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Plano DWI Defense Law Blog

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.

Why does Texas law enforcement want to curb drunk driving?

According to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 30 people are killed every day in the United States in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. That means that one person is killed every 51 minutes and the annual costs of alcohol-related accidents are as high as $59 billion.

For example, the number of fatalities resulting from alcohol-related accidents in 2012 was more than 10,000 and accounted for 31 percent, or almost one-third, of all crash-related deaths. Another major concern for law enforcement agencies is that more than 1,100 children were killed in alcohol-related accidents in 2012.

Felony DWI convictions in Texas stay on your records

Texas has some of the most stringent laws when it comes to driving while intoxicated. A DWI offense is considered to be very serious and therefore, the penalties associated with it are severe. Matters are worse when a person is convicted of felony DWI, which not only can strict penalties but also results in a lifetime stain on a person's criminal records.

So what choices does an alleged drunk driver who is facing felony DWI charges have? One option is to accept the punishment and potentially go to prison for between two to 10 years, pay fines of up to $10,000, have one's driver's license suspended for up to two years, pay a civil penalty of $1,500 for three years, pay increased car insurance premiums, install an ignition interlock device and finally, check the box forms that ask whether you have been convicted of a felony.

Breath testing devices that Texas troopers may use - II

A previous post on this blog talked about Preliminary Breath Testing Instruments, or PBTs. Preliminary Breath Testing Instruments are usually the most common form of breath alcohol testing instrument that a Texas trooper uses after pulling over a suspected drunk driver. However, there are some other types of breathalyzers which are approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, including infrared instruments, wet chemical instruments and passive or non-invasive alcohol sensors.

Infrared instruments work on the scientific principle that every chemical compound has its unique characteristics as far as the absorption of infrared energy is concerned. For example, ethyl alcohol, the type of alcohol found on a drunk person's breath or in his or her blood, absorbs energy in the 3.42 micros region of the infrared spectrum. Therefore, when a suspected driver's breath is tested, the instrument calculates the amount of energy absorbed by the breath sample. The amount absorbed thus indicates the amount of alcohol present in the driver's system.

Breath test devices that Texas troopers may use-Part I

Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration carefully examines various breath test devices for accuracy and then releases a list of approved instruments. Authorities in Texas review the list and the test results and then recommend the devices that law enforcement agencies in the state must use to detect blood-alcohol content in those people who are apprehended for driving while intoxicated.

Most of the instruments analyze the alveolar breath air because the 2100:1 blood-alcohol equilibrium ratio occurs inside the alveoli of the lungs. In order to detect that blood-alcohol content, four types of instruments are generally used by Texas troopers. They are preliminary breath testing instruments, infrared instruments, wet chemical instruments and non-invasive or passive alcohol sensors.

Texas takes strict stance to curb drunk driving on New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve parties tend to be one of the most anticipated parties of the year for many people in Texas. As often seen, revelers indulge themselves in drinks as they usher in the New Year. However, those few drinks can have some dire consequences after the party is over when the revelers head back home, thanks to the stringent patrolling by law enforcement agencies following New Year's Eve.

New Year's Eve 2015 was no different, with the Texas Department of Transportation warning party-goers that drunk driving would not be tolerated. This was part of the Holiday Impaired Driving Campaign, which began on December 1, 2014 and continued till January 1, 2015. The DOT's stance was meant to discourage drunk driving, a major concern for state agencies during the holiday season.

Dealing with vehicular assault/homicide charges in Plano, Texas

If you are reading this post, chances are you were apprehended in Plano, Texas, for driving while intoxicated, probably during the holidays. The situation would be worse for you if charges are for vehicular assault or vehicular manslaughter. Conviction of any of these charges is sure to leave a long-term impact not only on your driving privileges but also on your police record. Therefore, it is important for you to immediately seek legal help to understand your defense options.

According to Texas laws, vehicular assault occurs when an intoxicated driver willingly or unwillingly injures another person in an accident. In order to convict a person for vehicular assault, all that the prosecution needs to establish is that impaired driving was the reason behind the accident and not the intent to harm. Penalties for intoxication assault can include fines of up to $10,000 and incarceration of up to 10 years. Additionally, driving privileges are suspended and criminal records are permanently scarred, which can put a person's future prospects in jeopardy.

What are common problemsarising from breath test results?

When Texas troopers pull over a vehicle for suspected drunk driving, they usually rely on a fixed set of field sobriety tests or breathalyzer tests to apprehend and charge the alleged drunk driver. However, it has been pointed out in numerous forums that breathalyzer tests are not always accurate. Extensive testing and development has gone into refining breathalyzers but the accuracy problems seem to persist. In fact, some states do not consider breathalyzer test results as conclusive evidence for convicting an alleged drunk driver.

The problem with breathalyzers is probably that these instruments do not actually test blood alcohol concentration, which only a blood test can do. Instead, breathalyzer detects BAC indirectly.

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