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What Happens When You Get A DWI Charge In Texas?

No one expects to get charged with drunk driving. It’s embarrassing. It can prevent you from being able to get to and from work. It can interfere with your ability to parent your children. When facing these charges, it might seem like there’s nothing you can do.

I am attorney Mike Rogers. Having years of experience as a prosecutor and in Texas DWI defense, I know the steps you can take to protect yourself now and in the future. I can help.

What Are The Penalties For A DWI In Texas?

Three things are at stake (besides the embarrassment and inconvenience of dealing with a DWI).

The three things are:

  1. A substantial fine. This can run up to $2,000.
  2. Jail time. There is a mandatory stay of three days. Then, depending on the circumstances, you may have to spend up to 180 days in jail.
  3. Loss of license.

Your license can be suspended or revoked for up to a year. Additionally, you may be sentenced to having to perform community service, having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, and having to attend alcohol and drug counseling and rehabilitation.

Do You Need An Attorney When Facing A DWI Charge?

An attorney is not required, but it is advised. There are two parts to a Texas DWI charge: the administrative and the judicial. The administrative part is the revocation or suspension of your license. This is handled by the Texas Department of Public Safety. The judicial part is where you go to court and face a prosecutor.

An experienced DWI attorney will provide you with the specific advice you need in your particular situation. Texas DWI laws and penalties are always changing. This means the options are in flux as well. A criminal charge always has potentially long-lasting implications. You want to understand what you are pleading to and whether to challenge the evidence. Having a guide and advocate means that you will understand your rights, your options and what the stakes are.

Penalties For Successive Texas DWI Charges

The fines, jail time, type of crime and suspension times are different for your first, second or third DWI. The first and second offenses are both misdemeanors. A third or subsequent DWI charge is a felony. Basically:

  • A first offense is a fine of up to $2,000 fine for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.14% or less. You face a fine of up to $4,000 for a BAC 0.15% or more. You face jail time between 72 hours and 180 days. If your BAC is above 0.15%, then you face a year in jail. You face suspension of license between 90 days and one year. You will also have to pay an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to keep your license. In some cases, an ignition interlock device may be ordered to be installed on your vehicle and monitored.
  • A second offense is a fine of up to $4,000. You face jail time between 30 days and one year. You face license suspension between one and two years. You may also be subject to an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to keep your license. An ignition interlock device may also be ordered to be installed on your vehicle and monitored.
  • A third offense is a fine of up to $10,000 and between two and 10 years in jail. Your license will be suspended between one and two years, and you will be required to pay an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to keep your license. As with the other offenses, an interlock ignition device may also be ordered to be installed on your vehicle and monitored.

Whenever possible in DWI charges, it is in your best interest to challenge questionable evidence to obtain a lesser charge. As a third or subsequent DWI is a felony, it is in your best interest to seek a reduction of the charge whenever and however possible. Get answers to other DWI questions on my FAQ page.

Work With An Attorney Known For Strategic DWI Defense

Many attorneys will handle your DWI, but few who only take traffic and DWI cases. I am that attorney. I have a comprehensive understanding of Texas traffic and DWI laws. I know you are afraid of what could happen and I can help.

Contact Me Today For A Free Consultation

I offer a free consultation so that you can better understand the process, what you are up against and how I may be able to help you. Call 956-420-6183 or send me an email. Rogers Legal Group PLLC serves clients throughout the greater Edinburg area.