Charged with A DWI In the Greater Houston Area for the First Time? Here Are the Penalties and Punishment If You’re Found Guilty.

In Texas, someone is killed or hurt in a drunk driving accident every 20 minutes. Texas—Harris County in particular—has one of the highest rates of drunk driving in the country. Given the size of the cities and the population, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin see the highest number of motor vehicle accidents due to DWI.

The Law on DWI

According to the laws on DWI in Texas, any person caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher can be arrested and charged with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). However, if the intoxication is caused by other sources such as drugs, it will still be considered a DWI.

The BAC depends on the number of alcoholic beverages you have consumed, your body weight, height, and your physiology that determines your body’s ability to handle alcohol. Conventional wisdom says that usually, two to three beers consumed within an hour is enough to make a person legally intoxicated. Normally, people who are young or small and women can get intoxicated with less alcohol.

But these guidelines under the law are based upon a “normal” person who doesn’t exist. They don’t account for an individual’s unique ability to metabolize alcohol in their system, so a 200 lb. man may be intoxicated drinking two beers, but the same two beers may not phase a 115 lb. woman. Their bodies are different.

Legal Punishment for DWI

The punishments and penalties for DWI under Texas law vary according to the level of alcohol impairment and the number of convictions. A first-time offense with a 0.08 or above, but lower than .015 is classified as a Class B misdemeanor with the following penalties:

  1. up to $2,000 fine
  2. a license suspension of 90 to 365 days
  3. jail time of 72 hours to 180 days

A second conviction for a DWI offense is categorized as Class A misdemeanor and has harsher penalties, which include:

  1. a maximum fine up to $4,000
  2. possible jail time of 30 to 365 days, and
  3. a license suspension of 6 months to 2 years.

A third time DWI offense is considered a 3rd-degree felony, and the penalties include:

  1. a maximum fine of $10,000
  2. 2 to 10 years of jail time in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), and
  3. a license suspension of 6 months to 2 years.

For people with prior prison sentences and three or more DWI offenses, the punishment escalates even more since it’s categorized as a 2nd degree felony:

  1. up to 20 years in prison
  2. a fine up to $10,000.
  3. license suspension up to 2 years.

Hire an Experienced DUI/DWI Lawyer in the Greater Houston Area

Considering how punishment escalates depending upon the number of DWIs you’ve had, it’s critical to avoid a conviction for your first DWI offense. Hire an experienced, aggressive DUI attorney to mount a relentless defense to guard your rights from a wrongful conviction.

The Law Office of J.L. Carpenter is a legal firm in the Houston area under the exceptional leadership of Attorney Jennifer, “J.L.,” Carpenter. As a former Harris County prosecutor, she’s a passionate criminal defense and DUI/DWI lawyer, who can assist you with a solid, strategically sound defense for your DUI/DWI.

Contact Houston’s DUI lawyer J.L. Carpenter by scheduling a consultation today!

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