stressful situation without any difficulty and expect perfection. I know that perfection and normal do not always go hand in hand, and it is what is normal for you that matters to me. A person who does not handle stress and pressure well will have more natural difficulty in this situation than others, yet still be normal.
Although having nothing to do with how much alcohol you may have consumed or what is normal for you, how the police conduct themselves plays a role in how the evidence in your case will be viewed. An incompetent police officer makes your case more defendable. Police errors and/or an officer not paying attention to detail makes your case more defendable.
Better Safe Than Sorry – There Was a Child in the Car
It can be more difficult for a police officer to let someone go after consuming alcohol and driving with a child in the car. At times, an officer will arrest someone under the theory of “better safe than sorry” even though the person passes all the sobriety testing. You can pass a sobriety test yet still exhibit “a” sign of intoxication. When it comes to DWI with a child, any signs of intoxication could prevent an officer from letting you go, yet not prove you were intoxicated.
Effectively defending someone accused of DWI with a child can be very complex. There are so many aspects to an investigation, and successfully defending someone takes a lot of time and attention to detail. We will give you the time and attention that you and your case needs.
Penalties for DWI With a Child
DWI with a child passenger is considered a state jail felony in Texas. The penalties for this crime include:
- A jail sentence of 180 days to two years.
- A fine of up to $10,000.
- DWI education classes.
- Community service of up to 1,000 hours.
- A suspension of your driver’s license for as much as 180 days.
- An additional fee of $1,000-$2,000 for three years in order to keep your license.
- After you get your license back, the installation of an ignition interlock device on the vehicle(s) you drive.
- A DWI conviction on your permanent criminal record.
- An increase in auto insurance rates.
- Issues getting or keeping certain professional licenses.
- Issues getting or keeping certain jobs.
- Issues furthering your education.
- Immigration issues.
- Child custody issues.
Our Top Priority is Protecting You
When you hire The Wilder Law Firm, you are hiring an extremely competent team that has more than 25 years of experience working with DWI and DWI with a child cases. We are a dedicated team of professionals who are meticulous in our preparation and will ensure everything is done to put you in the best possible position for the most favorable outcome. Contact us at 214-741-4000 so we can start defending you today.