Getting pulled over is an intimidating experiencing – having this stop result in an arrest and allegations of driving while intoxicated (DWI) can bump intimidating up to terrifying. Those who find themselves or a loved one facing these charges are wise to keep the following in mind: penalties can be severe and if convicted, the conviction will likely result in a bigger impact than you realize.
Having a better understanding of these points can help.
Penalties can be severe.
The Texas Department of Transportation notes that the penalties applied to a DWI conviction will vary depending on the circumstances.
For example, a first offense can result in a fine of up to $2,000 and prison time ranging from three days to 180 days can apply. A second offense can lead to increased penalties including up to $4,000 in fines and one month to one year of jail time.
These penalties can also increase if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the stop or if there was a car accident.
The conviction has a bigger impact than you may think.
It is also important to note that even after these criminal penalties are completed, additional social penalties can apply.
Having a criminal conviction on your record can have wide reaching consequences. This record can make it difficult to find employment, housing and even to pursue educational opportunities.
Defenses are available.
Getting charged with a DWI is not the end. This charge must be proven before it becomes a conviction. Defenses to these charges are available.
Although the defense that will work best depends on the details of each case, some common examples include a review of the stop to ensure that proper protocol was followed and a review of the tests used to determine that the driver was intoxicated.
Those facing these charges are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney. This legal professional will review the details of your case and build a defense to help better ensure your legal rights are protected.