In the State of Texas, when you are convicted of a DWI, you need to be prepared to face very serious consequences. Texas DWI penalties range from fines, to jail time, to community service to license revocation. Before you find yourself saddled with years of debt from fines or a criminal record that will follow you everywhere, contact a Houston DWI lawyer, who can explain to you the following penalties and can work to ensure you are not unduly punished:
- DWI, 1st Offense: The first time you are convicted of a DWI, you will receive a Class B Misdemeanor charge. You will either have to pay a fine of up to $2,000, or receive a jail sentence of between 72 hours and six months or have to serve between 24 and 100 hours of community service. Unless there are unusual facts surrounding your case, you will likely be granted probation, rather than jail time. During this probation, you will usually be submitted to a drug/alcohol evaluation and have to attend a DWI education class or a Victim Impact Panel. In addition, some individuals convicted of a DWI will need to pay a monthly supervisory fee and perform community service. While these conditions are the normal steps taken during the sentencing of individuals convicted under these circumstances, penalties do allow for additional conditions when there are unusual facts in the case. These extenuating circumstances may include a vehicular accident as a result of the DWI, alcoholism, bad driving record and others. These possible stipulations may include:
- Ignition interlock device
- Alcohol treatment
- Alcohol abstention
- Jail confinement
- DWI, 2nd Offense: A 2nd DWI offense is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor. Your lawyer will inform you that if an individual is convicted of a 2nd DWI, Texas law now states that the Court must Order, as a condition of the individual’s release from jail on bond, that he or she must install and maintain a deep lung air device that will take a breath sample prior to allowing the vehicle to be started, and that they also take periodic breaths while driving to insure sobriety. Other sentence requirements include up to a $4,000 fine, jail confinement of between three days and one year, community service of up to 200 hours, and license suspension of up to two years.
- DWI, 3rd Offense (or greater): Texas DWI Penalties consider the third and subsequent DWI offenses as third degree felonies. Individuals who receive sentences for these charges may expect fines of up to $10,000, jail time of between two and ten years, deep lung air devices if a provisional license is granted, community service of up to 600 hours, license suspension of up to two years and mandatory rehabilitative treatment. Sometimes, the Court may order that the individual go through the process to receive a prescription for Antabuse, a drug that causes the user to get physically ill if any alcohol is consumed. Obviously, your Houston DWI attorney will need to be actively involved in cases when this drug becomes an option, so that your health and well-being are strongly considered.
When you have been subjected to one or more Texas DWI penalties and are searching for a Houston DWI lawyer who is ready to fight for you, contact Clyde Burleson. As a former TABC prosecutor and Assistant District Attorney, he is experienced on both sides of Texas DWI laws. Call him today at 713-628-1503.