Former Police Officer.
Now Criminal Defender.
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Austin DWI Lawyer & Criminal Defense Attorney
Austin DWI Lawyer
Top-Rated Austin Criminal Defense Attorney
Austin Criminal Attorneys
Texas state prosecutors work hard to secure convictions in their cases. If you are accused of a crime, whether just being questioned or if you’ve already been arrested, you face jail time, hefty fines, and damage to your reputation. It is critical to hire a criminal defense attorney with significant experience, a strong reputation, and the knowledge to defend your case.
We are not afraid to challenge prosecutors. From the outset, we work vigorously to get the charges against you dismissed or reduced. If a dismissal is not possible, our Austin criminal defense attorneys continue to negotiate with prosecutors, while building the strongest defense we can for trial. We investigate, interview, and work to exclude damaging evidence. Some of the offenses we vigorously defend include:
Driving While Intoxicated
Getting charged with impaired driving is different from other criminal charges. Not only do you face jail time and fines, you also have to defend your driver’s license. With much of our livelihood in Texas connected with being able to drive places, you need quality representation to protect your freedom and license.
Causing or threatening to cause bodily injury against a member of your family or household can have serious, permanent consequences. There is a low bar for officers to arrest you and it’s not unusual to rely mostly on witness testimony rather than physical evidence.
From the simple possession of marijuana all the way up to the distribution of controlled substances, drug charges are treated seriously in Texas and they can carry lifelong consequences. No matter the offense, you need quality legal representation with your drug charge to get the best outcome.
A common weapons charge we encounter is a concealed handgun license holder arrested for a non-related crime, such as Driving While Intoxicated. In addition to the DWI, the client is also charged with Unlawful Carry of a Weapon because the presence of the weapon in the vehicle while “engaged in criminal activity” leads to the UCW charge.
Consult an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Austin
Every criminal case is different. What is common to all criminal cases is the need for a zealous and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Enlisting a team of attorneys who understands the law and fight tirelessly on their clients’ behalf can significantly affect the outcome of your case.
Our office is staffed with skilled and talented legal professionals committed to the highest standards during our representation. We are accessible to our clients and potential clients twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. At Stephen T Bowling: DWI & Criminal Defense Attorneys, our Austin criminal defense lawyers have substantial experience defending all varieties of criminal cases, including the following examples.
If you have been accused or charged with a crime, or you are unhappy with your current representation, consult our firm. All of our consultations are confidential and protected by the attorney-client privilege.
If you have been arrested…
Your FREEDOM is potentially at stake. A conviction can have a huge impact on your job, relationships, and your future. You need to act fast.
Top-Rated Austin DWI Attorney
How Can I Keep My Texas Driver License?
When you first acquire your driver license, regardless of the State, you sign a contract which is evidenced by your signature under your picture. By signing the contract, you agree to abide by the Implied Consent Law. Essentially, you agree that you will provide a breath and/or blood sample upon request if you are arrested for a DWI. That State then agrees to provide you with a driver license. That is the bargain. Built into the contract is a penalty. The penalty authorizes a police officer to confiscate your driver license and automatically suspend it if 1) you provide a sample .08 or higher; or 2) you refuse to provide a breath and/or blood sample.
Your defense attorney only has 15 days from the date of arrest to file for an ALR hearing. If that occurs, your Texas driver license or privilege to drive on Texas roadways will NOT be suspended, if at all, until the ALR hearing. If the request is sent after 15 days, an ALR hearing will not be granted. This has two effects: 1) you waive the opportunity to have a hearing, so your license or privilege to drive on Texas roadways will then be suspended after 40 days from the date of arrest; and 2) the opportunity to cross examine the police officers involved is gone which in turn forfeits the possibility of having your criminal DWI dismissed early.
Do I Have to Answer Police Questions During a DWI Traffic Stop?
An officer who suspects that you’re driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will likely ask you questions such as:
- Where are you coming from?
- Where are you going?
- How many drinks have you had tonight?
All these questions are designed to build their case up to arrest you for DWI. All of your answers are likely being video recorded and will be used against you in court. For that reason, we recommend that you give officers any more information than is necessary. This means nothing more outside of identifying yourself and providing proof of insurance. The less evidence the officer has against you, the more likely it is for your case to be dismissed later.
Do I Have to do the Field Sobriety Tests?
Even though it may not seem that way, the field sobriety tests are completely voluntary. You should not submit yourself to the field sobriety tests for the same reason you should not answer police questions: it provides police and prosecutors with more evidence against you.
Do I Have to Give a Breath or Blood Sample?
No, you do not have to give the officer your breath or blood sample. There is very little upside to providing a sample and providing one is not likely to prevent you from going to jail. Moreover, the tests used by law enforcement have flaws that can result in inaccuracies that work in favor of the state. Although you will likely get your license suspended for refusing these tests, the state will be without significant pieces of evidence against you.
