An Overview of Texas DWI Laws
Arrested for Drunk Driving in Texas?
Consult a skilled Houston DWI Lawyer immediately!
DWI is the acronym for Driving While Intoxicated and are criminal offenses which are best managed by an effective Houston DWI Lawyer. The crime is classified as a misdemeanor charge when it’s the first or second offense, but can be classified as a felony if the court determines the defendant to be a habitual offender.
The consequences are far more serious than the originating offense if the defendants have anything to say about it. This is said to be the case because such a conviction may include fines, a jail term, suspended license and additional surcharges.
Texas Law & DWI Offenses
Driving while intoxicated, or DWI for short, is generally a misdemeanor case if it’s the 1st or 2nd offense and no one was killed, injured, or no property damage occurred. As per Texas criminal law, the charges for drunk driving requires the Houston Police Department to acknowledge that you were driving a vehicle and your blood alcohol measurement was .08 or higher or you were mentally and physically impaired by drugs or alcohol. However, the arrest is initiated only after the police observe your actions and have reason to suspect you of operating a motor vehicle while impaired.
Drunk driving on the first offense is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable in a county jail by 3 to 180 days or a fine of $2,000 and not more. However, even as the first offense, the charge may increase if:
- It has injured another person very seriously and the drunk driving is a third-degree felony, you are punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison in the state or a fine of less than $10,000.
- Driving while intoxicated having a child under 15 inside the vehicle is also a state jail felony that goes for 180 days to 2 years punishment in a state jail or a fine below $10,000.
- Killing another person is taken as a second-degree felony, leading to punishment by 2 to 20 years in a prison in the state or a fine below $10,000.
DWI & Drunk Driving Sentencing in Texas
If a person is accused of Driving While Intoxicated and it’s their first offense, the mandatory minimum penalty is three days in jail and six days in case the container was open when your vehicle was stopped.
However, community service in many drunken driving cases is a likely option for individuals convicted of misdemeanors, as opposed to serving jail time. The Houston DWI Lawyer you hire will have a major impact on the potential for a positive resolution for your case.
The judge reserves the right of giving you community service as trail conviction or the jury may also sentence community service in case the case goes to trial. In fact, the Jury also can recommend from not suspending your driver’s license.
Nevertheless community supervision on the charges of DWI comes with additional stipulations such as rehab evaluation, DWI education program (12 hour course within 180 days and your license is revoked only on program completion) and ignition interlock device if your BAC was .15 or more.
A criminal charge for a 2nd drunk driving offense in Texas means a host of fees and a suspended Texas Driver License. This includes painful criminal penalties, so contact a reputable Houston DWI lawyer as soon as you can so that you can defend yourself. The last thing you’ll want to deal with is a serious criminal charge related to drunk driving. These types of crimes are harshly prosecuted due to the massive perception of a public threat by the drunk driving.