Getting your first offense DWI in Texas is no joke.
Texas DWI laws are very serious, partially because drinking and driving is such a big problem in the Lone Star State. In 2019, Texas had 900 fatalities caused by DUIs.
If you are one of those people who get caught driving while intoxicated in Texas, here is what you should prepare for to happen next.
Time in Jail
You should be prepared to spend a couple of days in jail. While it is possible to get probation for community service, the minimum recommendation is three days to be spent in a local county jail for a DWI.
However, depending on your exact circumstances, your jail time may increase. Technically, you can face up to 180 days in jail for a DWI in Texas.
If you had a BAC of .15% or higher, then that possible jail time can go up to one year.
But, it is very unlikely that you get a maximum sentence of six months or one year as a first-time offender. Nevertheless, you should prepare for the possibility of sleeping behind bars for at least a few days.
Hire a DWI Lawyer
One step you will need to take immediately is to hire a lawyer who specializes in DWI cases and has experience handling these with success. Truthfully, it is a bad idea to try to defend yourself, even if it is your first offense.
A lawyer is usually a better negotiator, a better speaker, and more knowledgeable on the local laws and procedures for dealing with DWI cases in a courtroom.
You will want someone with experience and confidence on your side when it comes to dealing with a situation like this. It can make the difference between you possibly going to jail for months, or not at all.
Fines and Suspension
When it comes to your first DWI in Texas, it WILL cost you. The common saying is that one DWI costs $10,000. But, Texas has some additional fees.
The normal fine will be up to $2,000. However, you are very likely to lose your license for up to a year, with the minimum suspension being at least 90 days.
But, one charge that Texas has that is more extreme than other states, is the cost to renew your license after a DWI. It costs $2,000 PER YEAR for the next three years after you get charged with a DWI.
Life After DWI
Your life can be a little more difficult after getting a DWI in Texas, especially if you served time in jail for it. A DWI goes on your criminal record and WILL show up in a background check.
A misdemeanor DUI and employment may not mix, as it can very well cost you job opportunities. It may also cost you a chance at getting certain apartments, as landlords can reject your application because you have a criminal record.
Fight Your First Offense DWI in Texas
As you can see, even a first offense DWI in Texas can cost you valuable time, money, and even your reputation. The best way to avoid it is to not drink and drive but get representation immediately to try to minimize your potential charges.
For more legal tips and information, check out other articles on our blog.