Driving drunk is dangerous. This is why it is illegal. Any driver found operating a motor vehicle while his or her blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher may be charged with driving under the influence (DWI). Individuals driving while under the influence of other drugs, like marijuana or prescription sleep aids, can also be charged with DWI.
Like any other criminal charge, an individual facing a DWI can fight the charge and potentially have it lowered or dropped. This requires a defense strategy built around the evidence, or lack thereof, present in the case.
Penalties for a DWI in Texas
In addition to the criminal penalties for a DWI, an individual facing this charge will have his or her driver’s license suspended after the arrest. This administrative action is independent of the criminal case and may be imposed before the driver is found guilty of DWI. After being issued a Notice of Suspension, a driver has 15 days to request a court hearing to contest the suspension.
Generally, a first time DWI conviction is a Class B misdemeanor. If the driver’s BAC was 0.15 percent or higher at the time of his or her arrest, it is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a first time DWI conviction are:
- Fine up to $2,000;
- 72 hours to 180 days in jail;
- Driver’s license suspension for up to one year; and
- A fee of $1,000 or $2,000 each year for the following three years to retain a driver’s license.
Need legal help in Texas?
Be it family law, divorce, criminal defense, or personal injury — our Texas family law attorneys are here to help. We are results-driven, and we work tirelessly for our clients.
Our Houston family law and divorce attorneys have been providing compassionate and personalized legal services in Texas. Scott M. Brown is a certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
For a second or subsequent DWI conviction, the penalties become steeper. In addition to these penalties, the driver may be required to complete an alcohol education course, community service, or be put on probation. When a driver has two or more convictions on his or her record in a period of five years or fewer, he or she must have an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle to prevent the driver from driving intoxicated.
Fighting a DWI Charge
The right strategy for fighting your DWI charge depends on the facts present in your case. Your defense could involve:
- A lack of probable cause for the police to pull you over and arrest you;
- A faulty breath test, inconsistent results, or the officer’s lack of certification to use a Breathalyzer;
- A civil rights violation at the time of the stop like an improper search; or
- A lack of proof showing that the individual was intoxicated while he or she was driving.
Work with an Experienced League City DWI Defense Lawyer
If you were charged with DWI, you can fight it and potentially have the charge lowered or dismissed. Your chance of reaching this type of favorable resolution is greater if you work with an experienced DWI defense lawyer. Start working on your case’s defense with a member of our team at Scott M. Brown & Associates today by contacting our office to schedule your initial consultation with us.