DWI/DUI

DWI Defense in Texas

If you have been arrested for a DWI, it is imperative that you seek legal representation immediately. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer who cares as much about the best possible outcome as you do and one who will fight diligently for your rights. Contact me now to learn how I can help.

DWI Laws in Texas

According to section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, a person can be charged with a driving while intoxicated offense if they are intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. The legal limit in Texas is set at .08, which is a low level and often leads to many DWI arrests, even though many individuals are probably able to drive in a safe manner. A DWI conviction can have devastating consequences on an individual’s life – including loss of employment, friends and family, and most importantly their freedom.

Legal Definition of Driving While Intoxicated

Under Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.01(2), “intoxicated” is defined as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the consumption of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of the substances listed or any other substance in the body.

In addition, if an individual has an alcohol concentration that is .08 or higher, they are considered per se intoxicated.

Consequences of a First DWI Conviction in Texas

A DWI – 1st can result in a Class B misdemeanor in Texas and a Class A misdemeanor if the individual’s BAC (blood alcohol content) was over .15. The full range of punishment is as follows:

Fine/Costs – a fine not to exceed $2,000. Texas also imposes a “surcharge” for a first DWI conviction on top of regular fines. The surcharge is $1,000 per year for three years for a 1st DWI conviction and $2,000 if the individual’s BAC was .16.

Jail Term – confinement in the county jail for a term of not less than 72 hours and not more than 6 months.

Driver’s License Suspension – a minimum of 90 days and up to 1 year.

Consequences of a Second DWI Conviction in Texas

A DWI – 2nd can result in a Class A misdemeanor in Texas. The full range of punishment is as follows:

Fine/Costs – a fine not to exceed $4,000. Texas also imposes a “surcharge” for a second DWI conviction on top of regular fines. The surcharge is $1,500 per year for three years for a 2nd DWI conviction and $2,000 per year if the individual’s BAC was over .16.

Jail Term – confinement in the county jail for a term of not less than 30 days and no more than 1 year.

Driver’s License Suspension – a minimum of 180 days and up to 2 years.

Consequences of a Third DWI Conviction in Texas

A DWI – 3rd can result in a 3rd Degree Felony in Texas. The full range of punishment is as follows:

Fine/Costs – a fine not to exceed $10,000. Texas also imposes a “surcharge” for a second DWI conviction on top of regular fines. The surcharge is $1,500 per year for three years for a 2nd DWI conviction and $2,000 per year if the individual’s BAC was over .16.

Jail Term – confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of not less than 2 years and not more than 10 years.

Driver’s License Suspension – a minimum of 180 days and up to 2 years.

Consequences of a DWI Conviction With a Child Passenger (Under 15 Years of Age) in Texas

A DWI – 3rd can result in State Jail Felony in Texas. The full range of punishment is as follows:

Fine/Costs – a fine not to exceed $10,000. Texas also imposes a “surcharge” for a second DWI conviction on top of regular fines. The surcharge is $1,500 per year for three years for a 2nd DWI conviction and $2,000 per year if the individual’s BAC was over .16.

Jail Term – confinement in county jail for a period of not less than 6 months and not more than 2 years.

Driver’s License Suspension – a minimum of 180 days and up to 2 years.

Additional Consequences of a DWI Conviction

Deferred Adjudication is not an option for an individual charged with a DWI.

A DWI conviction cannot be sealed or expunged from your criminal record.

No early termination from DWI probation.

Lawyer Diana Buss | Featured Attorney Criminal Defense