DWI Penalties in Texas
San Antonio DWI Attorney
The penalties for a
DWI crime in Texas are stiff. The consequences will vary according to the
criminal record of the defendant and the details of the crime. In Texas,
an individual 21 years or older can be arrested for a DWI if their Blood
Alcohol Concentration (BAC) is .08% or above. If the driver is under age
21 they can be arrested if their BAC is .02% or over. For commercial drivers,
their BAC cannot be over .04% or they can be charged for a DWI as well.
If you have been arrested for a DWI obtain legal representation from a
San Antonio DWI defense lawyer from our firm.
There is an implied consent law in Texas wherein any person that receives
a driver's license agrees to a chemical test. The test can be a blood,
breathe or urine test but they have to comply with at least one. If someone
refuses to take a test, their license will be taken. The officer will
provide them with a temporary license and they will have to appear in
a hearing. Refusing the test can be used against you in your case. Many
prosecutors see the refusal as an admittance to driving while under the
influence of drugs or alcohol and your license could be suspended. The
penalty for refusing the chemical test the first time is a license suspension
for 180 days and for subsequent offenses the suspension is increased to
Should I deny the chemical test to avoid DWI penalties?
Some people choose to deny the chemical test because they see that the
penalties for refusing are less strict than the penalties of a DWI. At
the same time, refusing a chemical test can be used against you in your
DWI case. You might be able to avoid the DWI conviction because there
is no evidence of your BAC level. But there is a possibility that you
can still be found guilty for a DWI without taking a chemical test. In
Texas, you can still be arrested even without submitting a chemical test.
Law enforcement can arrest you as long as there is evidence to constitute
probable cause for an arrest, such as slurred speech or reckless driving.
After you are arrested they can further assess if you were driving while
under the influence. When it comes to your hearing, the refusal of the
test can be used as a piece of evidence against you. While the penalties
for a DWI are harsh, refusing the chemical test is not a wise decision either.
Breakdown of DWI Penalties
The penalties are broken down by the number of offenses, such as:
First DWI Offense:
- Jail sentence between three to 180 days
- A fine of up to $2,000
- License suspension lasting between 90 to 365 days
- DWI program which can cost $1,000 each year for three years
Second DWI Offense:
- Jail sentence between 30 days to one year
- A fine of up to $4,000
- License suspension lasting between 180 days and two years
- Ignition Interlock Device installation
- Community service between 80 to 200 hours
- Rehabilitative treatment if prompted by the judge
Third DWI Offense:
- Jail sentence between two to 10 years
- A fine of up to $10,000
- License suspension lasting between 180 days to two years
- Ignition Interlock Device installation
- Community Service for at least 80 hours but could be up to 200 hours
- DWI surcharge of $1,500 each year for three years
Texas has a 10 year period in which any convictions within the 10 years
will be considered a prior offense. The offense would be "pending"
and can increase the penalties of a current offense. After 10 years it
is no longer pending but remains on your criminal record. Some states
allow for people facing DWI charges to plead for a lesser offense but
that is not the case in Texas. The plea bargain of a "wet reckless"
conviction is not allowed in Texas. This is why you need a skilled DWI
lawyer to fight aggressively on your behalf.
Need a lawyer for your DWI case in San Antonio, TX?
If you are facing DWI charges it is imperative to seek aggressive representation
from The Law Office of John J. Fox. The penalties of a DWI are strict
and unforgiving and a conviction can stay on your criminal record. Our
San Antonio DWI lawyers are familiar with defending clients against DWI
charges and we may be able to help you in your case as well.
Call our firm today to schedule your
free case evaluation and speak with one of our DWI attorneys about your specific case.