Skip to content

Austin, TX DWI Attorney

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most common charges in the Austin area, and it’s an area our firm has places great deal of focus on. We have a team of former prosecutors, judges, DWI experts, and DWI scientists who have developed a playbook to getting DWI charges dismissed.

A conviction can lead to serious consequences, including fines, jail time, and reduced driving privileges. Additionally, you may also face other consequences, such as higher auto insurance rates or scrutiny from current and future employment.

The stakes are high if you’re charged with a DWI. But, being arrested and charged does not mean you will necessarily have to suffer these consequences. Here at Michael & Associates, we believe that one mistake should not have a disastrous impact on the rest of your life, and that’s why we fight extremely hard for the best outcome possible. Our #1 goal is always a dismissal.

The Michael & Associates DWI Team

Michael & Associates is a premium firm with the intention of getting you the best outcome possible. We only hire seasoned attorneys that have a track record of excelling at defending clients.

Our Team

Ben Michael

Founder and Managing Partner

Ben is the founder and Managing Partner of Michael and Associates, and has over a decade of experience defending the accused against DWI charges in the Austin area. He knows the local court systems like the back of his hand, and excels at negotiating with prosecutors and judges to get the best outcome possible

He originally studied political science at the University of Florida, then got his law degree from Loyola Law School in LA. After returning to his hometown of Austin and passing the bar, he worked his way up at the largest law firm in Texas, and subsequently became partner at another highly regarded DWI defense firm in the Austin area. He then started Michael & Associates to provide a higher level of client service along with the best defense possible.

Ben has won 40 under 40, been Ranked Top 10 Texas DWI Attorney, is Rated 10/10 by Avvo.

Joseph Deeb

Joseph Deeb

Senior Trial Attorney, Former Austin-Area Prosecutor

Before becoming a defense attorney, Joseph spent over 10 years as a prosecutor in the Austin area. He prosecuted felonies at the Travis County district attorney office, and handled misdemeanors for both Travis County and City of Cedar Park.

Joseph received his undergraduate degree at Florida State University, and completed his law degree at St Mary’s University School of law.

As a former Travis County prosecutor, Joseph Deeb knows the details of the Austin justice system in and out. He has great relationships with prosecutors, judges and court coordinators, and brings the unique perspective of the prosecution when it comes to defending clients against drunk driving charges.

James Fletcher Attorney

James Fletcher

Senior Attorney, DWI Expert, Certified DWI Scientist


James is one of a handful of lawyers to achieve the designation of Lawyer-Scientist through the American Chemical Society, which he earned by attending the prestigious Axion forensic training laboratory in Chicago. James now knows as much as, if not more than, any of the State’s “expert” witnesses when it comes to analyzing blood draws and chromatography analysis. He has used this knowledge to suppress blood tests and win trials for his clients that stand accused of Driving While Intoxicated. Throughout his ten years of practice James has focused on representing those who cannot stand for themselves against the awesome power of the State. He has tried and won DWI trials across Texas. 

James completed his undergraduate degree at Baylor University, and subsequently attended South Texas College of Law Houston where he obtained high A marks in criminal law. Throughout law school, he spent time interning with the local District Attorneys offices, gaining valuable experience insight into how the opposition operates.

Andromeda Vega Rubio

Senior Trial Attorney, Former Austin-Area Prosecutor

Andromeda Vega Rubio was born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany. She graduated Cum Laude in 2014 from the University of Maryland University College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She then began her Masters at Johns Hopkins University in Biotechnology.

In 2017, Andromeda attended Baylor Law School, graduated with her law degree in 2019, and was licensed to practice law in October 2019. After law school, Andromeda began her career at the Williamson County Attorney’s Office where she quickly worked her way up to a Trial prosecutor.

In 2021 however, Andromeda decided to follow her real passion: to provide those charged with a crime with a sound and effective defense. As a native Spanish and German speaker, she believes language should not be an added barrier to effective legal representation.

Nathan Ossowski

Senior Trial Attorney

Nathan began his career in politics, graduating from the University of Redlands with a degree in government, and going on to work on many political campaigns. But this led him to realize his true calling was defending the accused. He graduated from the Temple University School of law, where he interned at the Philadelphia Public Defenders office, an experience that exposed him to the profound impact a dedicated advocate can have on the lives of those navigating the criminal justice system. He also interned with the Philadelphia District Attorneys office, gaining valuable knowledge on how the prosecution operates.

He began practicing in Austin, Texas in 2016, working diligently to provide unwavering support to those accused with DWIs. He has defended more DWIs he can county, always fighting for the best outcome possible.

