Aggravated DWI – BAC > 0.15
Recently, the legislature amended the DWI statutes and created a new law that charges anyone who registers a BrAC (breath alcohol concentration) or BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of 0.15 or higher as an “aggravated DWI”, which is punished as a class A misdemeanor. It is subject to all of the same conditions and punishment range for a Class A Misdemeanor, except that there is a minimum of three days in jail as a condition of probation for an aggravated DWI/DUI.
Truth be told, this is typically yet another strong-arm tactic by the District Attorney’s office to get a DWI defendant to plead guilty and not fight their case. Often times the charge will be a standard DWI-1st offense. This is most always seen in cases where there is a blood draw. In those instances, blood results are not typically available for several months after the DWI arrest. Prosecutors are notorious for dangling the “if your client doesn’t plead we are going to enhance this to an aggravated DWI.” While the average criminal defense lawyer will quickly guide his client down the aisle into the land of convictions, an experienced DWI lawyer will not cower at the prospect of an enhancement paragraph being added to a client’s case. DWI Attorney Jeff Greco will certainly not allow the threat of an enhancement paragraph to cajole his clients who otherwise would not plead guilty to simply plead guilty now that a higher range of punishment is on the line.
At Greco Neyland, PC, we will handle the DWI the same whether or not it is alleged that the BrAC or BAC is above a 0.15. That does not change anything in terms of the steps a DWI defense lawyer must take. The fact that the stakes may be higher now does not change the fact that we were hired to fight this case, and this is an undertaking we will not abandon.
Often times, the higher the BrAC or BAC, the better our odds in a given DWI case. This is especially true if you look relatively good on video. It is hard to prove that a DWI suspect is intoxicated three times the legal limit when they look and sound like any normal person on video. Juries have come to expect that a highly intoxicated person (> 0.15) should in fact, resemble someone who is highly intoxicated. When the video evidence does not comport with a computer breath test (also known as the Intoxilyzer 5000) it creates a term we so eloquently discuss at trial, called, reasonable doubt.
The danger in hiring “just any lawyer” is that “just any lawyer” is very likely NOT a DWI lawyer. They have not received the countless DWI intensive seminars, kept up to date on the DWI changes in the law, the DWI Breath test operator (BTO) guidelines as mandated by the Texas Department of Public Safety (in fact we have a copy of the BTO Guidelines in our office), or any of the other countless little nuances in DWI defense that can make or break your case.