If you’re reading this, you are probably well aware of the seriousness and stigma that comes along with a Driving While Intoxicated charge. Because of this, you’re most likely searching for an alternative to a potential DWI conviction. If this sounds like you and you’re not sure what to do next, you may be able to benefit from learning about Obstruction of Highway and how it may apply to your case.
DWI is a very serious charge, and it can have lasting effects on your future. However, it’s important to remember that a charge doesn’t necessarily have to end in conviction. If you’re someone who’s trying to figure out some sort of chance of getting your charges reduced or dismissed, it’s time to educate yourself on Obstruction of Highway, and how this charge compares to DWI.
Texas Penal Code Section 42.03 defines obstruction of highway as an individual obstructing a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, hallway, entrance, or exit to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access, or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances, regardless of the means of creating the obstruction and whether the obstruction arises from his acts alone or from his acts and the acts of others. This offense also takes place when an individual disobeys a reasonable request or order to move issued by a peace officer or fireman.
As you can tell, this is much different than the straightforward definition of DWI, according to Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code:
A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
Obstruction of a Highway is a common conviction that many individuals try to fight for in lieu of a DWI conviction. For starters, Obstruction charges don’t carry the same stigmas as intoxication-related charges such as DWI and DUI. In addition to this, Obstruction of a Highway can save you money; fighting either of these charges will cost you money, but unlike DWI and DUI convictions, this “lesser” conviction won’t carry the same fines and DPS surcharges as Driving While Intoxicated.
In general, it will be easier for you to “bounce back” from an Obstruction conviction than its more severe counterpart. Committing Obstruction of a Highway typically does not entail the driver’s license suspensions, high insurance rates, and negative public stigma that come along with a DWI conviction. This is viewed as a traffic-related offense and not an intoxication-related offense such as public intoxication or intoxicated assault. This will also help you if you plan on applying to jobs or educational institutions in the future. Having a DWI appear on your record of criminal history can hinder your future possibilities and make your life harder, whereas this is much, much less likely if you “only” have an Obstruction conviction on your record.
Having your DWI charges reduced isn’t always possible, but there are many factors that can contribute to a reduction of your charges. First and foremost, if you are an individual without a criminal record, you may have a very good chance at having your DWI charges reduced to a conviction equal or similar to Obstruction of a Highway. In addition to this, if your criminal defense attorney investigates your case and discovers that your DWI charge came to fruition due to an unlawful stop by a law enforcement officer, you may be able to have your case dismissed.
Investigating the case and analyzing the facts of a DWI case is not always easy, though. If you are trying to figure out any type of unlawful activity that involved in your criminal case, it is always best to hire a criminal defense attorney. At The Law Office of Richard C. McConathy, we specialize in criminal defense and DWI charges in Tarrant County. Led by experienced defense lawyer Richard McConathy, you can count on our law offices to help you get through your tough times. Charges should never be taken lightly, and our legal professionals have the knowledge and foresight necessary to provide you with quality defense. For more information on how we can help, call today at 817-422-5350.
Keep in mind that there are also factors that can stop you from being eligible for a reduction in your charges. For example, if the defendant has any prior DWI arrests/convictions, a criminal history, or there were injuries involved in the case at hand, an outcome of Obstruction of a Highway instead of a DWI conviction may be extremely unlikely. Tarrant County prosecutors do not take intoxication-related offenses lightly, and when they’re faced with repeat offenders (or offenders who seem to be a threat to others by driving under the influence) they will do what it takes to make an example out of them.
Furthermore, having a blood alcohol level that is significantly higher than the state’s legal limit can also cause you to lose your chance at having a reduced charge. In the state of Texas, the legal blood alcohol level is 0.08%. If your BAC is noticeably higher than this percentage, you may have issues finding a way to get your charges reduced.
When you're facing DWI charges, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next, but it’s important to act quickly and decisively after you’re aware of your pending allegations. Depending on your circumstance and criminal history, it may be very possible for you to reduce your DWI charges or have them completely dismissed. If you’re ready to bolster your defense and give yourself the best possible chance of beating your case, hire The Law Office of Richard C. McConathy. As an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dallas, McConathy and his experienced legal team have battled thousands of criminal cases. The team is equipped to service clients in Tarrant County, To learn more, call us today at 817-422-5350 to claim your free, no-obligation consultation.