Having a clear understanding of what you’re up against in a DWI case can help you manage stress and anxiety. It can also underscore how important it is to avoid drunk driving. If, however, you find yourself facing DWI charges in Texas, lawyers in Austin will tell you to mount a vigorous defense. The impact of a DWI conviction can really disrupt your life. It can affect your ability to drive, get jobs, vote, and otherwise participate in life. DWI sentencing depends on a number of factors in your case. Good lawyers in Austin, TX, can help educate clients on what they’re up against. Here we examine common DWI sentencing guidelines and how they could affect you.
The First Offense
The first instance of drunk driving is classified either as a Class A or Class B misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors are tied to blood alcohol content levels under .15. Convictions with those test results can include a fine of up to $2,000 and the possibility of jail for anywhere from three to 180 days. Licenses can also be suspended from 90 to up to 365 days. If suspects have a BAC of .15 or greater, it’s considered a Class A misdemeanor. Fines increase up to $4,000, and the possibility of jail time goes up to one year. Finding good DWI lawyers in Austin is critical to making sure all tests were administered appropriately and to best position clients in their defense.
The Second Offense
If someone is arrested for drunk driving a second time, it’s also classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This is regardless of the BAC tested. Fines are up to $4,000, and jail time ranges from 30 days to one year. License suspensions stretch longer, from 180 days to up to 2 years.
Lawyers in Austin and the Third Offense
Lawyers in Austin will tell you that the third offense is a much bigger deal. This is despite the fact the consequences for the first or second offenses can be much more significant. The crime is classified as a 3rd Degree Felony. Fines can range up to $10,000, and imprisonment ranges from two to ten years. Licenses can be suspended anywhere from 180 days to two years. Felony convictions also mean that prison terms are served in a state penitentiary instead of a county jail for misdemeanors. Felony convictions also prohibit people from voting and owning firearms.
Stephen Bowling & Associates has developed its relationship as Austin’s premier driving legal firm over years of practice. Our team has the best lawyers in Austin, and we’re dedicated to providing expert legal advice to all of our clients. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you or a loved one fight DWI charges.