How are DWI and DUI Cases Punished in Texas?

Criminal cases, depending on the classification and severity of the crime, carry with it the possibility of a prison sentence. Some crimes call for sentences under six months while others may subject a criminal defendant to life in prison or capital punishment. These sentencing ranges are found in the statutes or law in Texas regarding DWI and DUI convictions. This post will examine the types of sentences to expect if you or a loved one is convicted of DWI or DUI in Texas.

First Offenses

The first conviction for DWI or DUI is usually classified as a misdemeanor. Punishment includes a fine up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence of three to 180 days if the blood alcohol concentration is less than .15%. A driver’s license suspension between 90 and 365 days is also imposed. If the BAC is more than .15% the fine increases to $4000 and the maximum jail time is 365 days.

Multiple Criminal Charges from One Arrest

If the DWI or DUI conviction also includes an open container violation, where alcohol found in the vehicle, the jail sentence is between six to 180 days, if it is your first offense. A three-year conditional license is granted to the criminal defendant along with a surcharge of $1000-$2000 per year is imposed to keep conditional driving privileges.

Multiple Convictions

If a person is convicted of two or more DWI or DUI offenses, he or she is required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on his or her car to drive the vehicle. This requirement applies to any car the person drives. The driver will not be able to start the car if the device detects a certain level of alcohol in the driver’s breath.

What to Expect if You are Charged With DWI

Many first-time DWI offenses are punished with probation, a fine, and driver’s license suspension. The penalties, fines, and jail terms increase with the severity of the stop (property or bodily injury) and whether anyone injured dies because of the DWI car crash. Multiple convictions require additional steps and monitoring limiting or severely restricting driving privileges.

Regardless of the number of convictions, counseling and education are post-conviction exercises. Classes include DWI education dealing with the effects of alcohol and victim’s impact of DWI related car crashes. In between jail and probation is community service, where a person is asked to perform a specific number of hours in service to the community usually during the probationary period.

Every DWI Case is Unique

A good DWI defense attorney will guide you through every step of the DWI process – from arrest and arraignment to plea or trial. At The Law Office of Kimberly Griffin Tucker, P.C., we represent people accused of DWI in the Plano and surrounding areas of Denton County Texas. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI, contact us for a comprehensive case evaluation.