Texas DWI Laws: First Offense Consequences and Defense
Texas DWI laws carry serious consequences for convictions. First time offenders need to be apprised of their rights and do what they can to fight the charges against them. An attorney can help you assess your case and the possibility of fighting it in trial.
Texas First Offense DWI Consequences
Most first time DWI offenses are considered Class B misdemeanors in Texas. A normal first offense DWI in Texas can result in the following consequences upon conviction:
- Jail time of up to six months.
- Fines of up to $2000.
- Community service of 24 hours and up to 100 hours.
Probation may be offered in lieu of jail time for first time offenders. Probation in Texas DWI first time offenses generally lasts for one to two years if you abide the probation terms. Failure to abide probation terms can result in longer probation or jail time.
The court may also mandate that a Texas DWI convict complete an evaluation to determine whether the individual is likely to be a repeat offender. An education course on DWI is also usually mandated. Some courts require that you complete a victim impact panel which may include listening to the stories of people who have lost loved ones as a result of DWI auto accidents.
While first time offenders generally receive the least severe punishment of all DWI offenders, depending on the surrounding circumstances of a particular case, the following additional penalties may be imposed:
- Required installation of an ignition interlock device;
- License revocation or suspension;
- Restrictions on alcohol consumption during probation period; and
- Enhanced penalties may be imposed for offenders who have been convicted of other drug or alcohol related offenses.
Your employer may find out about your DWI, and it could impact your employment. A criminal record can limit you from future opportunities. Employers and landlords may find out about your DWI. It may be difficult to get in to educational programs as a result of a criminal conviction. Having to explain a criminal record to potential employers, landlords and educators can be embarrassing.
Getting Legal Assistance
A Texas DWI attorney will help you deal with your DWI defense. DWI charges are particularly scary because of the potential penalties which can include loss of your licence, jail time, community service, steep fines and court mandated courses and probation. Get an attorney to help you avoid all or some of these consequences through negotiations or the legal process.