DWI is the acronym for the serious crime of Driving While Intoxicated. Driving While Intoxicated is defined as when a person operates a motor vehicle on public roadways while intoxicated as a result of the effects of consuming alcoholic beverages.
For persons who are arrested in connection with driving while impaired or under the influence of drugs, the offense is known as DUI or driving under influence/Driving Under The Influence. Both crimes will mean that the defendant will lose their Texas Drivers License if they are convicted, and in cases where a defendant is found to be drunk driving, the Texas Drivers License of the accused is suspended long before the court date during a process referred to as Administrative License Revocation.
Understanding 1st DWI Offenses
A person only needs to be convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) one time to create a situation that will have long-lasting effects that can make one’s life a living hell. For starters, if you have been arrested for DWI as a first-time offender, regardless of whether the case is being charged as a misdemeanor, you need a Texas DWI attorney on your side to hopefully beat the case, keep it off the record, and keep you one step away from being charged as a felon in a future instance of criminal charges of the same kind.
If you are convicted for a first offense DWI in Texas you will face fines that can go up to $2000, a jail sentence which could last up to six months in a County jail, and the suspension of your Texas Drivers License for a period of up to one year.
As of the year 2015, persons who are accused and convicted of DWI on first offenses will be forced by the court to have, and pay for, a breathalyzer machine/IntoxaLock to be installed on their vehicle which is intended to prevent the driver from cranking up the vehicle unless they do a below/breath tests to ensure that they are not intoxicated on alcohol, but are sober prior to the vehicle cranking up.
This is a serious and embarrassing consequence of being convicted of a misdemeanor DWI in Texas.
Understanding 2nd DWI Offenses
According to Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson, the founding attorney at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, persons who are convicted of a second DWI offense may still have an opportunity to take advantage of probation in order to limit the time that they will have to spend incarcerated in County jail. Also worth noting, second DWI charges in Texas amounts a class a misdemeanor criminal offenses which carry fines of up to $4000 a potential jail sentence that can last for one month to one year, and a Texas Drivers License suspension which can go all the way up to two years.
Felony DWI in Texas
If you are arrested for your third DWI occurrence, or if someone is injured as a result of a vehicle or accident caused as a result of you being intoxicated while attempting to operate a motor vehicle on public highways, streets, and roads, felony charges will persist.
Criminal prosecutors take felony DWI cases particularly serious as the threat to public safety is high, and lives are lost on a steady basis.
If you commit intoxication manslaughter you could face life in prison, but will more than likely be sentenced to a 20 year prison term.
However, it’s important that my readers keep in mind that a serious drunk driving car accident does not have to occur, and people do not have to die, for a person to receive a life sentence for felony DWI in Texas. There are numbers of habitual DWI offenders or sitting in a Texas penitentiary because they can’t keep their mouth off the bottle in situations that will put them behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Depending on the situation surrounding the felony DWI charges, or the details of the case in other words, a felony DWI convict could, in theory, face a prison sentence based on misdemeanor second DWI charges, a state jail felony DWI consequence, 2 to 10 years in the state penitentiary on a third charge if the defendant is habitual, and a sentence that can hit 20 years, or life, if the defendant is habitual and/or the cause of DWI – homicide.
Find the Best DWI Attorney
Possibilities of 10, 20, and 25 year to life sentences represent a hell of a lot of pressure to a person who was just having a good night out and could not handle their liquor. There are some attorneys in Texas that pad their stats on a weekly basis as they crush prosecutors who are attempting to gain convictions from juries on defendant’s who were caught by police driving while intoxicated. It behooves you to locate and retain the services of one of these highly sought after DWI attorneys in Texas if you are to have a fighting chance of winning in court.