They say everything is bigger in Texas and when it comes to a DWI that saying is also true. Police, judges, and prosecutors take Texas DWI penalties extremely serious and the fines and penalties are some of the biggest in the country, even if it’s your first offense.
DWI in Texas First Offense
It’s the holidays and the DWI in Texas first offense rates always climb during this time of year just ask Alli Cannon. If you’ve never had a DWI in Texas and are curious of what fines and penalties you’ll be looking at if you were to make the mistake of getting pulled over while being intoxicated here’s what you should know.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
When your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is above .08 you are over the legal limit and will be arrested for a DWI in Texas first offense. It’s a Class B Misdemeanor for a first DWI offense in the state of Texas. If convicted you’ll face fines up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. This is for typical Texas DWI penalties extremely cases as there are many factors that go into the judge’s sentence and almost every situation is different.
However, your case can become much more nuanced and complicated if it involves certain other factors such as have a BAC above .15. In this case, you may be subject to a Class A Misdemeanor. You will also face fines up to $4,000 and 1 year in jail. Another thing is you may have to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. The ignition interlock prevents your car from starting if you have any amount of alcohol on your breath.
Do you know drunk driving law in the US? Read the post to learn more!
Arrested for Texas DWI Penalties Extremely
If you get arrested for Texas DWI penalties extremely with a passenger under 15 years old you are facing even more serious penalties. In this case, you will be charged with a felony. The fines for this one can go up to $10,000 and you could face 180 days to two years in jail.
If you happen to seriously injure anyone while you are intoxicated you will be charged with intoxication assault. You would be facing a third-degree felony if this happens and 2 to 10 years in jail. You’ll also see fines up to $10,000
If someone happens to die what happens when you are drunk behind the wheel and involved in an accident, it is a second-degree felony (Intoxication Manslaughter). You will face 2 to 10 years in state prison and fines up to $10,000. Not to mention you will feel awful for the rest of your life.
Remember the holidays are supposed to be a festive and happy time of year, so you don’t want to make a mistake you may regret for a long time and ruin what should be a special season of joy from our DWI section.
It’s that time of year again. Everyone is going to parties eating and imbibing. This time of year the police are out in full force. Cops are waiting just to pull you over and you don’t want to get caught after drinking. A DWI is an awful experience and when it happens around the holidays it only compounds the matter.
You don’t want to be the one to spend Thanksgiving in jail. Picture it. You enjoy an amazing meal with your friends and family but you had a bit too much alcohol to drink. You come to a DWI checkpoint or perhaps one of your tail lights were out and you got pulled over. You don’t want to get caught in this situation but if you do here are some things you need to know in the state of Texas or before you call a Houston DWI lawyer.
Every case is different and when it comes to DWI’s in Texas there are several factors that can have an effect on your case and here are some of the things that a judge considers when sentencing you. Things such as your age. For instance, if you are under or over 21. What kind of license you possess. Have you had a DWI before? How high was your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)? Were there any drugs involved? Did you cause or were you involved in an accident? Were there injuries or severe damage to anybody’s car? What is your race and what are the judge’s beliefs and tendencies? Is your lawyer any good?
Using the factors above will determine what kind of penalties you’ll receive. Some penalties are mandated and some are discretionary pending other factors. If you are over 21 these are the fines you may receive.
3-180 days in jail
Fines up to $2,000
Suspended license up to 2 years
Surcharge annually to keep your license of up to $2,000 lasting 3 years
Jail time of 1 month to 1 year
Up to $4,000 in fines
Suspended license for up to 2 years
Up to 3 years annual surcharge of up to $2,000 to keep your license
2 to 10 years in jail
Up to $10,000 in fines
Suspended license for up to 2 years
Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license
If you are under 21 you are really in trouble. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage DWI offenders.
For your first DWI offense if you are under 21 you’ll face a suspended license for 1 year. You’ll face fines up to $500 and have to attend an alcohol education program. You may also have to perform community service. Finally, you may be told you have to put an ignition interlock device on your car. You basically have to blow into a built-in breathalyzer that won’t allow you to start your car if it detects any alcohol. It will also require you to blow in it from time to time while you are driving too.
