If you are arrested and charged with a DWI, you should know about two legal proceedings that you’ll face in the weeks and months ahead. Needless to say, both proceedings could have a major impact on your freedom, your future, and your finances.
It’s best to seek help from a skilled and experienced DWI/DUI attorney who can take immediate steps to fight for your rights with the goal of achieving a favorable result.
Let’s discuss the nuances of the two legal processes you’ll face after a DWI arrest:
The Administrative License Revocation Hearing
The Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Program hearing decides the fate of your driving privileges.
If you fail a blood test or a breath test, the police officer can immediately take away your license and give you a temporary driving permit. To retain your right to drive and contest the suspension of your license, you need to request an administrative hearing with 15 days of the arrest.
It’s advised that you ask an attorney to help you through the process and be present at the hearing because crucial defenses can be developed at the administrative hearing that could help your attorney during the criminal case.
The Criminal Prosecution of DWI
With regard to the criminal process, the stakes go beyond losing your driving privileges. If convicted, you may have to pay a hefty fine and possible jail time.
In Texas, a first DWI offense can be either charged as a Class A misdemeanor or a Class B misdemeanor.
A first-time offense with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) lower than .15 is classified as a Class B misdemeanor. This carries a range of penalties of not less than 72 hours confinement in the county jail, a fine up to $2,000, and/or license suspension of 90 to 365 days.
A first offense with BAC over 0.15 or a second offense will be filed as a Class A Misdemeanor with harsher penalties, including up to 1 year in jail, a maximum fine up to $4,000, and a license suspension of 6 months to 2 years.
A first DWI sentence can additionally include community service, probation, and a DWI education program. Moreover, Texas imposes a three-year annual license surcharge that ranges from $1,000 to $2,000.
Get Legal Help Right Away
DWI laws in Texas can be complicated, and the facts of each case are unique. It’s in your best interest to contact an experienced DWI / DUI attorney in your area who can review all the evidence from the chemical test results to the dash-cam footage to mount a strong defense.
As a former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney serving Clear Lake and Friendswood, Texas, Attorney J.L Carpenter has years of experience in protecting her client’s rights with the goal of getting favorable outcomes in their case.
Contact J.L. Carpenter Law for a consultation right away.