Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious issue that can lead to criminal charges. Those charges can mean the difference between freedom and years in prison, especially if you hurt someone else in a DWI accident. You should consult an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney if charged with this crime. Defending yourself when your freedom is at stake is not an option.
First-Time DWI Offender in Texas
If you have been arrested for suspicion of DWI and it is the first such arrest on your record, you might be able to avoid it appearing on your record. A new law enacted in 2019 permits first-time offenders to enter a deferred adjudication program. The offender will need to enter a no-contest plea in front of a judge, who will then assign you to a program. Upon completion of the program, your case is dismissed and you are not considered to have been guilty of the crime.
Ignition Interlock Device Installation
Should you enter into a deferred adjudication program in Texas following a DWI charge, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. The device will remain in your vehicle for six months. If the device detects alcohol on your breath, the vehicle will not be able to start.
Repeat Offenders Face Serious Charges
Even if you enter a deferred adjudication program and complete it, you could face serious charges if you are arrested and charged with DWI again at a later date. The new law that went into effect on September 1, 2019, makes an additional charge of DWI a second charge because it resurrects the initial charge that was dropped due to the completion of the deferred adjudication program.
When this happens, you will be required to pay a $3,000 fine for the first offense, a $4,500 fine for the second offense, and $6,000 for any subsequent DWI conviction that involves a blood alcohol content of 0.15 or higher.
Penalties for DWI in Texas
The following are the penalties you face if convicted of DWI in Texas:
- First offense: Class B misdemeanor with a fine of no more than $3,000, 180 days in jail, and a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
- Second offense: Class A misdemeanor with a fine of no more than $4,500, no more than one year in jail, and a two-year suspension of your driver’s license.
- Third offense: third-degree felony with a fine of no more than $10,000 and suspension of your driver’s license for two years. Imprisonment occurs in a federal facility and you lose your rights to possess a firearm and vote.
- Fourth offense: A fine of $20,000 and up to 20 years in a federal prison.
Charged with a Texas DWI? Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been charged with a DWI in Texas, you need to protect your rights with the help of an experienced Texas DWI defense attorney immediately. The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of David A. Breston are here to fight for your freedom when facing a DWI charge. Call our office at (713) 804-6492 to schedule a consultation today.