DWI (Drunk Driving) and Texas Law

Houston man, driving while intoxicated.

As you may know, driving under the influence of alcohol means that you aren’t driving with the full faculties of your sober mind. It also means that you are risking both your life and the lives of other motorists that may be using the roadways. For this reason, driving while you are under the influence of alcohol is criminal offense that can land you locked up in jail.

In Texas, the legal intoxication limit is 0.08%. This means that if your blood alcohol concentration level exceeds the 0.08% mark and you’re driving a motored vehicle, you can be charged with DWI. However, you are breaking the law immediately if the alcohol you’ve ingested (this includes drugs) has started to affect your ability to drive safely.

Below, we’ve outlined a few things occur when a person consumes drugs and alcoholic beverages that are the leading cause of auto accidents involving impaired drivers.

  • The potential for alcohol induced blackouts rises.
  • The drunk driver may become more agitated, which can lead to aggressive driving.
  • The drunk driver may begin to lack restraint, taking actions they wouldn’t take under normal circumstances.
  • The driving might become fearful, self-destructive, or experience a general discontent with the present, leading to actions and activities they might not engage during normal circumstances.

As you can see, consuming alcohol affects people in different ways, but it always has a negatory affect. For this reason, and mainly for the sake of public safety, drunk driving is against the law in Texas and throughout the civilized world.

According to Attorney Tad A. Nelson over at HoustonDWI.guru

Regardless of whether you think you’re guilty or innocent of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), having the right defense attorney on your side can mean the difference between being convicted (with ease) by Harris County prosecutors, serving the maximum possible prison sentence in the event that the jury comes to a guilty finding during a trial, being allowed to take advantage of deferred adjudication options for Houston DWI offenders, or being acquitted of all allegations of criminal charges entirely.

Only an attorney that’s trained and educated on the methods of scrutinizing the nuances and evidence applicable to your case will be able to make a sound judgement about the best way to proceed with your case in the court of law.

DWI Penalties According to the Texas Law

In Texas, there is somewhat of a “three strikes” notion associated with individuals arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. All three strikes have different penalty characteristics with the third strike being the harshest of the three. That said, here are the three penalties for a DWI according to the Texas law.

First Offense

If you are found driving while under the influence of alcohol in Texas for the first time, you should expect a fine of up to $2,000. Secondly, this offense also includes jail time of up to 180 days upon conviction plus 3 mandatory days.

Lastly, the first strike may also see you lose your driver’s license for a whole year.

In Texas, first-time DWI is a misdemeanor offense. Often, a good Houston DWI lawyer would have no problem getting the case dismissed or hammering out a probation deal for the offender. This way, the offender doesn’t have to serve much jail time and might get a chance to keep the case off of their permanent criminal history. However, although the first offense is a misdemeanor, it’s the most important type of case to fight because subsequent arrests for the same crime could lead to a lengthy prison sentence. More on that coming up.

Second Offense

Houston man, driving while intoxicated.

The penalties for a person convicted a second time for DWI in Texas are harsher than the first but not like the third offense penalties – which are almost always charged as felony offenses. This second strike of drunk driving can result in the offender being forced to pay a fine of up to $4,000, serve one month to a year in jail time, and of-coarse, they’ll have that pesky criminal history following them around for the rest of their lives, not to mention a guaranteed felony charge with prison time should they suffer another conviction for drunk driving in Houston or elsewhere in Texas.

In this strike, you also lose your driver’s license but up to two years now. So as you can see, you’d only be putting yourself in more trouble. If you’re looking for excellent solutions following a criminal charge of this nature, it’s recommended that you consult an experienced DUI & DWI defense lawyer in short order.

Third Offense

If you are found driving while under the influence of alcohol for the third time in Texas, things won’t be so good for you. This is because the Texas law doesn’t take the third offense of drunk driving lightly.

It’s no longer a misdemeanor but a felony that needs a serious enough penalty. Hence, the third offense penalties include a $10,000 fine, prison time of between 2-10 years, and losing the driver’s license for up to two years.

As you can see, these are pretty tough penalties that can be avoided by just following the laid out protocols for our safety. That’s not all, these penalties don’t include the fines of $3,000 for the first offense, $4,500 for the second offense, and $5,000 for the third offense, which are assessed upon the perpetrator’s sentencing.

However, according to Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson;

Defendants convicted of a felony third DWI offense may, in some situations, have an opportunity to take advantage of community supervision and avoid serving a lengthy penitentiary sentence. If you are fortunate enough to be in a position where community supervision is possible, the community supervision term, also referred to as probation, will last from a period of 2 to 10 years.

Occupational Licenses

If you have not received any previous alcohol-related license suspensions within the preceding five years, you are immediately eligible for an “occupational license.” An occupation license is for driving only to and from places like work, school, and places necessary to accomplish essential household duties. If you have received a license suspension within the preceding five years for a drug or alcohol-related contact with law enforcement, there’s an initial 90 day “hard suspension” period during which you won’t be able to drive at all. And if one of your prior law enforcement contacts was within the preceding five years, your hard suspension increases to 180 days. Additionally, an occupational license is only available once in a 10-year period.

