There are many different types of DWI charges in Texas that carry serious legal and lifelong consequences. Below, Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer discusses the types of charges and consequences you may face if pulled over and arrested for drunk driving.
If you're arrested and charged with a DWI, it's critical that you speak to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. We can help you devise an effective legal defense by disputing the breath or chemical test results and potential errors police made during your traffic stop and arrest.
Misdemeanor DWI charges
If you've been charged with a DWI in Texas, the stakes are high, even if it's your first drunk driving arrest. A first-time DWI offense (with a BAC of .08 percent but below .15 percent) is deemed a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. The same consequences apply if you were charged with boating while intoxicated. The penalties for this type of charge are:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- $2,000 fine
- Driver's license suspension between 90 days and one year
- Driver's license reinstatement fee of $3,000
If your BAC was .15 percent or higher, you could face the same legal consequences as someone charged with a second DWI if convicted.
A second DWI offense is a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. If convicted, you could face:
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $4,000
- Possible driver's license suspension between 180 days and two years
Felony DWI charges
Texas takes a hard stance against repeat DWI offenders. If you are convicted of a third or subsequent DWI charge, you will likely go to prison for 2-10 years and have a third-degree felony on your record. Additionally, you could have to pay a fine of up to $10,000 and have your license suspended for up to two years.
If you cause a crash that injures another person while under the influence of alcohol, you can be charged with intoxication assault, in addition to DWI. This carries the same penalties as a third or subsequent DWI conviction. You can also be convicted of a felony DWI if you had a child under the age of 15 in your car at the time of your arrest.
The most severe felony DWI charge in Texas is intoxication manslaughter. This occurs when a drunk driver kills another person in a crash. It is a second-degree felony in Texas and carries up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
After serving your prison sentence and paying the fine, the consequences will follow you for several years. For example, you will:
- Have to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
- Have to complete 160-600 hours of community service and an alcohol rehabilitation treatment program.
- Lose your right to vote and own a firearm.
In addition, many employers will not hire you if you have a pending felony or a felony conviction.
Contact a Texas lawyer today to defend your rights
The DWI defense lawyers at Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer will ensure that you are treated fairly in the justice system. If you're facing charges, contact us online or call our Conroe law office to discuss the next steps. We'll review the details surrounding your arrest and work tirelessly to help you fight the charges. Our case evaluations are free and confidential.