By Bo Kalabus
24 Hour Jail Release 214-402-4364
Let's say you are out with your 7-year old daughter at the mall doing some back to school shopping in Frisco, Collin County, Texas. Your spouse is at a doctor's appointment, so you have your hands full navigating your daughter through the mall by yourself. As the shopping day wears on, you both get hungry, so you stop at an Italian restaurant in the mall you both like. During the course of the meal you have a few drinks to unwind. It's time to leave, so you and your daughter start on your way. You feel pretty good, but you don't feel intoxicated as you pull the vehicle out of the mall parking lot.
As you are driving down the road your daughter shouts to you to get your attention about something and you turn around to see what it is. As you are turned around, you car drifts out of the lane and you sideswipe the car next to you. You pull into the closest gas station and so does the car you collided with. Your daughter is distraught and you are trying to calm her down while you exchange information with the other driver. The other driver has called the police to get an accident report, which you think is a fine idea. While the other driver is talking to you he smells alcohol on your breath. When the police officer shows up, the other driver--being a good Samaritan reports the alcohol on your breath and the officer has you conduct some field sobriety tests, which you don't do so hot on because you are distracted by your daughter and the stress of the day. Next thing you know, you are in the back of the police car in cuffs watching your daughter being taken away.
You learn that you are being charged with a DWI with a child on board which you also learn is a felony. A felony??!!! Yes, of the State Jail level which carries the punishment of a minimum of 180 days in jail up to two years and up to $10,000 fine. Some of the factors the State will weigh in determining the punishment are if you have any prior DWI convictions, the age of the child, and level of intoxication.
There is no defense to the passenger aspect of the charge. Basically, either the child was in the car or not. You'll need a lawyer that is skilled in attacking the driving while intoxicated charge. I examine every piece of evidence and the arrest, which includes the probable cause for the traffic stop, and tests the person was given--field sobriety/chemical tests. My goal in these types of cases as well, as any case I work on, is to gain as much leverage as I can to put the person's record in the best position I can through either getting the charges reduced or going to trial.