Testimonials

Recent Case Results

If you are feeling hopeless about your case, rest assured that we have beaten harder cases with worse circumstances. Our goal is always a dismissal or the best outcome possible. Here are a few recent DWI cases we have successfully fought:

1st DWI – Case Dismissed

Location: Austin, TX

Allegations: Police pulled client over, alleging that he was swerving between lanes.  Client failed sobriety test and was taken to the police station.

Result: Dismissed after motion to suppress illegally obtained evidence.

2nd DWICharges Reduced

Location: Austin, TX

Allegations: Client was pulled over and refused a breathalyzer.  Client failed sobriety test and was taken into custody.  This was the client’s second offense.

Result: Case Pled Down to Reckless Driving

1st DWI – Case Dismissed

Location: Austin, TX

Allegations: Client arrested after running a stop sign.  Police administered a breathalyzer and blood test.

Result: Case Dismissed

What Constitutes Driving While Intoxicated?

As defined in Texas Penal Code § 49.04, you can be convicted Driving While Intoxicated if you are “intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” In Texas, you are considered intoxicated if you do not have normal control of your mental and / or physical facilities due to the influence of Drugs and / or Alcohol.

Most DWI cases are alcohol related, and the legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration is 0.08 or higher. Usually this is tested by blood or breathalyzer, but even if you are not tested or your test is below the legal limit, you can still be arrested or charged.

You do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, unless there is a court order compelling you to take the test. However, your license will be suspended if you do so.

Types of DWI Charges and Sentencing Guidelines

It’s important to understand the various types of DWI charges in Texas.  Each one has its own penalties and punishments.  Additionally, prosecutors and courts will treat different types with different levels of scrutiny.

First Time

First time DWI convictions carry penalties of up to a year in jail, up to a $6,000 fine, license suspension and a permanent conviction.  Sentencing can vary and go up from here based on prior records and also aggravating factors.

Fortunately, our success rate on first time DWIs is extremely high – we are able to dismiss, plea down, get probation and / or get deferred adjudication (probation without conviction) for the majority of clients.  But you need an attorney that knows the game.

Additionally, there are ways to have your record sealed and deleted for a first-time DWI if your case is handled well.

Second Time

A second DWI is much more severe than the first.  In Austin, the second DWI offense is a Class A misdemeanor with a $6,000 find and a maximum jail sentence of one year.  A conviction is permanent and requires a minimum 3 day sentence in a Travis county jail – even if you get probation.  Probation is a max of 24 months.

2nd DWI convictions go on your permanent record and have no chance of deferred adjudication.

It’s worth noting – eleven if your first DWI was dismissed, you can still be charged with DWI 2nd.

Travis and Williamson County courts do not look favorably on 2nd DWI cases, so you need an attorney that is going to fight hard.  The only ways out are acquittal or dismissal.    

3rd+ Time

In Austin, a 3rd+ DWI is a felony and can result in up to 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice penitentiary – that’s prison, not county jail.  The minimum sentence is 10 days in jail, and fines can be as high as $10,000.

Even if one of your prior DWIs received deferred adjudication and you only have one conviction, you can still be charged with 3rd+ DWI.  

3rd+ DWIs can be beaten, but requires an experienced attorney who will review every detail of your case and mount an aggressive defense.  At Michael & Associates, you get the DWI defense dream team, and can rest assured we will fight to get you the best outcome possible.

Additional DWI Charges and Enhancements

Additionally, there are what are known as DWI enhancements – factors that can result in more severe penalties.  Some are as follows:

  • DWI .15+: This charge happens if you blew .15 BAC or higher.  It’s a Class A misdemeanor, and convictions are permanent.
  • DWI With Open Container: This happens if you are pulled over with an open container of alcohol. Convictions require a minimum 6 day jail sentence.
  • DWI with Child Passenger: This is a felony and can result in a prison sentence of up to 24 months.

In addition to the criminal penalties, a DWI conviction can inhibit or eliminate your ability to drive.  As previously mentioned, the Texas Department of Safety will automatically suspend you driver’s license after arrest, unless you file for an ALR hearing.  And if you lose that hearing, your license will be suspended.

Impact of a DWI on your Driver’s License

Typically the suspension is between 90 and 180 days after an arrest.  If you have a commercial driver’s license, you will likely receive a longer suspension. 

If it’s been 15 days or less since the arrest, we will immediately file for an Administrative License Review (ALR) hearing.  This gives you some breathing room, as you can keep driving until this hearing occurs. An ALR hearing is an administrative hearing – not a criminal hearing. It’s where a DPS official decides whether you get to keep your driver’s license or not.

We attend the hearing for you – no need to do anything.  The hearing is with us and an officer, and we will do our very best to win the hearing.  In fact, we have two ALR specialists – they do nothing but fight ALR hearings, and due to their focus, are some of the best in the state at winning.

