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What does the new DWI law in Texas mean for first-time offenders?

Texas DWI attorneyA DWI arrest can happen to anyone who had a few drinks and then got behind the wheel. You might realize you made a mistake as soon as you notice the blue lights in the rear-view mirror, but should you live with the consequences of one error in judgment for the rest of your life?

Before a new law was adopted in Texas, first-time offenders convicted of drunk driving were unable to have their charges deferred through probation, according to KLTV. There were lifetime consequences and a first DWI offense also meant you faced the following penalties:

  • Probation
  • Up to three months in jail
  • $2,000 fine
  • A license suspension of 90 days to one year
  • License reinstatement fee of $3,000

Under the new law, a first-time offense of DWI means you are eligible to be offered deferred adjudication probation (as long as your blood-alcohol level was below .15 percent). This means after you complete the terms of probation you may avoid a formal conviction or have the case dismissed.

What is an ignition interlock device?

The law requires offenders to follow strict rules that include an ignition interlock device being installed in their car if the sentence is deferred. This is a device that prevents the car from being started if alcohol is detected on the driver's breath.

In addition, a first-time DWI offender who has been given deferred probation will face serious penalties if they are charged and convicted of a second offense. In addition to fines and the possibility of a jail sentence, a second offense of DWI is considered a class A misdemeanor.

A first-time offender who completes probation without a repeated offense will have the conviction erased. That's a big relief for anyone who knows they made a poor decision and simply wants to get on with their life.

How can a DWI lawyer help if you've been arrested?

If you are arrested as a first-time DWI offender, you will want to seek the best possible resolution to your case. It's important to contact an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you devise an effective legal strategy.

A first-time DWI arrest should not haunt you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, the new DWI law is on your side – and so is attorney Amanda Webb. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation.