After Being Charged with DWI
Driving while intoxicated is a misdemeanor charge provided your arrest is your first. Texas law mandates your DWI charge is tried as a misdemeanor provided you’ve never been arrested before, but there are specifics regarding what might happen once you’re charged with driving while intoxicated. When you are pulled over under the suspicion you’re intoxicated, you’ll be asked to take a breathalyzer test or go through a blood test when you are arrested. If you refuse, you’ll still be arrested.
The arresting officer will take you to jail where you will be given an opportunity to contact your attorney or utilize one provided for you at no charge if you cannot afford one. You do have the option of being released on bail while you await your hearing. Your attorney’s job is to prove you were not intoxicated while you were driving, which is not always easy to do when you have medical proof. Your opportunity to prove your innocence occurs before a judge. You will be found guilty or not guilty, and you will be punished according to your crime.
Your misdemeanor arrest comes with a sentence if you’re found guilty. Texas law permits a judge to choose from numerous punishments.
– A fine of up to $2,000
– Mandatory intervention and/or education programs
– Up to two years with a suspended license
– Ignition interlock device in your vehicle
– Jail time for no less than three days and no more than 180 days
If this is a second or third offense, each punishment is increased. If this is a fourth offense or your DWI resulted in the death of another person, you’ll be charged as a felon for your crimes. Before your hearing, your license will likely be suspended while you await sentencing. A DWI lawyer can help you understand how to proceed when you’re confused following a DWI arrest.