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The Consequences of a DWI Conviction in Texas

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Parker County criminal defense lawyerTo reach a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction, prosecutors must prove to the court that the defendant was operating a vehicle in public while either intoxicated or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08 percent. If found convicted, a defendant could see some hefty fines and possibly some jail time. Individuals charged with DWI would do well to employ a criminal defense attorney to come to their aid—one with enough experience in DWI cases.

The Penalties for a DWI Conviction

Penalties for DWI will range from a misdemeanor to a felony primarily based on prior convictions and other factors that took place at the time of arrest. Texas DWI convictions on record last a lifetime, and all previous convictions are considered prior offenses.

Your first and second DWI convictions are typically misdemeanors. The first offense could land you in prison for 72 hours up to six months. On top of the jail time, you could see up to $2,000 in fines. A subsequent, or second conviction, will see the jail time increased to 30 days up to 12 months, while the fines increase to $4,000.

A judge will often give a six-month to two years probation for first-time offenders who have served at least three days in jail on a DWI. Probation often requires additional tasks on behalf of the convicted, such as:

  • Random drug testing
  • Community service
  • Monitored sobriety
  • Victim impact panel attendance
  • Completion of an alcohol awareness program

The judge could also choose to suspend your driver’s license until the alcohol awareness program is complete.

Additional Factors For Harsher DWI Penalties

Being charged with DWI is just the tip of the iceberg. Other factors could come into play and see the penalties for a successful conviction increased. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated and having a minor under the age of 15 as a passenger can see a misdemeanor quickly escalate to a felony charge. A conviction could see 180 days to two years imprisonment with a fine of up to $10,000.

First offenders with a BAC of more than 0.15 percent will carry a penalty of 12 years in prison and up to $4,000 in fines. Operating a vehicle while intoxicated and with open alcoholic containers will serve at least six days in jail before receiving probationary release.

The steepest penalties involve habitual offenses or convictions involving serious bodily injury or death to another person. Habitual offenders who are convicted of DWI are looking at a third-degree felony that carries ten years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. The same can be said for a DWI that results in serious bodily injury to another person. A DWI conviction that results in the death of another person will carry a two to 20-year prison sentence and fines up to $10,000.

Contact a Parker County, TX Criminal Defense Lawyer

You should contact a Decatur, TX DWI defense attorney when charged with DWI. Time is of the essence. Contact the J.A. Griffin Law Firm, P.C. at 817-926-6153 for a free consultation on your legal matters. No matter the charges, the office of J.A. Griffin will fight to defend your rights and help prepare you for trial.

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