An arrest for a DWI is always stressful and frightening. You're undoubtedly concerned about what will happen next and the potential penalties you could face. But if you're a high-profile person in our community, you must face DWI charges while also undergoing heightened scrutiny from the media and their communities. That's what one Texas state senator recently discovered.
Senator Arrested for DWI
Police arrested Senator Charles Schwertner of Georgetown in early February for DWI in Travis County. The arresting officer reported that Sen. Schwertner's black Cadillac was “swerving to the right and left and split the two lanes repeatedly.” The police affidavit also stated that when they pulled him over, he had bloodshot, glassy, and watery eyes, was slurring his speech, exhibited confusion, and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. Sen. Schwertner's attorney reported that the senator was “clear-eyed, sober, and making good sense” at the time of his arrest and looked forward to reviewing discovery once it is available.
Penalties for a DWI
A first DWI in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 court-imposed fine. However, you can also face a suspension of your driver's license of 90 days up to a year and a $3,000 mandatory administrative fine. While the penalties for a first DWI may seem reasonable, having a criminal record, particularly for a DWI, can impact your life far beyond a suspended license, fines, and jail time. In many cases, the courts won't allow you to expunge or seal a DWI conviction in Texas, meaning it will remain on your record for a long time.
You can also face damage to your personal reputation or career, even if you aren't a high-profile politician. For example, a DWI can affect the custody and visitation of your children. If you work with children, drive professionally, have a security clearance, or even volunteer with kids in your community, a DWI conviction may prevent you from doing so in the future.
Hire an Expert in Texas DWI Defense
If you're facing a DWI, even if you aren't a well-known person, this can be one of the scariest events you'll ever face. It's important to remember that an arrest for a DWI does not mean a court will find you guilty. The police often use subjective standards to stop you and subject you to field sobriety tests and BAC testing. That's why ensuring you have the right person representing you in court and through the entire criminal justice process is important. Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in Texas DWI Defense and Criminal Defense Law. In fact, he's one of only two attorneys in Texas to hold Board Certifications in both these specialty areas of the law.
Doug is also well-versed in complex DWI litigation, so you know he's the right person to fight for you, no matter the complexity of your case. Moreover, Doug was recently named to U.S. News and World Report's list of Best Lawyers in America for 2023 Houston DWI defense. Find out what Doug and the team at the Doug Murphy Law Firm can do for you. Contact them online or give them a call at 713-229-8333 to schedule your consultation.