DWI Consequences

FIRST DWI

Even a first-time offender faces serious penalties. A DWI 1st is a Class B Misdemeanor and a conviction carries up to 180 days in jail or a probationary sentence of up to 2 years, a fine of up to a $2,000 and the possibility of an additional license suspension of up to one year. The judge can sentence a person convicted of a DWI 1st to up 30 days in jail as a condition of probation.

In addition to being expensive, probation remains on your record forever, without any hope of expunging or sealing that record. If you submitted to a breath or blood test and the results were over 0.15 BAC, then you are required under Texas law to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your car, even if you are not the owner!

If you arrested for a DWI and you are under 21, you may also be required to install the IID on your car. You may be required to perform some community service as a condition of probation, in addition to being responsible for court costs. DPS will also attempt to suspend your license, up to 90 days for a failed breath test and up to 180 days for a refusal (this may be higher or lower depending on whether you have been arrested for DWI before).

Finally, if you are convicted of a DWI, you will be required by DPS to pay a annual surcharge of $1,000 per year for three years.

SECOND DWI

A conviction for a DWI 2nd in the State of Texas carries with it potentially higher penalties, even if the prior conviction was in another state or several years ago.

First of all, any person convicted of a 2nd DWI must do some jail time, even if they ultimately receive probation. DWI 2nd is a Class A Misdemeanor and a conviction carries a sentence of up to a year in jail or a probationary sentence of up to 2 years, a fine of up to $4,000 and an additional license suspension. The judge can sentence a person convicted of a DWI 2nd to up 60 days in jail as a condition of probation.

Most judges in Travis County will require the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) as a condition of pretrial release as well as a condition of probation. You may be required to perform some community service as a condition of probation, in addition to being responsible for court costs.

DPS will also attempt to suspend your license. Depending on when your last suspension was, you may ineligible for the Occupational Driver’s License during a blackout period. If you are convicted of a DWI, you will be required by DPS to pay a annual surcharge each year for three years.

THIRD DWI

If you have been previously convicted of two or more prior DWIs, regardless of the where they were or when you were convicted, any subsequent arrest for DWI is a Third Degree Felony. This charge carries between 2 and 10 years in State Prison or up to 10 years of felony probation, a fine of up to $10,000 and an additional license suspension. Also, the judge can sentence a person convicted of a Felony DWI to up 180 days in prison as a condition of probation.

Probation will most likely require a person accused of a Felony DWI to complete an intensive inpatient or outpatient drug/alcohol treatment program as well as continuing counseling. All judges will require the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) as a condition of pretrial release as well as a condition of any probation.

You may be required to perform some community service as a condition of probation, in addition to being responsible for court costs. DPS will also attempt to suspend your license. Finally, if you are convicted of a DWI, you will be required by DPS to pay a annual surcharge for three years.

Contact Betty Blackwell today

Regardless of what kind of DWI you are charged with, it is important that you speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss the details of your case. You should hire a lawyer who is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization to defend your DWI/DUI case, so call Betty Blackwell to set up a free consultation about your drunk driving arrest.

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