There is another important part of the ALR hearing: this gives us the chance to cross-examine the officer, and use his or her testimony in your case. Often we will learn something about the case that gives us an edge when it comes to fighting the criminal charges.

After the hearing, it takes a few days to get the results.

It’s likely that the hearing will not go in your favor, but no need to fret. If you lose the ALR hearing, which unfortunately is common, we will file for an Occupational Driver’s License.  This is the only way to legally drive with a suspended license.

We’re proud to say we can’t remember a single time when a defendant was unable to continue driving after a DWI charge.

DWI consequences can be severe if not handled properly.  But, breathe a sigh of relief – at Michael & Associates we never expect clients to get anywhere near the maximum penalties, and have a great success rate at getting dismissals & reductions.

Related Resources

What Are the Actual Outcomes and Penalties of DWI Charges?

Though the penalties certainly sound scary, the reality is that the actual case outcomes are far less severe than you might thing.

This is because the justice system in Austin – at least most of the time – is a bargaining system. In reality, most individuals who hire an competent DWI attorney will end up with a far lower outcome.

Case Outcomes in Austin

The first thing to understand about a DWI charge is the case outcome. Most cases don’t end up going to trial – instead an outcome gets worked out with the prosecutor.

You can see the data from Travis County DWI charges below.

Disposition1st DWI2nd DWIFelony DWI
Dismissal77%27%7%
Convicted – Guilty or Nolo16%63%66%
Deferred Adjudication4%5%2%
Motions to Revoke Granted / Revoked1%3%5%
Motions to Revoke Denied / Continued1%3%21%
Other0%0%0%
Acquittal by Court0%0%0%
Acquittal by Jury0%0%0%
DWI Outcomes in Travis County

First Time DWI: The most common outcome is dismissal, accounting for roughly 77% of outcomes. followed by conviction. Approximately 4% receive deferred adjudication.

Second Time DWI: A majority of second time DWI offenders receive a conviction, so it’s important to hire an attorney for the best chance of keeping your record clean. Only 4.7% of defendants receive deferred adjudication.

Felony DWI: Over 60% of defendants receive a conviction, which can result in jail time. Deferred adjudication is highly unlikely, with under 2% receiving this outcome.

Conviction Sentences in Austin

f convicted, you will receive a sentence. Below shows the distribution of sentence types for DWI convictions last year in Travis County:

Sentence1st Offense2nd OffenseFelony
Probation/Community Supervision17%17%51%
Commited to Local Jail83%45%12%
Commited Directly to State Prison0%0%5%
DWI Conviction Statistics in Travis County

First Time DWI: Though only 16% of First Time DWIs receive a conviction, 83% these of convictions result in a sentencing to local jail time.

Second Time DWI: The most likely outcome of a 2nd DWI conviction is jail time, with 72% of cases receiving this outcome. Only 28% of convictions resulting in Probation or Community Supervision.

Felony DWI: It may seem surprising that only 25% of Felony convictions result in jail or prison time. However this is misleading, since the majority of Felony DWI cases result in convictions, whereas misdemeanors have a lower conviction rate.

How a DWI Conviction Affects Auto Insurance Rates

A DWI conviction will most likely increase your auto insurance rates. In Austin, the average annual cost of car insurance is $720. For drivers with DWI convictions, the average annual cost of auto insurance is $1,037, an increase of $317.  This can vary by age, gender, and other factors, which can be seen in the tables below.

Breakdown by Gender

MaleFemale
Without DWI Conviction$720$720
With DWI Conviction$1,037$1,037
Increase$317$317
Insurance Rates in Austin, TX with and without a DWI Conviction by Gender

Breakdown by Age

18-2425-3435-4445-5455-6465+
Without DWI Conviction$1,092$660$624$588$552$576
With DWI Conviction$1,572$950$899$847$795$829
Increase$480$290$275$259$243$253
Insurance Rates in Austin, TX with and without a DWI Conviction by Age

Other Consequences of a DWI 

  • Employer Background Checks: A DWI conviction will go on your permanent record and show on any employer background check.  Employers can refuse to hire you based on this.
  • Commercial Drivers License Restrictions: You may lose the ability to drive for a living.
  • Auto Insurance Rates: Car insurance is, on average, 40% more expensive for those with DWI convictions.
  • Gun Ownership: A felony DWI conviction in Austin will prevent you from being able to own a firearm.  Additionally, some probation requirements might restrict gun ownership.
  • Cost of Ignition Interlock Devices: Probation may require you to purchase a device that makes you blow into a breathalyzer in order to start your car.

Bottom line is that a DWI conviction is expensive.  So again, whether you hire us or someone else, make sure you hire the best attorney that you can afford.

Do I need to Hire an Attorney?

