For Those Charged With a Crime
DWI Penalties in Texas
Protecting Your Rights in Texas
Every state has laws about drunk driving. In Texas, we call drunk driving, Driving While Intoxicated, and DWI for short. Per Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, an individual commits a DWI if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. DWI penalties for DWI conviction range from embarrassing and inconvenient to serious.
A person is legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher or do not have normal use of their mental or physical facilities due to alcohol or drugs. DUI or Driving Under the Influence and DWI or Driving While Impaired are essentially the same thing; just using different terms.
You can be charged with a DWI if a law enforcement officer suspects you of being intoxicated by alcohol or impaired because of drugs. If you do get arrested, simply remain silent as is your right and state whenever questioned, you will wait till you have your lawyer present. DWI Attorney Adam Capetillo is available 24/7 so call his number (346) 249-5544 for legal assistance if you are charged with a DWI.
Penalties for DWI if Convicted
The penalties for a DWI in Texas will vary depending on the circumstance of the case, primarily the number of prior convictions the defendant has. If convicted, you may face fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver’s license, among other consequences. Here are some common convictions with related penalties.
- First Offense with a BAC Under 0.15
If it is your first DWI offense and your BAC is under 0.15, it is a class B misdemeanor. The offense is punishable by a county jail sentence of 72 hours to 180 days and a maximum fine of $2,000. Your driver’s license may be suspended from 90 days to one year.
- First Offense with a BAC Over 0.15
If it is your first DWI offense and your BAC is over 0.15, it is a class A misdemeanor. The offense is punishable by a county jail sentence of 30 days to a year and a fine not to exceed $4,000. Your driver’s license may be suspended from 90 days to one year.
- Second or More Offense
A second DWI offense is a class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by a jail sentence of 30 days to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000. Additionally, your driver’s license may be suspended from 180 days to two years.
A third (or more) offense is a third-degree felony. It is punishable by two to ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, your driver’s license may be suspended from 180 days to two years. In Texas, it is irrelevant how long ago your previous convictions occurred.
- DWI with a Child Passenger
DWI with a child passenger is a state jail felony. It is punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, your license may be suspended from 90 days to two years.
Reasons to Avoid Conviction
Sadly, a conviction for DWI will impact your life beyond jail time and fines, which can be significant as you see from the above. The loss of your driving privileges will affect your ability to get to work and other responsibilities such as picking up your children from activities, driving parents or family to medical appointments, and the like.
You will also suffer social embarrassment and maybe some level of ostracization. You will feel disappointed in yourself and this may lead to depression, anxiety, or other mental illness as a result.
It is better to avoid a conviction. If you decide you have a problem with alcohol, then you can address it privately with your own physician or get into a rehabilitation program.
Your Sugar Land DWI Lawyer – Adam Capetillo
If you have been arrested for a DWI, call 24/7 – (346) 249-5544! While under arrest, you will have to spend time in a local jail or holding facility before you can talk with a lawyer. Just be patient and wait till you can make a call to Attorney Capetillo.
As a Fort Bend County native, he has worked in the criminal justice system here for many years and is very familiar with the investigators, prosecutors, and judges. He will use his respect in the justice system to advocate on your behalf. He will protect your rights and defend you against charges with discretion and compassion.