You’ve been slammed with DWI charges in Texas. You’re terrified.
What’s your next step?
Reading this guide to find out.
DWI: A Definition
If you operate a motor vehicle in Texas while intoxicated, you’re at risk of being charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Here what it means to be intoxicated:
- Your blood alcohol concentration is .08% or more
- You lack the normal use of your physical or mental abilities
Being hit with a DWI charge is very serious because it could affect your life even if the charges are ultimately dropped. You may have to pay a large amount of money in fees or you could lose your license.
There are two types of penalties you can face if you’re charged with a DWI: criminal or administrative. Criminal penalties are more serious.
The best way to defend yourself is to hire legal help. Your lawyer can explain the intricacies of the laws applying to your case.
Your license may be revoked by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles after you’re arrested. You’ll be offered a chemical sobriety test on the road. If you fail the test or refuse to take it, your license will be immediately confiscated.
You’ll receive an official “Notice of Suspension.” It’s used as a temporary permit and gives you 15 days to contest the arresting officer’s story. If you don’t fight the charges, your license will be automatically suspended for 90 days.
The good news is that you have options if you’re a first offender. You might be eligible for an “occupational license.” This will allow you to drive to work and school if you install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle.
A Texas DWI conviction is a class B misdemeanor unless the driver’s BAC was .15% or higher. Then it becomes a class A misdemeanor.
You could face up to six months in jail if you’re convicted of a class B misdemeanor. If your blood alcohol was high enough for you to be charged with a class A misdemeanor, you could be sentenced to a year behind bars.
Additional criminal penalties include fines ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 and mandated community service.
Your case becomes harder to beat if you have a record of similar offenses. If you’re convicted of a DWI for a second time, you could be jailed for up to a year.
A third offense carries the risk of potential fines up to $10,000 and 2 to 10 years in jail.
Another DWI charge is called DWI with a child passenger. If there’s a child under 15 years old in the car when you’re arrested, you can be convicted. The sentencing terms dictate a jail term of at least 180 days and a maximum of two years.
Fighting DWI Charges in Texas
When you’re fighting DWI charges in Texas, you need a strong lawyer by your side. Otherwise, you might end up facing nasty consequences.
At the Law Office of Roland J. Garcia, we can help when you’re in trouble. Contact us now to start fighting your case.