How to beat a DWI charge in Texas

How to beat a DWI charge in Texas

If you want to beat a DWI charge in Texas, there are several steps you should take straight away:

  • Get a DWI lawyer involved as early in the process as possible
  • Ensure the lawyer you appoint is experienced in DWI cases in Texas
  • Don’t even think about pleading guilty until you have spoken to your lawyer
  • Ideally, work with your lawyer to push for case dismissal

A DWI conviction in Texas carries very harsh penalties that can affect you for the rest of your life. 

If you do not want one mistake on the roads to follow you into the future, we can help you take the legal steps that give you the best chance of avoiding it.

DWI charge: Misdemeanor or Felony in Texas?

Before we think about trying to clear your name, you must understand why it is so important to do so.

For many first offenders, the potential penalties come as something of a shock. Many are young and it is their first encounter with the law.

If you are charged with a DWI in San Antonio, it will be treated as a criminal offense and classified either as a Class A or Class B misdemeanor.

Whether it is Class A or Class B usually depends on how much alcohol was allegedly in the blood at the time of the arrest. 

So, if your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was measured at .08, it is likely to be treated as a Class B misdemeanor.

If, however, Your BAC was measured at or over .15, the offense may well be treated as a Class A misdemeanor.

If you have previous convictions, or a person is injured or dies as a result of your actions on the road while allegedly intoxicated, it may be treated as a felony.

The penalties are even more severe in such cases.

Why you need to do everything to defend a DWI charge

Texas state law is very harsh on DWI – with potentially life-altering consequences.

The law sets penalties for a Class B misdemeanor at:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Three days to 180 days in county jail
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to a year
  • An annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain the driver’s license

For a Class A misdemeanor, the penalties may include:

  • A fine of up to $4,000
  • One month to a year in county jail
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to two years
  • An annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license

Note that if you receive two or more DWI convictions within a five-year period, a special ignition switch must be installed in your vehicle, preventing it from being operated if you’ve been drinking.

The penalties increase again for third offenses or those involving bodily harm or death to another person. 

Penalties for DWI felonies in Texas may include:

  • A fine up to $10,000
  • Jail time of two to 20 years with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to two years

If a DWI offense is committed with a child under the age of 15 present in the vehicle. it is considered a state jail felony and penalties may include:

  • A fine up to $10,000
  • Jail time of six months to two years in a state jail facility
  • Loss of license from 90 days to two years

The severe longer-term consequences of a conviction include:

  • Damaged career prospects
  • Restriction of job type 
  • Reduced ability to earn income
  • Higher insurance premiums
  • Immigration status issues if you are not a U.S. citizen

This all means that, if you’re faced with a DWI charge in Texas, you must try to beat it – or pay both the short- and long-term penalties.

Beating a DWI charge in Texas

The best way to beat a DWI charge in Texas?

In my experience, case dismissal is nearly always the way to go.

A skilled DWI lawyer will vigorously defend you and leave no stone unturned when examing the evidence against you.

Here is the thing that few people on a first offense realize: proving the case against you is hard

It doesn’t matter how stacked the evidence seems against you, you always have a chance of escaping the conviction and the criminal record.

We have even successfully defended people who were intoxicated and have no recollection of events. There is no such thing as a hopeless case.

You are, of course, innocent until proven guilty. Besides, law enforcement officers frequently make mistakes during the stop and arrest process, and the prosecution sometimes fails to explain inconsistencies or gaps in the evidence against you.

Sometimes, the prosecution cannot prove reasonable suspicion i.e. that there was a valid reason for pulling you over and arresting you in the first place. The video evidence that most police have can be checked to see if it verifies the story of the arresting officer(s).

Then there is probable cause for arresting you, which the State prosecution must also show. Again, mistakes are often made with this.

If mistakes come to light before the case goes to trial, there is a good chance of case dismissal.

If it goes to trial but the DWI charge is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, there is a good chance of acquittal.

In either case, if you beat the DWI charge with your lawyer, you escape a criminal record and all of its life-changing consequences.

I’m an experienced DWI attorney based in San Antonio.

If you’re facing a DWI charge in Texas, call or text 210-920-1281 today for a free case evaluation with me or complete our online contact form.

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Successful Cases



Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.



Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.



Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.


DWI 2nd

Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.



Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.



Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

Contact Trey Porter Today

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The stakes are high. Criminal charges can have devastating, lifelong consequences. During the free, confidential consultation, Mr. Porter will answer questions surrounding your legal matter, and discuss and identify potential defenses.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the State is working on your conviction. It’s time to start building your defense.

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