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DWI Defense

Waco DWI Attorney 

Aggressive Defense Against DWI Charges in McLennan County

If you have been charged with DWI (often referred to as driving under the influence or DUI in other states), you are likely afraid, embarrassed, and maybe even angry. Though the emotions may vary, there is always one constant: You need a good Waco DWI lawyer to handle your case. Without a doubt, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is the most complex and confusing charge in the Texas penal code.

Turn to Milam & Fanning, PLLC — our Waco DWI attorneys have over 30 years of experience standing up for rights. We help Baylor University students and clients across Waco, Lorena, and McLennan County in the face of drunk driving arrests and charges.  


Are you facing a DWI in Texas? Call Milam & Fanning, PLLC today at (254) 237-5602 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with our DWI lawyer in Waco!


DWI Laws in Texas

In Texas, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits for DWI are as follows:

  • For individuals 21 years of age or older: The legal limit is a BAC of 0.08%. If a person's BAC is 0.08% or higher, they can be charged with DWI.
  • For individuals under 21 years of age: Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking and driving. Any detectable amount of alcohol in the system of a person under 21 can result in a DWI charge.

What are the Penalties for a DWI in Texas?

The penalties for DWI offenses in Texas can vary based on several factors, including the number of prior convictions and the severity of the offense. However, here is a general overview of the penalties:

First Offense:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • A jail term of 3 days to 180 days
  • Suspension of driver's license for up to 1 year
  • Completion of a DWI education program

Second Offense:

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • A jail term of 30 days to 1 year
  • Suspension of driver's license for up to 2 years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • Completion of a DWI education program

Third Offense:

  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • A prison term of 2 to 10 years
  • Suspension of driver's license for up to 2 years
  • Installation of an IID
  • Completion of a DWI education program

It's essential to understand that laws can be complex, and legal advice from a qualified Waco DWI attorney is essential if you are facing a DWI charge or need specific information about your situation.

Is DWI a Felony in Texas?

DWI starts as a Class B misdemeanor but can be enhanced for a number of reasons. It becomes a Class A misdemeanor if:

  • There is a breath or blood test of .15% or higher, or
  • You have already been convicted of DWI.

DWI would become a state jail felony if a child passenger (14 years old or younger) was riding with you at the time. It becomes a third-degree felony if you have been convicted of DWI twice. Each enhancement triggers different punishments and different probation conditions. We will be sure to discuss these with you carefully and thoroughly.

Can I Refuse a Breath or Blood Test?

State law also includes implied consent to take a BAC test. This law means that if you refuse to take a breath test or other test that could measure your blood alcohol concentration, you face automatic penalties. Typically, that consequence results in a 180-day suspension of your driver's license.

Because DWI laws can vary in different areas, learning more about Texas DWI laws may work in your best interests. This information could help you understand how the circumstances of your arrest — or the arrest of your child — could impact the charges and subsequent legal endeavors.

Defenses Against DWI Charges in Texas

When facing DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charges in Texas, it's important to remember that every case is unique, and the specific defenses available will depend on the circumstances. While consulting with a Waco DWI attorney is crucial to determine the most appropriate defense strategy for your case, here are some common defenses used in DWI cases in Texas:

  • Challenging the Traffic Stop: The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures. If the police lacked reasonable suspicion to initiate the traffic stop, your lawyer may argue that the stop was unlawful, and any evidence obtained after that should be suppressed.
  • Questioning Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs): Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are designed to assess impairment. However, these tests can be subjective and affected by factors other than intoxication. Your lawyer may challenge the reliability and accuracy of the FSTs administered to you.
  • Disputing Breath or Blood Test Results: Breathalyzers and blood tests are commonly used to measure a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Your lawyer may challenge the accuracy of these tests by examining factors such as faulty equipment, improper calibration, or inadequate administration protocols.
  • Rising Blood Alcohol Content (Rising BAC): Your attorney might argue that your BAC was below the legal limit at the time of driving but increased afterward. This defense relies on the fact that alcohol takes time to be absorbed into the bloodstream, and your BAC may continue to rise even after you stop driving.
  • Medical Conditions or Fatigue: Certain medical conditions or fatigue can mimic signs of intoxication. If you have a medical condition or were excessively tired during the arrest, your lawyer may present evidence to challenge the prosecution's impairment claim.
  • Violations of Constitutional Rights: Your attorney will examine whether your constitutional rights were violated during the arrest, such as improper Miranda warnings, coerced statements, or denial of access to legal counsel.
  • Inadequate Proof: The prosecution bears the burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Your lawyer may challenge the sufficiency of the evidence presented by the prosecution and argue that there is insufficient proof of impairment.

It's important to consult with a qualified Waco DWI lawyer who can evaluate the specifics of your case, gather evidence, and develop a tailored defense strategy based on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. 

Understanding the Importance of Hiring a DWI Attorney

When facing DWI charges in Texas, it's crucial to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney on your side to navigate the complex legal process and advocate for your rights. A skilled Waco DWI lawyer can provide aggressive defense strategies, challenge evidence, negotiate with prosecutors, and work towards minimizing the potential consequences of a DWI conviction.

Benefits of hiring a DWI attorney include:

  • Expertise in DWI laws and legal procedures
  • Ability to protect your rights and ensure fair treatment
  • Experience in negotiating plea bargains and reduced charges
  • Knowledge of potential defenses and strategies for your case
  • Support and guidance throughout the legal process

Don't navigate the complexities of DWI charges alone. Contact Milam & Fanning, PLLC today to schedule a consultation with our experienced Waco DWI attorney and get the strong defense you deserve.

Contact Our Waco DWI Lawyer Today 

Remember that you only have 15 days from your arrest to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your license – so contact us immediately. If your license becomes suspended, we can help you seek an occupational license so that you can legally continue to drive throughout the suspension period.

Too many criminal defense lawyers try to handle DWIs simply because they are licensed to practice law. This should not be — handling a DWI charge requires technical and scientific knowledge. An attorney should not defend a DWI charge unless they have specific training.


Contact Milam & Fanning, PLLC online or call (254) 237-5602 today to schedule a consultation with our DWI attorney in Waco!


Milam & Fanning, PLLC

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Contact Our Waco DWI Lawyer Today

Remember that you only have 15 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your license – so contact us right away. In the event your license does become suspended, we can help you seek an occupational license so that you can legally continue to drive throughout the suspension period.

Too many criminal defense lawyers try to handle DWIs simply because they are licensed to practice law. This should not be — handling a DWI charge requires technical and scientific knowledge. An attorney should not defend a DWI charge unless he or she has specific training in this area.