What Happens When You Get Your First DWI?
If you were charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) and it’s your first offense of this kind, you likely have many concerns. After all, the legal system can be confusing to navigate, especially since penalties often vary depending on the details of each case. This is why it’s critical to hire a lawyer who will fight for you from the very beginning. Once you have legal counsel set up, you should get to know the most common consequences of a DWI in Texas.
What Are the Penalties for DWI in Texas?
If you’re convicted of DWI for the first time, you will have a Class B misdemeanor on your record. As a result, you could spend between 72 hours and 180 days in jail. You may also have to pay a fine of up to $2,000.
In addition, your driver’s license will likely be suspended for up to one year. Depending on your case, you may be required to attend an alcohol education course or rehabilitation program before getting your license reinstated.
If this is your first DWI, you may be able to keep the penalties to a minimum or even avoid some of them altogether with the help of an experienced Texas DWI lawyer. So as soon as you’re charged with this crime, hire a lawyer who has handled numerous cases like yours for a chance to avoid a conviction and jail time.
Is a DWI a Misdemeanor or Felony?
A first DWI with no aggravating factors is usually a Class B misdemeanor. However, that could change depending on some of the details. It could become a Class A misdemeanor with more serious penalties if your blood-alcohol content (BAC) was .15% rather than the legal limit of .08%.
A first DWI could even become a felony if there was a child under the age of 15 in your car when you were arrested for driving while intoxicated. It’s also a felony if you caused a car accident that injured or killed someone when you were impaired.
Both misdemeanors and felonies can have serious consequences for your life, including jail time, license suspension, and fines. So, no matter which type of charge you’re facing, you need a Texas attorney to guide you through your case.
When Should You Hire a Lawyer?
You should hire a Texas attorney immediately after being charged with a DWI. The sooner your lawyer can examine your case, the better, since the court system features many deadlines you don’t want to miss. In addition, your lawyer will need a chance to look closely at every factor, as even a small detail could change your case completely.
If you want a chance to avoid or reduce the severity of the charges, talk to a Texas lawyer today. Contact our Bedford office at (972) 573-4532 to schedule an initial consultation with our compassionate, skilled legal team.