How a DWI Defense Lawyer Can Help
DWI is not taken lightly in Texas. On a first conviction with no child in the vehicle, you can have your driver’s license suspended for up to one year and face criminal penalties of a minimum of three days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
With a first conviction, you pay a $1,000 surcharge annually for three years in a row and face the likelihood that your insurance premiums will increase significantly. Completion of a DWI Alcohol Education Program or a DWI Alcohol Intervention Program is also required.
Subsequent convictions carry increasingly harsher penalties. A third DWI is charged as a felony, carrying penalties of two to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000 and driver’s license suspension for up to two years. DWI with a child younger than 15 years old in the car is also charged as a felony, even for a first-offense DWI.
It is in your best interests to fight hard against a DWI charge. If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, your best course of action is to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney immediately. When you work with Kraft & Associates, P.C., our knowledgeable DWI defense lawyers can help you navigate the complex laws and procedures and aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your case
Learn more about your rights and what you can do.
If you’ve been arrested on a DWI charge in Texas, you will face two separate and distinct legal proceedings. The first is the Administrative License Revocation
(ALR) hearing. The second is the DWI criminal charge itself. Each of these proceedings can have a significant impact on your life and require a knowledgeable attorney to help you obtain a favorable outcome.
The Administrative License Revocation Hearing
Your Texas driver license will probably be suspended for anywhere from 90 days up to 2 years for failing or refusing a breath test or a blood test. So what you need to do first is requesting an appeal on the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) no later than the 15th day following your DWI arrest. The license suspension typically begins on the 40th day after the DWI arrest. If you had a valid Texas license at the time of your arrest the officer should have seized it and given you a temporary driving permit.
If you represent yourself on the hearing, make sure that you do not miss the deadline or you will waive your right to challenge your suspension. If you hire a Texas defense attorney in time, he or she will request the hearing on your behalf. You can hire a defense attorney or represent yourself, but you cannot get a court appointed attorney for an administrative hearing.
The DWI Criminal Case
Separate from the Administrative License Revocation is the criminal charge for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and/or Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger. This is a crime if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The term “intoxicated” means either:
having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher (sometimes referred to as a “Per Se DWI”).
A person commits a crime of DWI with a Child Passenger if:
the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and
the vehicle being operated by the person is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age.
Make sure you do not miss your court appearance or a warrant will be issued for your arrest.
Types of sentence or penalties when convicted with a DWI charge in Texas
Listed below are different types of penalties according to the type of offense.
First DWI conviction – carries at least 3 days in jail or 6 if an open container is in the vehicle. Furthermore, there is a fine of up to $2,000, and a suspension of your driver’s license up to 1 year. In addition to any fine, a first DWI conviction results in a $1,000 surcharge, paid annually for three years.
Second DWI conviction – carries at least 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $4,000, and a suspension of your driver’s license up to 2 years.
DWI conviction after second time – carries from 2 – 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and a suspension of your driver’s license up to 2 years.
A second or third conviction results in a $1,500 surcharge, paid annually for three years.
A DWI conviction with a child less than 15 years old – carries up to 2 years in prison, up to a $10,000 fine, and a suspension of your driver’s license up to 180 days.
A DWI with a blood alcohol content greater than .15% results in a $2,000 surcharge paid annually for three years.
As you can see, a Texas DWI charge carries serious implications for anyone facing such a charge. A knowledgeable and aggressive DWI lawyer can help you navigate the complex law and procedure to ensure that you achieve the best possible outcome to your case.