Will it Help Me if I Consent to a Search?
No. Never consent to any searches of your person or your vehicle by the police. Police may not search you or your property without probable cause. Consented searches are also very difficult to challenge in court.
Now is Not the Time to Fight Your Case
Although it’s not illegal to argue or disagree with a police officer, it usually does more harm than good. The best strategy is to remain polite, assert your rights, and wait to fight your case in court.
If You’re Arrested, Remain Silent
People sometimes feel the need to speak with the police after they’ve been arrested to try and get out of handcuffs or mitigate their situation. Don’t do it. Even if you’re in the back of the squad car, you’re most likely still being recorded so it’s best not to say anything.
What if I Have a Previous DWI Conviction?
Each additional DWI you get will get harsher and harsher punishment. Other aggravating factors, such as having a child in the vehicle or a high BAC will also increase the punishment.
What are the Penalties for a DWI Conviction?
A 1st offense DWI Penalty without any enhancing factors is a Class B misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours. This equals a 1st offense Driving While Intoxicated penalty of:
- Up to a $3,000 fine. If your BAC is over a .15, the possible fine may be up to $6,000.
- Jail time between 3 days and 180 days.
- License suspension for up to 2 years.
- DWI intervention or education program.
- Possible ignition interlock device.
Note: An experienced DWI attorney will likely keep you from serving any jail time.
A 2nd offense DWI Penalty without any enhancing factors is a Class A misdemeanor, with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days. This equals a 2nd offense DWI penalty of:
- Up to a $4,500 fine.
- Jail time between 30 days and 1 year.
- License suspension between 180 days and 2 years.
- Ignition Interlock Device (Breath device in vehicle)
A 3rd offense DWI Penalty without any enhancing factors is a felony of the third degree. This equals a 3rd offense penalty of:
- Up to a $10,000 fine.
- Jail time between 2 years and 10 years.
- Rehabilitative confinement for alcohol treatment
Other Consequences for DWIs
Outside of jail time and fines, you can face other consequences from having a DWI conviction on your record.
- A DWI Can Jeopardize Your Career. A DWI on your record can make it more difficult to get a job or a professional license. Some employers and licensing boards see a DWI as a possibly dangerous substance abuse problem that could endanger patrons or patients.
- A DWI is Evidence Against You in Child Custody Disputes. Your ex could use your DWI as a way to further limit your access and visitation. This is especially true if your DWI involved having a child in the vehicle.
- You Could Have Immigration Issues. Certain types of DWI convictions can cause you to lose your green card and render you deportable. You could also face issues when you return from international travel or apply to become a U.S. citizen.
- You Could Lose Your Right to Possess Firearms. If your DWI conviction is a felony, you will lose your constitutional right to own firearms.
Can I Get a DWI Off My Record?
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to get a DWI record expunged or sealed.
An expunction is the destruction of your arrest and associated criminal record. It allows you to legally deny the arrest for the offense. You might qualify for an expunction if you were charged with a DWI but the case against you was later dismissed or if you were arrested for a DWI but never charged. If that’s the case, you still must file a petition to get your record cleared.
An order of nondisclosure seals your criminal record and only certain agencies can have access to it. For the most part, this is only available to first time DWI offenders with no other criminal history outside of fine-only traffic offenses. Your DWI also cannot have resulted in an accident where another person was involved, including your passengers. Finally, if you were convicted of a DWI where your BAC was 0.15 or greater, you are ineligible for nondisclosure. Depending on how your case was resolved, there is a waiting period of 2-5 years before you can get your DWI sealed.
The DWI & Criminal Defense Promise to You
Our team of Austin DWI Attorneys and support staff are committed to providing exceptional service for our clients. Stephen’s desire to start his own firm is a result of an arrest he experienced when he was in the military. He had a terrible experience with the lack of communication from the office of the attorney he hired. Throughout the case he was only able to get one call back and never another update on his case. As such, Stephen ensures his staff and attorneys are available for phone calls and always keep you up to date on your case. You can rest assured that we will do everything possible to resolve your DWI case with a positive result. We pride ourselves on our high success rate in the complicated field of Texas DWI Law. Using our expertise and experience, we will devote tireless energy as we advocate in your defense.
Sworn to Protect Our
KEPT US UP TO DATE EACH STEP OF THE WAY
Stephen Bowling, reviewed our case and discussed his recommendations clearly. He kept us up to date each step of the way with continued explanations. He was readily available for questions/concerns through the process. We would reach out to them again in the future for any legal concerns.
VERY COMMUNICATIVE AND VERY UNDERSTANDING
Stephen is Great, Great , Lawyer!! He give you weekly updates on not just your case but also on what’s going on with his firm as well!!! Stephen is also very communicative and very understanding on any situation!! I would hands down Refer Stephen to anyone with any situation!!! Great job Stephen words can’t describe what you have done for me!!!!