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Plano DWI Defense Law Blog

What is a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate?

According to Texas law, if a person is driving while intoxicated, that person is considered a danger to others on the road. Intoxication can lead to accidents resulting in injuries, fatalities and damage to property. In an effort to protect parties from such accidents, Texas law requires certain drivers to carry a Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate, more commonly known as SR-22 insurance.

An SR-22 insurance certificate is necessary if a person is convicted of DWI charges or other similar traffic offenses. According to the law, a convicted person must apply for SR-22 and inform the Texas Department of Public Safety immediately. That person must possess an SR-22 insurance certificate for a period of two years, starting on the date of conviction. Where a person is supposed to produce an SR-22 insurance certificate, a normal insurance car or policy will not suffice.

NHTSA says drug-related DWI offenses are on the rise in America

It goes without saying that driving under the influence of drugs is as risky as driving under the influence of alcohol. Texas laws acknowledge that fact. A drug-related DWI is illegal, just like alcohol-related DUIs in the state. Accordingly, police in Texas take the necessary action whenever they are able to determine that a person is operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. Since Texas laws consider this a major offense, the penalties are also severe.

It may interest many people to learn that a couple of recent studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that drug-related DWI/DUI offenses are on the rise in America. In fact, as many as a quarter of all drivers in the country who are arrested for DWI have tested positive for marijuana, illegal drugs or some types of medicines that can impede safety on the road.

Texas woman files lawsuit after cops draw blood forcefully

Residents of Plano, Texas, and the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex understand that people have certain rights when they are arrested for suspicion of driving while intoxicated in Texas. However, sometimes, the media reports an incident in which a person's rights were violated after a DWI arrest. One such incident and the subsequent lawsuit may interest many people.

According to a report, a 24-year-old woman from Austin, Texas, recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Austin, Travis County, Austin police, the county sheriff's office and certain nurses, among others, for what she says was a forced blood draw after a breath test refusal, which led to a DWI arrest in February 2013. The lawsuit also claims that the woman was subjected to unlawful search and seizure, excessive force, assault and battery, negligence and medical malpractice.

Police make two DWI arrests after back-to-back crashes in Dallas

In what can probably be described as freak accidents, police in a suburb of Dallas, Texas, arrested two people for allegedly driving while intoxicated. The incident happened on a recent Sunday morning at 3 a.m. in Grand Prairie, approximately 36 miles from Plano.

Police officers pulled over an alleged drunk driver and were dealing with him when a second driver crashed into the policemen's stationary car nearby. Apparently, that driver was also under the influence of alcohol. The bizarre incidents did not end there. Reports state that a third driver crashed into another empty police vehicle, which was parked nearby. That man, however, was not under the influence of alcohol.

Commercial breath test devices not effective in preventing DWI

Driving while intoxicated is probably one of the most common offenses on the road, which also results in a number of fatalities each year. DWIs occur in Texas as well as in the rest of the country. Accordingly, law enforcement officers try to rigidly enforce DWI laws in hopes of reducing incidences of drunk driving.

The penalties are severe and can potentially have serious consequences. However, certain technology companies have come up with self-testing solutions that can enable drivers to figure out if their blood-alcohol content level is within the legal limit before they decide to get behind the wheel.

Dealing with legal issues after a breath test refusal in Texas

According to implied consent laws in Texas, refusing to perform a breath test following an arrest for suspected drunk driving can lead to a driver's license suspension for at least six months for a first-time offense. However, losing the privilege to drive can make performing day-to-day activities very difficult; however, it is a lot better than being convicted of driving while intoxicated, which can attract severe penalties, including stiff fines and incarceration.

In most DWI arrests, breath test results form the basis on which Texas troopers base their charges. However, inaccurate test results are not uncommon and the reasons for that are many. In fact, an earlier post on this blog discussed those problems in detail. Significantly, problems often arise because of incorrect breath test device calibration or because of the presence of other types of alcohol in a driver's breath, which can be a result of the driver's prescribed medications.

Appealing a felony DWI conviction in Texas

Driving while intoxicated is a major offense in the state of Texas, as well as in the entire United States, and the penalties for a conviction are severe. The situation is worse if the person is charged with a felony DWI. Felony DWI convictions remain on record for a long time and can have detrimental effects on a convicted driver's career prospects and reputation in the community.

However, Texas laws allow a person who has been convicted of a felony DWI to appeal the decision unless that person has already forfeited the right to appeal as part of a plea bargain or an agreement with the state. The process for appeal is the same as other criminal appeals and comprises four basic steps.

  • Motion for a new trial
  • Notice of appeal
  • Filing the record
  • Filing the appellate brief

What is a "non-disclosure order" in Texas?

When an adult Plano, Texas, resident is convicted of driving while intoxicated, the conviction can remain on that person's record forever. That means that every time that person has to apply for various services and benefits, the check box that asks about criminal convictions must be ticked. However, if a person convicted of DWI is able to obtain an expungement, it can wipe the conviction off of their record.

However, there are certain serious offenses, including some DWI offenses, which cannot be expunged. In such a situation, however, it may be possible for a person who was convicted of DWI to obtain what is called an "Order for Non-disclosure." This order does not erase a DWI conviction record like DWI expungement; however, it limits the accessibility of the conviction record considerably.

How does a Plano resident apply for DWI expungement?

The consequences of a conviction for driving while intoxicated in Texas are harsh. Being convicted not only ruins the person's reputation but that person will also have to face a number of difficulties while applying for a job or a loan. This is in addition to the fines and other penalties that a person has to pay after a conviction. Considering these difficulties, it may be a wise decision to try to obtain an expungement of records so life can return to normal, even after a DWI conviction.

While applying for expungement of records, the first step that an individual must take is to thoroughly understand the laws under which the conviction occurred. For DWI convictions in Texas, a person must possess a thorough understanding of Texas Penal Code Title 10 Chapter 49. Additionally, an understanding of the Texas Penal Code Title 10 Chapter 55 is also necessary because this chapter explains how the expungement process works in Texas.

Suspected drunk driver slams into patrol cars near Plano, Texas

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in Texas and in the entire United States. The penalties for DWI are harsh. To keep Texas roads free from the risks posed by drunk drivers, law enforcement agencies in the state are strict when it comes to enforcing DWI laws. The legal system in the state supports their efforts and expedites DWI cases so that a clear message is sent to other drivers so that they avoid DWI offenses in the future.

In a recent incident, about 15 miles west of Plano, Texas, police officers arrested an alleged drunk driver after the man struck two police cars while the officers were making another DWI arrest. According to reports, neither officer suffered injuries although one of them was in the police car at the time of the crash. Video from a nearby surveillance camera showed that the pick-up truck, which was driven by the alleged drunk driver, skidded out of control and slammed into one police car first and then the other.

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The Shapiro Law Firm | 701 E. 15th Street | Plano, TX 75074

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