If you or someone you love has been arrested for drunk driving in Texas, it’s important to understand DWI penalties. Arming yourself with information is the best course of action as you prepare to defend yourself in court. You need to know what’s on the line and what the possible DWI penalties are. Getting a good attorney is one of the first steps you should take after an arrest. In reality, everyone should have an attorney selected prior to an arrest, so you have someone to call should something bad happen. In Texas, DWI penalties vary depending on whether it’s your first or subsequent offense. Here’s a breakdown of the penalties and what they mean.
The DWI penalty for first-time drunk drivers is a class B misdemeanor. It comes along with up to a $2,000 fine and between 72 hours and 180 days of jail time. Jail time, however, is not very common. Licenses often get suspended anywhere between 90 and 365 days. If your blood alcohol content is over .15, things get more serious. It’s a class A misdemeanor, which carries up to a $4,000 and up to 1 year in jail.
First Offense with Open Container
Texas differentiates DWI penalties if you have an open container in the vehicle at the time of arrest. It’s still a class B misdemeanor, but it carries a minimum of six days in jail vs. the 72 hours for a first offense.
DWI penalties get more serious with the second offense. Second drunk driving arrests are classified as a class A misdemeanor. It carries up to a $4,000 fine. Things get more serious with the jail time; second-time offenders get anywhere between 30 days to a year. License suspensions are also longer; it’s 180 days to 2 years until you can drive again.
DWI Penalties for Third Offense
Three strikes and you’re out in Texas with DWI penalties. A third conviction means a third-degree felony on your record, which can affect your ability to get jobs, vote, and own firearms. Fines run up to $10,000, and people get anywhere between two and ten years in prison. Licenses are suspended from 180 days to two years.
Call Us For Help With DWI Penalties
Stephen Bowling and Associates specializes in DWI defense cases in Texas. We help clients understand their risks of DWI penalties and limit exposure to heavy fines and potential jail time. If you or someone you know needs a good DWI attorney, contact our team today.