Is it your first DWI offense and you’re wondering what’s going to happen? If you find yourself in this predicament it’s important to know your rights and to get some help.
Your first step should be to hire a San Antonio DWI Lawyer. Here are four key things that a first DWI offender should know.
Most DWI charges, regardless of the severity, will result in fines, possible jail time, and license suspensions. DWI charges can range from a Class B misdemeanor all the way up to a second-degree felony based on the factors in play.
For minors, there is a zero-tolerance policy for driving while intoxicated. Any detection of alcohol will result in a DWI.
BAC Above .15
For adults, the legal limit is .08. If your blood alcohol content exceeds .15, your charge will increase from a Class b misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.
If you are pulled over for a DWI and have passengers in the car who are fifteen or younger. The charge changes from a misdemeanor to a state-jail level felony.
If there are injuries or death that occur as a result of your DWI, which Texas refers to as “Intoxication Assault” or “Intoxication Manslaughter”, you will be charged with a third or second-degree felony.
Consequences and Punishment
DWIs can come with some fairly serious consequences. Based on the charge, an individual can expect fines, jail or prison time, a suspended license, annual surcharges to renew your license, a mandatory drug and alcohol course, and the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Fines can range from $2,000 up to $10,000, depending on the charge. Jail time can be sentenced for those that are being charged with a misdemeanor. In these types of cases, judges can probate the jail sentence.
For driving under the influence with minors present, sentences can include time in state jail. For either level of a felony charge, those charged may be sentenced from 2 to 20 years in state prison.
Most often, people charged with a DWI can expect their license to be suspended. Suspensions can range from 3 months up to 2 years.
Impact on Employment and Auto Insurance
Even a DWI first offender can experience challenges with both employment and auto insurance.
Many employers run periodic background checks on their employees, especially those that have driving as part of their job responsibilities. Because a DWI conviction will become part of your criminal history, some employers will choose not to employ you due to impacts on their insurance premiums and for safety reasons.
Expect your auto insurance premiums to increase. If your charge is elevated to a felony, your insurance likely won’t cover any damages or costs of the accident.
Your Best Chance to Handle a DWI Case in Texas is to Hire a San Antonio DWI Lawyer
A DWI, even for a first time offender, can have serious and long-term impacts on your life. Whether it’s lowering a charge or getting the charge expunged from your record, your best bet is to hire a San Antonio DWI lawyer to help mitigate these impacts.
Contact us to talk about how we can help you defend against DWI charges today.