Understanding Felony DWI Charges

Fighting Back Against Houston, Harris County, TX prosecutors

The penalties explained above are as serious as the look, so you need to be mindful if you don’t want to land any of them. But if in an instance you do, then you require a Texas DWI attorney who’s well versed in the Texas law.

This might increase your chances of receiving less harsh penalties when it’s time for your hearing. However, this shouldn’t encourage you to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Remember, drunk driving puts both you, the people inside your car and others outside at risk of losing their lives or getting injured.

Getting Houston DWI Cases Dismissed

When you are loved one are in the midst of fighting the battle against the state of Texas following criminal charges for driving while intoxicated, or any other DWI related offense, it’s important that you choose your legal representation wisely. Too many times individuals hire attorneys that force them to plead guilty or except probation without ever examining the details of the case. This can result in an unnecessary form of deferred adjudication or probation on a case that could have been beat during a criminal trial or dismissed during pretrial proceedings. In other instances, individuals are wrongfully arrested for drunk driving. In these cases, a healthy review of the evidence collected, or lack thereof, could just as will result in a case being dismissed during pretrial proceedings. If your rights were violated during the initial encounter with law enforcement officers in Houston, this could also result in your case being dismissed during pretrial proceedings or a finding of not guilty during a criminal trial setting.

Consequences of a DWI Conviction in Texas

An individual that is convicted of drunk driving faces a number of consequences, the least of which is spending a night in jail and paying a small fine. One of the main consequences associated with a conviction for driving while intoxicated in Houston is the loss of your driving privileges.

Video: Texas State Representative Arrested for DWI

Montgomery County Police Reporter

Just after 9 pm Friday evening (4/23/2021) Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constables responded to a reported major accident at FM 1314 and Sorters Road in Porter. Units arrived to find a Corvette parked under a mini-van. Both the mini-van and the Corvette were headed south on FM 1314 at Sorters when the Corvette failed to stop for the red light and drove up under the SUV. MCHD responded to the scene to check the three occupants of the SUV who suffered minor injuries but refused transport. The driver of the Corvette was also not injured however did appear to be impaired. A Precinct 4 Certified DWI Deputy was summoned to the scene. The driver who was identified as Texas State Representative Dan Huberty from District 127 was given a field sobriety test and failed. He was detained.

Texas Driver License Suspensions Are A Hassle!

Not being able to drive to put a hamper on your career, ability to earn income, ability to feed and sustain the family, and your ability to make progress in any professional undertaking you may have. Aside from not being able to drive around the beautiful city of Houston for a few years, there is also the criminal record that will follow you around for the rest of your life. So unless you’re self-employed or own your own business, every time you apply for a job or seek a promotion at your current job, a criminal background check will be required that will be used to judge you and your character. For these reasons, is extremely important to take great care in hiring a qualified criminal justice lawyer should you be in a position where you need to fight to prevent a conviction, a criminal background, and what could be a lengthy prison stint.

Texas Department of Public Safety

If your Texas driver license or driving privilege has been suspended, revoked, cancelled or denied, you must visit the license eligibility webpage to determine what you will need to submit to the Department for reinstatement.

Fax Number: 512-424-2848

Just because you were arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated in Houston, does not mean you can be convicted of the offense in a court of law. In a court of law, there is a healthy review of the science, the evidence, and your rights, as opposed to the initial encounter with the officer on the side of the roadway.

A Lawyer Can Help You Hypothesis Potential Outcomes

In fact, a skilled DWI lawyer that is worth his salt should be able to let you know your chances of getting your drunk driving case dismissed in the days and weeks leading up to your court date – given that he or she has had an opportunity to review any discovery, evidence, laws and regulations, which might lead to a positive outcome for your situation. If you are adjudicated as guilty, as most convicted parties are, it’s usually due to a lack of competent and effective legal representation. I would let this be the case if it were me in that situation, and I don’t recommend that you let it be the case if it were you in that situation.

Economic Losses Following a Conviction

You stand to lose tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re convicted of a drunk driving offense which could be avoided by making a small investment in hiring a criminal justice attorney that can help get you out of trouble. You, your lifestyle, and your family should not have to suffer following an arrest for impaired driving, open container violations, intoxicated manslaughter, felony drunk driving offenses, drunk driving cases resulting in injuries, when everyone deserves a second chance.

Even if someone died as a result of a drunk driving accident that you caused, you still deserve a defense and an opportunity to avoid prison.

So, if you, a family member, or someone close to you needs legal advice following criminal charges for drunk driving or any other felony offense, it’s recommended that you take the time to consult with legal counsel that might be able to help you. Who knows, your very life might depend on it.

Author: 713-lawyer