Just like other criminal charges, being arrested for a DWI or as an underage drinker (under 21 in the state of Texas) carries the tag of “innocent till proven to be guilty” in a court of law. Where guilt has been established (either through evidence or by plea bargain guilty admission or following a trial), penalties depend upon the local state law. Additional circumstances like presence of a minor in the car, presence of an open container of alcohol in the vehicle can drastically increase penalties, while it is possible at times that cooperation by the defendant with the authorities.
Potential Jail Time Accompanying Charges
In each state, generally first-time offense DWI or DUI falls into the category of misdemeanor, carrying sentences as long as 6 months jail time. This punishment could be lengthened as a result of certain issues like having a child in the car. Additional consequences and even mandatory minimums kick in when DUI or DWI offenders have shown BAC levels that are excessive, such as over 0.15 or even 0.25 percent.
With regards to the minimum sentencing requirements, some states even require a few days as a minimum sentence requirement. Repeat offenses can result in sentences that are a minimum of a few months or longer.
For a DWI which is in the felony category — due to a death or serious injury or as a result of being a 3rd or 4th offense, minimum sentencing is commonly one or more years. This all depends upon the state in which the offense occurred. Other factors include the facts involved with the case, the judge’s discretion, etc. These types of issues are best dealt with under the careful guidance and legal advice of your dallas dwi lawyer. If you opt to choose the cheapest lawyer you can hire, you will find that your results may end up being sub-par and cause you grief then and later in life.
Fines For DWI Convictions
Fines for DWI and DUI convictions often can be very large and in addition to sentencing requirements. Courts impose severe fines for DWI and DUI convictions. These fines generally can range from being between $500 to $2,000 at a minimum.
Hearing to Defend Driver’s License
A DWI and DUI offender will automatically have her or his license suspended either by mandate of the court or by the DMV. Some states will suspend the license of a first time offender’s for a period of 90 days; for 2nd offender’s, the suspension would be for 1 year; or for a 3rd offense for 3 years.
With regards to refusing a breathalyzer, urine, or blood test, this can cause automatic suspension, irregardless of innocence or guilt. Some states charge additional fees.
Many states take additional steps in order to prevent repeat offenders from driving again, such as confiscating vehicles, canceling registration, whether permanently or temporarily. Some states require interlock devices on the ignition on the offender’s vehicle. This ignition lock device requires drivers to be cleared by a handheld alcohol breathalyzer unit which is attached on the vehicle’s dashboard. If BAC levels are over a preset BAC level (typically 0.02% – 0.04%), the vehicle will not start.