DWI Laws and Penalties in Texas Criminal Courts

This is part two of a continuing series on DWI laws and penalties in Texas Criminal Court.

The first post in this series examined general drivers’ license requirements for obtaining driving privileges in Texas. Attention was paid to general information about DWI arrests and convictions. Civil penalties that accompany a DWI conviction were also reviewed. Generally, an individual convicted of alcohol or drug impaired driving will have his or her driver’s license suspended until he or she is sentenced. After sentencing, the driver’s license often remains suspended. This post will examine penalties imposed by Texas Courts after sentencing and how violations of a condition of sentence is handled.

Penalties in DWI Cases

People convicted of DWI in Texas face the following penalties for first and second time offenses. All subsequent DWI arrests are classified as felonies.

First Offense:

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $2,000
  • Jail time between 72 hours to 180 days
  • Community service hours between 24 and 100 hours
  • Driver’s license suspension for one year

Second Offense:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $4,000
  • Jail time between 72 hours to 365 days
  • Community service hours between 80 and 200 hours
  • Drivers’ license suspension between 180 days to two years

Violations of Sentencing Conditions in DWI Cases

In misdemeanor DWI cases, sometimes a condition of sentence is imposed. Staying alcohol and drug-free are common conditions added. A violation of this sentencing condition may move the sentence from community service time to jail time to satisfy the penalty phase of the conviction. Another common violation of sentencing is failure to complete community service during the requested period.

Violation cases are considered new cases. The impaired driver will return to the judge that presided over the criminal proceeding. The judge may make modifications to penalties and add additional time, may warn the impaired driver, or require the impaired driver to spend time in jail. For additional details surrounding judgement and sentence laws in Texas, click here.

Defend Your Rights by Hiring a Plano, Texas DWI Defense Attorney

A DWI alcohol or drug conviction carries the same criminal consequences. With respect to drug cases, debating whether the drug impairs mental or physical abilities is irrelevant. Any amount of illegal or abused prescription drugs in the blood or urine will support an arrest and conviction for DWI drugs. Drug use and consumption is a crime in Texas. Expect additional charges, like illegal drug use, to be added to your DWI drug arrest.

If you have been arrested for DWI alcohol or drugs it is important that you consult a DWI criminal defense attorney immediately. The law offices of Kimberly Griffin Tucker provide legal representation to individuals in the cities of Plano and Dallas Texas. The firm also assists people residing in Denton, Collin, and Dallas counties. Contact our offices today.

(image courtesy of Texas Department of Public Safety)