Before we jump into the ins and outs of a DWI, the question you have on your mind is likely “do I need a lawyer for this?”  While we can’t speak for you, the data is clear: a strong defense attorney with experience in fighting DWIs will almost always get you a better outcome.

If it’s your second or third DWI, or your DWI comes with enhanced charges, you’d be a fool to not hire an attorney.  The cost of a DWI conviction is immense is immense, not only financially, but considering the potential loss of employment, loss of driving privileges, jail time, criminal record and even insurance…well a top-notch attorney is a bargain.  

Additionally, don’t skimp on costs and definitely don’t go with a public defender. You want a defense attorney that knows the prosecutors, knows the judges, and has experience with these types of cases.  You want them to review every word of every document, and review all the evidence in meticulous detail – these things cost money. 

As described in the previous section, a conviction is extremely costly.

So don’t skimp out on hiring defense counsel – you get what you pay for.

Beating Your DWI – The Michael & Associates Approach

Beating a DWI is possible – in fact our attorneys have done it hundreds of times.  With Michael & Associates, you don’t just get one lawyer – you get the full force of the firm.  Think of us the Dream Team of DWI Defense.  With decades of experience on both the defense and the prosecution side, we are well equipped to get you the best outcome possible.

Even if you took a breathalyzer or blood test, you still have a good chance of getting a great outcome with us.

We’ll start with the ALR hearing to keep your license, and if that’s not an option, we will file to get you an ODL so that you can stay on the road.

If you have bond conditions, we will fight to reduce them.  And then we’ll start assembling a strong defense strategy.

A big part of this is reviewing the evidence, which includes all written records and watching all the body cam footage from the arrest.  We’ll ask you to walk through your side of the story as well.  Each step along the way, we will be looking for holes in the prosecution’s case.  Was the arrest done properly?  Was the breathalyzer test done correctly?  Did the cops do the sobriety test the right way?  Remember, it’s on the prosecutors to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt – all we need is enough reasonable doubt.

From there, we will negotiate hard with the prosecutors in order to get the best outcome possible.  Our lawyers have been practicing law in and around Austin, so we know what to expect.  Most DWIs result in some sort of deal before trial, but we are always prepared to take your case all the way to trial if you want us to.

With Michael & Associates, you’ve got a great shot at getting a great outcome

In Conclusion:
DWIs can be beat in many ways, and our playbook shows this.  You want to use every single tool at your disposal to beat your charges.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a DWI go on my permanent record?  Can it be expunged?

If convicted, a DWI does go on your permanent record. Our goal is always to get a DWI dismissed.  For first time DWIs, deferred adjudication is an option, which involves a probationary period.  Assuming certain conditions are met, your record can be sealed so that the DWI does not appear on background checks.

What should I expect after a DWI arrest?

The process for resolving a DWI arrest is long.  It’s important you file for an ALR hearing to avoid an automatic license suspension.  Within 30 days, you will typically have to appear in court.  Do not miss a court date, or you risk additional charges.

Can I drink on a DWI bond in Travis County?

Short answer is no.  You cannot drink while on bond for DWI, even if you are over 21 years of age.

How long do they have to charge me with a DWI?

The statute of limitations on DWI is 2 years here in Austin, though most charges happen immediately after the arrest.

How likely is jail time for a first time DWI?

Jail time is possible for a first time DWI conviction.  However, we cannot think of a single time one of our clients has served time in jail for a first time DWI (assuming no enhanced charges).

How long does it take to resolve a DWI case?

On average, it takes us 10 months to resolve a DWI case.  We know that this is extremely stressful, so we try and move the case along as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, the court system is slow and bureaucratic.  It can take months just to get discovery, and also months to negotiate with the prosecutors.  Rest assured that we want to put this behind you as quickly as possible.

How much is bail for a DWI in Austin?

Bail for a DWI rarely exceeds $5,000 for a first time offender.  For subsequent offenses, it can be more.  At the end of the day, it’s up to the judge.  In many cases, when the bond is unfair, we will fight to have your bond reduced.

What if a friend is in jail for DWI? 

You can always check the Travis County Sheriff’s office website or call (512) 854-9770 to see if someone has been arrested for DWI.  If they are in jail, the best thing to do is to call us ASAP – often we can get them out faster and cheaper than without an attorney.

In Conclusion
Hopefully we’ve given you helpful information about DWIs in Austin.  Should you have any additional questions, do not hesitate to call us.  Our case reviews are free, and we are happy to provide insight whether you hire us or not.

Ben Michael

Ben has vast experience in defending criminal cases ranging from DWIs to assault, drug possession, and many more. He has countless criminal charges dismissed and pled down. Among many other awards, one of the Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorneys in Texas and winner of Top 40 under 40.

Scroll to Top