When the police pull a person over, they are breathalyzed and charged with a DWI; it seems like an impossible situation to “get out of”.
While, most drivers will not get away with it scott-free; there have been some pretty unbelievable cases of people who were clearly guilty of driving with a high BAC getting the proverbial slap on the wrist. This miracle is usually the result of the driver hiring a top DWI attorney that is knowledgeable about the laws in the specific state and region of arrest.
Leverson Budke Criminal Defense
295 Marie Ave E #240
St. Paul, MN 55118
The United States are uniform with regards to DWI law in that the legal limit for alcohol in the blood stream while driving is .08. This is approximately 2 standard sized drinks in an hour depending on weight and gender.
Other than that, each state has its own unique set of DWI laws. States like Minnesota have relatively lenient DWI laws. So much so, that a man was arrested in October, 2017 for driving while intoxicated for the 28th time in his life. Worse yet, he had a valid driver’s license. Issues like this have led to a call to action for Minnesota revamping their DWI laws.
Stricter states like New York can and will revoke a license indefinitely after three DWI’s within a certain period of time.
I Got Drunk After I Was Driving
An affirmative defense to a DWI charge is exactly what it sounds like. A Defendant is “affirming” that they were drunk and behind the wheel but they are defending their actions with some kind of reason.
There are only two affirmative defenses to a DWI in Minnesota.
The first affirmative defense is that the alcohol was consumed after driving and before the breathalyzer was given. In this situation, the Defendant is saying, “Yes, I was impaired, but not while I was driving”. The Defendant must prove that they drank enough after driving and within two hours of when they were behind the wheel to cause a high BAC.
An example of a scenario like this may be if a person got into an accident and then went inside and had a few drinks while waiting for the police to arrive (not likely). The police would see that the person is drunk and issue a DWI. If it can be proven that the suspect was not drunk when they were driving and they got drunk afterward then the suspect may be free of criminal liability.
The second affirmative defense in Minnesota is for being under the influence of prescribed medication. This defense is basically saying, “Yes, I was impaired but the doctor gave me these pills”. The inherent problem with this defense is the fact that every bottle of pills that could possibly impair a person comes with a clear warning to not drive or operate heavy machinery while taking.
There are several other defenses and legal maneuvers for DWI charges. Only an attorney could possibly know what laws to use and how to apply them to a specific case.
Are you facing an underage DUI charge?
In most states, any drivers under the age of 21 and with a blood-alcohol count over .02% can be cited for a DUI.
Aside from the monetary fines, those accused can face a license suspension of one year or more and sometimes even vehicle impoundment.
Drivers may also be required to attend drug/alcohol classes as well as a number of community service hours.
If the offense is a more serious or reoccurring offense, this can also result in jail time.
It’s no surprise that driving under the influence below age 21 presents a unique set of legal issues. However, an underage DUI charge doesn’t have to ruin your life.
Here’s what you need to know if you’re facing an underage DUI charge:
Contact a DUI Defence Attorney
First things first, the single most important step a driver facing a DUI can take is to contact a DUI defense attorney.
While most may first assume to contact their family lawyer, it’s in the driver’s best interest to hire a lawyer that specifically deals with impaired driving charges.
Because we are dealing with high-stress situations, it is imperative to contact your lawyer as soon as the potential for charges exist.
From the beginning, the lawyer will be able to provide you with the knowledge of how to make the best-informed decisions on how to proceed.
High-stress situations often result in immediate panic and stress for the driver. A DUI defense attorney will help to reduce stress and anxiety from the minute the call is placed.
From that moment forward, you will be working alongside your attorney to prove the best possible result.
Without an attorney, this battle is almost always won by the courts. And, considering the effect this one mistake might have on the rest of your life, it is always in your best interest to have to best representation possible.
This is especially the case for more conservative states such as Texas that are governed by more strict drinking and driving laws. For those seeking representation in Texas, DWI attorney in Houston provides the means necessary to maximize your chances of success.
Document Your Night
As soon as you are charged with an underage DUI, it is important to take notes and document everything that happened the night you were arrested.
Considering the high-stress environment, it’s not uncommon to forget small, yet important details that may later help your situation.
