Getting arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) can be a scary and confusing experience. It can be difficult to know what to expect, who to talk to, or what to do after an arrest.
At the Tidwell Law Firm in Texas, we understand the difficulty that comes in the aftermath of a DWI arrest. In this article, we explain what to expect if you’ve been charged with a first-time DWI offense in Texas.
To learn more about your legal options following this charge, call or contact our office today to speak with an experienced DWI defense attorney about your case.
Charges for a First DWI Offense
Under Texas law, a first offense for DWI is usually a Class B misdemeanor. However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.15% or higher, the penalties can be enhanced. Enhancement also occurs if you are caught driving drunk with minors in the vehicle, have a suspended or revoked license, or if there was also excessive speed involved in the case.
Overzealous prosecutors may also try to charge you with additional crimes associated with the DWI in Texas, so it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side as soon as possible to fight these charges.
Penalties for a First DWI Offense
Texas is cracking down on driving while intoxicated, and the penalties for even a first offense can be serious.
The consequences for a first DWI offense include a fine up to $2,000, between three and 180 days in county jail, driver’s license suspension up to two years, an annual surcharge of up to $2,000 for three years to keep your license, DWI intervention programs, and a possible ignition interlock device.
In addition, there are a number of administrative penalties attached to a DWI case. These administrative penalties can add up and end up costing you additional time for a driver’s license suspension or revocation.
If a driver refuses or fails a chemical test, these administrative penalties can be added to the license. You need a criminal defense attorney who understands that you are fighting your case on two fronts: in the courtroom and in the administrative office.
Other Options for a First DWI Offense
In some counties in Texas, a person convicted of their first DWI offense has other options besides the typical penalties involved for this crime. One option is DWI probation in place of actual jail time and can last for up to two years.
Another option is a pretrial diversion program that requires people convicted of DWI to complete a number of requirements, but upon completion their arrest is struck from the record.
Talk to an attorney to learn more.
Call or Contact Us Today
To learn more about your legal options and what to expect with a first DWI offense in Texas, call or contact the Tidwell Law Firm today.
Schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case now.