Criminal Defense and Title IX
Attorneys Austin, TX

Texas DWI Defense FAQ

Answers you can trust from experienced attorneys in Austin, TX

It's natural for people facing DWI charges in Central Texas to have a lot of questions about the law and their options. Being charged with a DWI can be one of the most difficult and overwhelming experiences of a person’s life. We can help put your mind at ease with clear information explaining how the process works in Texas. The dedicated DWI defense lawyers at Botsford & Roark are here to help.

The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our law firm receives. It is important to remember that this information is general and may not apply to all situations. If you have been charged with a DWI in Austin, Travis County, Bell County, or another Central Texas community, you need legal information specific to your case.

Contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation. A member of our team can listen to the details of what happened, answer questions, and explain the legal options available to you. There is no obligation to hire us, just information you can trust.

Is DWI worse than DUI in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI (driving while intoxicated charge) generally carries more severe consequences than a DUI (driving under the influence). A DUI, primarily for minors, can result in fines, license suspension, alcohol education programs, and community service. Meanwhile, a first offense DWI conviction comes with the possibility of serving jail time.

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Can you still drive with a DUI or DWI in Texas?

Usually, after a DWI arrest, you are given a pink notice of suspension that allows you to drive for the next 40 days. Once the deadline expires, your license is suspended, and it is illegal for you to drive. However, you may be able to extend your driving privileges by applying for an Administrative License Reinstatement hearing (ALR). A request for a hearing to challenge the proposed suspension will delay any sanctions until a decision is reached. Importantly, you must file a valid request for a hearing within 15 days of the arrest—and not everyone is eligible.

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Is jail time mandatory for a first DWI offense in Texas?

Yes, although physical jail-time may be avoided. A first offense DWI is a class B misdemeanor in Texas. It’s punishable by a minimum of 3 days and up to 180 days in jail as well as up to $2,000 in fines. However, in less severe cases, a driver convicted of a first DWI may be sentenced to probation instead of direct jail-time. In general, probation is a suspended jail sentence. If a person stays out of trouble and complies with the conditions of probation, they do not have to go to jail. But if they violate probation, they may be taken into custody to serve out their sentence.

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How hard is it to beat a DWI in Texas?

When people talk about “beating” DWI charges, they are usually referring to a handful of case outcomes including charges being dismissed, pleading to a lesser offense, being found innocent, or acquitted of the charges. In Austin, beating the charges may also include going through the recovery-focused Travis County’s special DWI Court for repeat offenders instead of the penial-focused traditional criminal court process.

Usually, a driver’s ability to beat a DWI comes down to the circumstances of their case and the experience of their attorney. The DWI defense lawyers at Botsford & Roark have decades of experience handling drunk driving cases in Travis County and throughout Central Texas. We know how the local justice systems work, and we can use our insider knowledge of individual jurisdictions to fight for your rights.

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Do I have to take a breathalyzer or Field Sobriety Test (FST)?

Field sobriety tests are not mandatory, they are voluntary. You cannot be forced to take an FST, which may include “tests” like walking a straight line, reciting the alphabet backwards, or following the tip of a pen with your eyes. If you think you will fail a field sobriety test, do not take it.

Breathalyzer tests are another matter. Due to Texas’ implied consent law, all drivers are obliged to submit to blood and breath tests to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) if requested by an officer who has a “reasonable suspicion” of intoxicated driving. If you refuse to take a breath test, your driver's license will be suspended, and you will be arrested regardless of whether you have alcohol or other mind-altering substances in your system.

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Why hire an Austin DWI defense attorney?

More than half of first-time DWI cases disposed of in Travis County result in jail time. If you’ve been charged with DWI, don't gamble. You need the right lawyer to handle your case with skill and determination. At Botsford & Roark, our Austin DWI attorneys are experienced in successful DWI defense cases, handling paperwork, calls, and other aspects while preventing errors. We possess the knowledge of effective arguments and defenses. We craft strong defense strategies and assess potential consequences realistically.

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How can I talk to an attorney about my case?

If you are facing DWI or DUI charges in the Austin area or surrounding counties, contact Botsford & Roark for a free and confidential case evaluation. A member of our team is available to hear from you, day or night. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can ensure that your rights and reputation are being protected to the utmost. We are ready to hear from you now.

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