If you are facing your first DWI offense in Texas, you may be feeling scared and alone. But you are not alone – thousands of Texans are arrested for DWI every year. And while a DWI can be a serious charge, there are ways to fight back and protect your rights. Hiring a DWI lawyer is one of the best steps you can take if you have been charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas.
A good lawyer will know the ins and outs of the Texas DWI laws and how to build a strong defense on your behalf. So if you have been charged with a DWI, don’t wait – contact a qualified Texas DWI lawyer today.
First Offense DWI – Penalties
The penalties for a first offense DWI in Texas are harsh because DWI is deadly on U.S. roads, but there are ways to fight the charges.
The penalties for a first offense DWI in Texas can include expensive fines, license suspension and even jail time. While it’s critical to take responsibility for one’s actions, it is also important to remember that you have rights and there are ways to fight the charges with the help of a qualified defense attorney.
From challenging test results to negotiating alternatives to harsh penalties, an experienced DWI lawyer will work hard to ensure your interests and rights are fully represented.
Consequences of a 1st DWI Conviction in Texas
Being charged with a DWI can be a very scary experience. If it is your first offense, you may be wondering what the potential consequences are. The consequences of a DWI depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level, whether you have any prior offenses, and whether anyone was injured as a result of your actions.
However, potential consequences can include jail time, fines, loss of driving privileges, and mandatory alcohol counseling. If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced DWI lawyer who can help you navigate the court system and ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.
1st DWI Fines & Jail Time
Class B Misdemeanor DWI Penalties
Generally speaking, first time DWI’s are charged as Class B misdemeanors in Texas (BAC .08 to .15).
- Up to $2,000 fine for first DUI in Texas, for Class B misdemeanor DWI (see below).
- Up to 180 days in jail (with 3 mandatory days if convicted) for first DUI in Texas
- You could lose your Texas Drivers’ License for up to one year for first DUI conviction in Texas
Class A Misdemeanor DWI Penalties in Texas
When your BAC levels indicate greater than .15, a first offense DWI is enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor.
- Class A Midemeanor DWI, depends on BAC level and carries a more serious fine $4,000 maximum.
- Time in jail not to exceed one year
- Could lose TxDL (and $2,000 per year for up to 3 years license renewal surcharge)
You should also take a look at the Impaired Driving Penalties section of the TxDOT website.
Class B Misdemeanor DWI vs Class A Misdemeanor DWI
When it comes to DWI charges, there are numerous variables that can determine the severity of the offense. Class B and Class A misdemeanors are two levels of these offenses that differ in their respective punishment, though both carry significant consequences.
A Class B misdemeanor DWI is typically a first-time offense for a driver who has tested between 0.08 and 0.15 (the legal limit) in Texas.
In comparison, those testing above 0.15 or those with prior arrests fall into the category of a Class A misdemeanor DWI which carries more severe penalties than its counterpart. If you have recently been charged with either offense it is important to seek counsel from an experienced DWI lawyer as soon as possible in order to protect your rights and ensure you understand the options that are available to you moving forward.
Jail Time, Loss of Driver’s License, Monetary Fines
A first offense DWI is a serious matter and can have harsh consequences. You can find yourself in jail, out of a job, and with heavy fines to pay if you’re found guilty of driving while impaired. The loss of your driver’s license may be the least of your worries; most states require you to participate in alcohol treatment programs as well as attend community service or educational classes.
Fines can run up to upwards of thousands of dollars and jail time is less than desirable so please, don’t drink and drive – it’s simply not worth it.
How to Fight First Offense DWI Charges in Texas
If you are arrested for DWI, it is important to remember that there are ways to defend yourself. But first, you should call a lawyer as soon as possible because you only have 15 days from the date of arrest to save your TxDL at the ALR hearing.
1st DWI Lawyer in Texas
A qualified DWI lawyer can help you build a strong case and may be able to have the charges reduced or even dismissed. There are several things you can do to improve your chances of success, including:
1. Meeting with a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest;
2. Gathering evidence to support your case, such as witness statements, video or photographic evidence, and medical records; and
3. Cooperating with the lawyer’s investigation.
As you can see, the consequences of a first offense DWI in Texas are serious, but with the help of a qualified DWI lawyer, you can significantly improve your chances of success. Your attorney will fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced or to seek alternative sentencing options, so you don’t end up with severe penalties like jail time and loss of your driver’s license.
Whichever route you choose, you must consider all the possible repercussions and make informed decisions about how to best defend yourself against the charge. Don’t face the process alone: Seek professional legal guidance from an experienced DWI lawyer and protect your rights. With careful strategy and diligent work from your legal team, you can quite possibly avoid lengthy punishments and get back on the road soon.
1st DWI in Texas FAQ
How much will a DWI lawyer cost to defend my 1st DWI?
DWI is expensive. Do not drink and drive. A DWI lawyer will probably cost at least $10,000, then you will also incur court fees, and possibly other fines and penalties, like license renewal surcharges, you might have to pay to have an ignition interlock device installed. The costs add up fast. Call a lawyer right now.
Will I go to jail for my first DWI?
It is highly possible that you will serve at least some jail time. You might just spend one night in jail waiting to bond out, or you could spend up to 180 days in jail if convicted of Class B Misdemeanor DWI, and even more jail time if the charges are enhanced. The best thing to do is consult with an attorney asap.
Will I lose my commercial drivers license after a DWI?
In general, you have 15 days to schedule an ALR hearing, administrative license revocation hearing, and try to save your drivers license at that hearing. Most DWI lawyers will also represent you at your ALR hearing so call an attorney asap. There is a very good chance that you will lose your commercial drivers license after a DWI conviction, but an attorney can help you try to keep your license.