This can include things such as where you were, how many drinks you had, the time that passed between your last drink and when you got arrested, etc.
More specifically, be sure to document everything you remember about being pulled over and arrested. This includes:
- The speed you were going before being pulled over
- The way in which the officer interacted with you
- Whether your Miranda Rights were read to you
- Whether your car was missing any crucial parts -taillights, license plates, etc.
If seemingly abiding by the law, having these details documented may help your attorney prove that the officer had no reason to pull you over.
This can help to account for the fact that underage drivers are often pulled over more than other categories of people.
This documentation is the best way to help your attorney to prepare for any charges that you might be facing. And, the sooner these notes are made after the arrest, the more reliable they will be in the eyes of the court system.
Be Careful in What You Say
The first and most important thing to consider when communicating with the police is to be friendly and co-operative.
Remember, it is their primary job to keep the community safe and out of harm’s way. That being said, resist the temptation to be angry or accusatory as this is sure not to work in your favor.
Take a deep breath and remain calm. Sometimes these are routine checks and police simply make mistakes. Whether you believe you are guilty or innocent, it is important to be considerate and aware of everything that you are saying.
Remember, if you are stopped and accused of impaired driving, the police will hold everything that you say under very close scrutiny. This means that everything you say or do has the power to be held against you in court.
In all likelihood, the officer will try to engage you in conversation that will provide the officer with enough reason to arrest you and get you off the road. Have your attorney provide you with advice as to when or when not to engage with the officers.
Prepare for Trial
Work alongside your attorney to prepare for your upcoming trial. Together, you will determine how you plan to plead and handle the various questions and accusations.
Consider that you will likely have to attend a number of hearings. To best prepare, be sure that you understand the purpose of the specific trial that you are attending. It’s also helpful to know what exactly the judge has to prove in order for you to face your penalties.
It’s best to be prepared for the results that may be pending. That being said, discuss with your lawyer the possible outcomes and what, specifically, may lead to each of those outcomes.
If you feel that the case is unlikely to result in your favor, consider what you can do to prove you are serious about correcting the issue.
You can show that you do not take this offense lightly by volunteering to attend classes such as Alcoholics Annonymous and rehabilitating yourself.
Lastly, it is important to dress well and represent yourself in the best light possible.
The reality of the situation is that the judge is trying to determine whether or not you are likely to offend again. Presenting yourself in the best, most professional way possible is sure to help your case.
You Don’t Have to Face an Underage DUI Alone
While DUI charges can result in serious punishment, we understand that young drivers make mistakes. We firmly believe that you should not have to spend the rest of your life paying for one mistake, which is why you should hire an attorney like Cannon Law Texas.
As we know, the driving under the influence laws varies from state to state. That being said, some states are more conservative than others and have less leeway in dealing with these charges.
In more conservative cities such as Houston, driving while intoxicated can impose a variety of penalties and can even result in jail time.
But, rest assured, all does not have to be lost when facing a DUI. It may seem like the end, but when you work alongside a DUI attorney, they are with you every step of the way. This is not something you have to face alone.
Everyday, people throughout the world get into their cars and drive after drinking alcohol or doing drugs. As long as they make it home safely, most people shrug it off, thinking that it isn’t a big deal. In fact, however, getting behind the wheel when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol not only puts your own life at risk – but also the lives of everyone you encounter on your way home.
It simply isn’t worth the risk – both from a safety standpoint and a legal standpoint. All you have to do is make the decision to call a cab for a ride home rather than trying to drive yourself. Doing so could save your life or the life of someone around you. Even if you are an experienced driver, alcohol and drugs can interfere with your judgment and motor skills, significantly impairing your ability to operate your vehicle safely. The best decision that you can make is to avoid getting behind the wheel, opting instead to get a ride from someone else.
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are illegal in every state. Law enforcement officials won’t cut you a break if they pull you over and find that you have been drinking. Instead, you will be immediately arrested and charged, leading to a legal nightmare that can take months or years to sort out.
