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DWI Penalties in Texas

Is a DWI a Misdemeanor in Texas?

Alcohol, car keys and handcuffs - Forth Worth DWI Penalties Attorney

DWI charges in Texas can range from a misdemeanor to a felony, and the penalties depend on the type of charge and the circumstances involved. Generally, a first offense DWI will be charged as a Class B misdemeanor, however, the charge could be enhanced to a felony if there are aggravating circumstances.

What may have started out as a few harmless drinks can become a potentially life-changing moment when you see those red and blue lights in your rear-view mirror. Don’t face these charges alone.

The Fort Worth DWI attorney at Bryan Wilson, The Texas Law Hawk is prepared to fight aggressively on your behalf. He can help you every step of the way, answer your questions with honesty, and fight to protect your best interests in and out of the courtroom.

Learn more about the possible DWI penalties you are facing and how he can help. Contact him online or by phone at (817) 440-3953 today.

DWI in Texas: 1st Offense

If this is your first time being arrested and charged with a DWI, your penalties will most likely be less severe than defendants charged with multiple DWIs. However, the penalties for a first-time DWI conviction can still be steep.

Texas law mandates that a person convicted of a first-offense DWI:

  • Be fined up to $2,000
  • Spend 3 days to 6 months in jail
  • Perform 24 to 100 hours of community service

The Community Service Department may order specific directions in community service if they feel the need to address a special circumstance of the case. For example, a first-time offender who has a personal history of alcoholism may be directed to intervention or a Victim Impact Panel. Additionally, the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program may suspend your license for a period of 90 days to one year. Fort Worth DWI lawyer Bryan Wilson is prepared to advocate for you.

DWI in Texas: 2nd Offense

Second-time offenders typically face similar penalties as those of first-time offenders, but the conditions may be enhanced. Second-time offenders are almost always required to install an ignition interlock device on their cars, which prevents them from driving their car unless they administer a breathalyzer test. Additionally, second-time offenders may:

  • Be fined up to $4,000
  • Spend 30 days to a year in jail
  • Perform 80 to 200 hours of community service

The ALR Program usually suspends a second-time offender’s license from 180 days to two years.

DWI in Texas: 3rd Offense

A third-time DWI offense constitutes an aggravated DWI charge. This means that the charges are raised from a misdemeanor to a felony. If you are faced with an aggravated DWI, you may be facing:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 2 to 10 years in the state penitentiary
  • 160 to 600 hours of community service
  • 180 days to 2 years of license suspension
  • An ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle

Enhanced DWI Penalties in Texas

Keep in mind that these penalties will most likely be increased if there are aggravating or special circumstances regarding your case, such as an open alcohol container in the car, a record with alcohol problems, and especially an accident where someone was injured or killed.

Typically, the conditions added to a sentence are designed to address the offender’s issues in a restorative manner. In the case of intoxication assault or manslaughter, however, the penalties enhance the amount of jail time, community service, and fines.

Some conditions that may be added to a sentence include:

  • Additional jail time
  • Additional fines
  • Alcohol treatment and interventions
  • DWI education
  • Ignition interlock devices
  • Alcohol restricted probation
  • Restitution payments
  • Enhanced license suspension

Call a Fort Worth DWI Lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for you and your rights. Contact Bryan Wilson, the Texas Law Hawk at (817) 440-3953 for a free consultation.

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