REDUCING DWI PENALTIES IN TEXAS
Texas is not a good state to drive intoxicated. The local police are vigilant at keeping intoxicated drivers off of the streets. It is important to hire a good lawyer to keep your driving record clean and minimize the penalties. Some of them are very harsh.
The state is not easy on people who drive while they are intoxicated. The laws have become stricter over the recent years which has made the consequences more severe as well. The dangers that intoxication can present while driving make such strictness necessary, especially in places that are heavy with traffic. The degree of the penalties depends on a few different factors. The level of intoxication is one. A higher blood alcohol content will often lead to more severe consequences. The other big factor that determines the severity of the verdict is the number of offenses the more DWIs a person has, the more severe the penalties usually become. Great legal representation can also help keep the verdict as lenient as possible.
The first DWI in Texas is the least severe but is still fairly strict. The initial fine can be up to two thousand dollars. The offenders drivers license could be suspended for as many as two years. There can also be a two thousand dollar per year fee for three years to keep a driver’s license. There can be some jail time involved from as little as three days and up to three months. In addition to the penalties, some preventative and therapeutic measures can be taken. A car ignition interlock to prevent the vehicle from starting if alcohol can be detected on the driver or mandatory class for DWI education and intervention.
The second offense has similar consequences but they are significantly more severe. The term of the jail sentence is doubled and can last from only one month to up to a year. The fines are also doubled and can cost up to four thousand dollars. The license suspension penalty can be up to two years for a second DWI. The same two thousand dollars in a yearly fee as the first offense can be sentenced on the second as well, also for three years. A persons license may be suspended for up to two years. An interlock and mandatory DWI classes are also applied, even more strictly. A second offense suggests a repeating pattern and the need for professional intervention.
The penalties for the third DWI are significantly more severe than the first two charges, especially in terms of money. The initial fines for a third DWI can be as high as ten thousand dollars in Texas. More than twice the cost of the second charge. Incarceration time also increases drastically with a sentence of two to ten years in a state prison. In addition to the length of the sentence, it is difficult to get sentencing leniency by the third charge. Additionally, there can still be a two-year license suspension and license penalties of two thousand dollars a year for three years. By the third DWI intervention classes are almost guaranteed to be part of the sentence along with an ignition interlock.
The DWI laws for minors in Texas are different than they are for adults and so are the penalties. In matters concerning alcohol, the law defines any person under the age of twenty-one as a minor. When driving, it is not acceptable for a minor to have any amount of alcohol in their system at all. On a first offense, a minor could be ordered to take DWI class, probation or community service, loss of a license, fines or an interlock being installed in their vehicle. For each following offense, the penalties themselves remain the same but increase in severity. Multiple offenses can lead to time in a juvenile detention center. Fortunately, with good legal representation minors can have minimal penalties and prevent some of the long-term effects such a charge could have on their permanent record.
When faced with a DWI charge it is important to seek legal representation. A great lawyer can help defend against DWI charges. With a good case, it is possible to minimize the penalties and even eliminate some altogether. It is also a bonus that a good lawyer can help minimize what appears on the permanent record.