Driving Under The Influence (DUI)
If you are pulled over while driving a vehicle and your blood-alcohol level (BAC) is above your state’s legal limit, you could be charged with driving under the influence (DUI). Prosecutors take these charges seriously, meaning that you will be prosecuted to the full extent that the law allows in your area. Although the penalties are stiffer for repeat offenders, first-time offenders also face severe consequences. For instance, along with losing their driver’s license for up to a year, they could also be forced to participate in an alcohol abuse program on an outpatient basis. In addition, they are put on probation for a period of time after the event. Repeat offenders who get more than one DUI face even stiffer penalties, often resulting in jail time or the permanent loss of their driver’s license.
Although there are state-by-state variations in the types of punishments that are used, they all are extremely serious and can have a major impact on your life. If you happen to kill someone while you are driving under the influence of alcohol, you will find yourself facing vehicular manslaughter charges. In that case, you better start looking for the best DWI attorney Houston Texas has to offer.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
Driving while intoxicated also refers to the act of driving a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content level that is above the legal limit for the state where the vehicle is being driven. If you are suspected of driving while intoxicated and are pulled over, you will be put through a series of tests to determine whether or not you are legally intoxicated. These tests can include a roadside breathalyzer test, a blood test, and a field sobriety test. DWIs carry extremely stiff penalties and can negatively impact your life. Typically, these penalties include losing your driver’s license for a specific period of time, being forced to attend a program that focuses on alcohol treatment and possibly even facing jail time.
Making A Smarter Choice
Accidents involving DUIs are responsible for killing approximately 12,000 people each year. Even more staggering is the fact that more than 900,000 arrests involving DUI or DWI are made on an annual basis. Repeat offenders account for nearly 1/3 of these arrests. Although these figures have dropped significantly in the past two decades, there is still work to be done. While law enforcement officials play an important role, every individual also has a responsibility to do their part to make a difference. Making the simple choice to never drink and drive is the best way to avoid getting in trouble and to keep from causing harm to yourself or anyone else.
Driving impaired is nothing to joke around with. Every day there are about 800 people injured because of a drunk driving crash.
When this happens, the person at fault is arrested. But how do we know for which offense?
There’s a difference between DUI and DWI. But not many people understand it. In short, they both mean the same thing but it’s the state that decides which offense the person is dealt with.
That’s why we’ll go over the difference in detail. Ready to find out?
Take a look.
What is a DUI
DUI stands for driving under the influence. It’s a term we’re all familiar with, whether we’ve experienced it firsthand or heard it on TV.
All it means is that someone was driving erratically. In some states, you’ll get slapped with a DUI if you’ve consumed alcohol and/or drugs and you’re driving out of control. Other states may not recognize this offense and instead will charge you with a DWI instead.
The reason some states acknowledge it and others don’t is because they do mean the same thing. It’s anytime anyone is driving with a large amount of alcohol or drugs in their system.
Some states have gone so far to where they’ve lumped the two terms together. So, it doesn’t matter if a person was driving wildly or if they’re driving fine. But it depends if they have a high blood alcohol content.
If you are caught and charged with a DUI, you may be required to take DUI classes. This is where you’ll learn the rules of the road again. Depending on how severe your charge is, classes can last anywhere from a day to a few weeks.
What is a DWI
DWI is an acronym for driving while impaired. But the difference between DUI and DWI is that impaired driving doesn’t only relate to alcohol. Those who consumed drugs are at fault too.
Whether it’s illegal drugs or ones that are over-the-counter if they impair your ability to drive you will be charged.
The arresting officer can still have you take a breathalyzer test. But if they determine you’re impaired in some way, other than alcohol, they can call in a Drug Recognition Expert.
This person will then give you a series of tests to complete. If you fail, you can be arrested.
So, even if you have no alcohol in your system whatsoever but still seem uneasy, you can be charged with a DWI. Again, it depends on the state you live in.
But almost always, they recognize drugged driving as impaired driving. With that being said, you may be recommended to a substance use treatment center, especially if it’s your first offense.
The second or even third time, you may be apprehended.
Wrapping Up on the Different Between DUI and DWI
To put it in simpler terms, DUI is based on driving behavior while DWI is based on BAC or lack thereof. But no matter what, both of these terms are no laughing matter. Each comes with a serious offense that could land you in jail for years.
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