Whether you’re guilty or not, a first-offense DWI is a serious charge with life-long consequences. However, if it is your first violation, you may think you can get away with minimal punishment. This is not the case, as Texas has strict rules surrounding diving while intoxicated penalties. The severity of this charge should not be taken lightly, and you’ll need to retain the help of Houston DWI defense attorneys to navigate this time during your life. Keep reading to learn more about the consequences of this charge.
Does a First-Offense DWI Warrant Jail Time?
In some states, a first-time DWI charge carries lighter charges, with a few fines and points on your license. Jail time is a possibility but not required. However, Texas is not one of these states. If charged with a DWI for the first time, there is a mandatory minimum sentence.
While those who drink and drive for the first time can face up to 180 days in jail, the state also imposes a mandatory three days for those convicted. It is important to note that this is just the minimum charge. There are other factors that can influence how much time you spend in jail.
What Other Penalties Can I Face?
Aside from jail time, there are numerous consequences you can expect. For a first-offense DWI, you will also face a fine of up to $2,000 and the potential loss of your license for a year. You must also pay an additional $2,000 per year for the first three years after your conviction to retain your license.
However, if you’re found driving under the influence with a child under 15 in the car, the consequences are much more severe. Not only will you face the additional charge of child endangerment which is a felony in Texas, but you can also expect a fine of $10,000 and up to two years in jail.
Similarly, the penalties are more severe if your BAC is over 0.15%. This includes a fine of up to $4,000, the installation of an ignition interlock device, and potential jail time of up to one year.
Can an Attorney Help?
Though you may think a DWI charge is indefensible, there are options you can explore. However, you’ll need to retain the assistance of a lawyer, as they have the necessary experience to examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest. This allows you the opportunity to avoid or lessen the charges you’re facing.
When you need assistance, the Gonzalez Law Group is ready to help. Our dedicated legal team will do everything in our power to help you navigate the charges against you. We will fight for the best outcome for your circumstances. Contact us today to request a free consultation to learn how we can help you.