Is a DUI a Felony in Texas?

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Despite the number of public service announcements denouncing those who choose to drink and drive, many people make this decision on a daily basis. If you’ve made the choice to drink and drive, understanding the penalties you could face is detrimental. Not only could you face criminal charges, but driving under the influence will likely have ramifications on your social life and relationships with your loved ones. During this difficult time, having Houston DWI defense attorneys in your corner is essential.

Is There a Difference Between a DUI and DWI in Texas?

Though these terms are often used interchangeably in Texas, understanding the difference between a DWI and DUI is essential. Generally, a DWI is driving while intoxicated, while a DUI is driving under the influence. A DWI confirms that the party operating a vehicle has exceeded the legal limit before driving, which is a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%. A DUI is reserved for those who may not be at the legal limit but are still impaired after consuming alcohol.

Generally, the penalties for a DUI tend to be less severe than a DWI in Texas.

What Are the Penalties for a DUI in Texas?

As previously mentioned, the penalties for a DUI tend to be less harsh than what you would face if charged with a DWI. A DUI is considered a Class C misdemeanor in the state, and you will not receive jail time for your first offense. However, this does come with a hefty $500 fine. You may also face a suspended license, probation, and enrollment in alcohol awareness classes.

A DWI, on the other hand, is considered a much more severe offense in the eyes of the state. Generally, your first and second offenses are considered misdemeanors, despite the minimum jail time and significant fines that come included. However, if you are caught driving while intoxicated for the third time, this is a felony charge.

However, a DWI, in combination with other circumstances, despite whether it’s your first or second offense, can leave you facing a felony. For example, driving while intoxicated with a passenger under 15, driving with a BAC over 0.15%, or seriously injuring or killing someone, are all felony charges in the state of Texas.

Are There Any Possible Defenses?

Though DWI and DUI charges can be challenging to beat, it’s still essential that you hire an attorney to represent you. One of the most common ways to beat an alcohol violation is by proving that the breathalyzer used to administer the particles of alcohol on your breath is inaccurate. Similarly, if the field sobriety test was administered improperly and diverted from the standard, you may be able to overturn the charge due to the improperly administered test.

While there is no guarantee that you could walk away from a DUI or DWI charge completely unscathed, hiring the best representation is essential. At The Gonzalez Law Group, we will analyze the circumstances surrounding your case to give you the best possible outcome for your situation. Don’t wait to give us a call, as you only have 15 days after your arrest to request a hearing.