The state of Texas takes DWI offenses very seriously. If you’re caught driving while intoxicated in the state of Texas, the penalties can be severe. If you are charged with a DWI, even if it is your first offense, you will be treated and prosecuted like a criminal. This is why you need to contact an attorney that has extensive experience in handling DWI offenses. The sooner you talk to an attorney, the better.
If you were recently arrested and charged with a DWI, you need to be aware of two legal proceedings that you will face in the days, weeks and months ahead. Both proceedings could have a major impact on your life, your finances, and your freedom.
First is the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program hearing. This is separate from the criminal case and will determine whether you retain your driving privileges. After you have been arrested, you will receive a “Notice of Suspension.” After receiving this, you will only have 15 days to request your ALR hearing and contest the suspension of your license. If you miss that deadline, it could be costly. That is why it is important to talk to an attorney right away.
Next, is the criminal case. If you are convicted, you could end up paying a significant fine and facing jail time. The potential penalties will depend on whether you have any prior DWI convictions. For a first offense (Class B misdemeanor), the penalty may be a license suspension of 90 days to one year, up to a $2,000 fine and 72 hours to six months in jail. For a second offense (Class A misdemeanor), the penalty may be a license suspension or revocation from 180 days to two years, up to a $4,000 fine and anywhere from 30 days to one year in jail. For a third offense (Third-degree felony), the penalty may be a license revocation up to two years, up to a $10,000 fine and anywhere from two to 10 years in prison.
Keep in mind there are often effective defense strategies that can help get the charges dismissed or reduced to a non-DWI offense. Don’t leave your future to chance. Contact an attorney as soon as possible to review the evidence and put together the most effective defense strategy for your case.