A first time DWI offense in Austin -- even if you have no other criminal record -- can have devastating effects upon your life. From License suspensions to probation and even jail time, a DWI does not simply 'go away' on it's own. A DWI Conviction will show up on future background checks, and potentially stop you from obtaining employment, promotions, loans/aid, and housing. The effects can be life long, since a DWI conviction has no drop-off period in Texas.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.
(2) "Intoxicated" means: (A) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or (B) having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Most DWIs are Class B Misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by probation, jail up to 6 months, or a fine of up to $2,000 -- or all three. Even a first time DWI can result in the potential for jail time, however that's far more common on a DWI-2 (one DWI Prior), or multiple DWIs. An open container of alcohol in the car adds a minimum term of six days in jail. Also, if the alcohol content is .15% or higher the DWI offense can be enhanced to a Class A misdemeanor. There are also more severe Driver's License implications for those enchancements, including suspensions and surcharges.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class C Misdemeanor||Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines|
|3rd Degree Felony||2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
DWIs are priorable, meaning that each time you suffer a final conviction for a DWI, the next one can be enchanced, leading to more severe punishments. A second time DWI (DWI2) is a Class A misdemeanor, and includes a higher minimum of days in jail. Also, if the alcohol content is .15 or higher, or if the individual refuses the breath test, the DWI offense can be enhanced (typically to a Class A misdemeanor). There are also Driver's License implications for those examples.
Upon arrest for DWI, the officer should confiscate your Texas license, and give you a few forms concerning your temporary 40 day license. At this point, you can still legally drive on that temporary license, but you'll have 15 days from the date of arrest to request an Administrative Law Hearing (ALR Hearing), which will determine whether your license will be suspended -- and for how long. If you miss the 15 day deadline, it is almost impossible to later request a hearing.
We include representation at the ALR Hearing in our DWL Legal Fees! We do not charge you extra for the ALR Hearing. Request an ALR hearing NOW, even if you need more time to hire an attorney! (Link below goes to DPS Website)Request ALR Hearing
DWI is one of the most complex areas of criminal law, mixing the law, science, and forensics all into one. You need an attorney with trial expereience, knowledge of the law, and the scientific knowledge of breath tests, blood tests.
See our DWI Consultation Questionnaire here, or download it and call us for a Free DWI Consultation.
The Keates Law Firm has over 10+ Years Experience handling criminal defense cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail. This includes Motions to Suppress, Motions to Exclude Evidence based on Invalid Searches or Miranda Right Violations, and Probable Cause determinations.
Our Results Speak for Themselves. Keates Law Firm has a record of dismissals and acquittals in a variety of criminal cases. We are dismissal focused, and we get results.
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