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Texas means business when it comes to driving while intoxicated. The penalties are severe and the prosecutors will go after defendants with the full force and resources of the state. The consequences of being found guilty of driving while intoxicated (DWI) are serious, right from the start. This means that even if it is only your first DWI, you will be faced with some devastating fallout. Here, we’ll discuss what can happen upon conviction of your first Texas DWI.

What Happens On Your First Texas DWI?

Texas law defines driving while intoxicated as operating a vehicle while failing to have normal use of your mental or physical faculties due to alcohol consumption, drug use, substance use or some combination of these things. A person will also be found to have been driving while intoxicated if they are found to have been operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher.

Texas classifies a first time DWI as a Class B misdemeanor. Conviction of a first time DWI will result in a maximum fine of up $3,000. It can also include a maximum jail sentence of up to 6 months. On top of the fine and period of incarceration, a DWI will land on your permanent record. This means that you may need to disclose the offense on things like job and housing applications.

When there are certain aggravating circumstances surrounding a first time DWI, the crime classification as well as the consequences can steeply increase. For instance, if it is demonstrated that at the time of the DWI the offender had an open container of alcohol in their immediate offender, the offense remains classified as a Class B misdemeanor, but it comes with a minimum period of incarceration of 6 days. There are also heightened penalties when other aggravating circumstances are present. For instance, if the driver’s BAC was 0.15 or higher at the time the analysis of their blood, breath, or urine occurred, then this is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor. As such, the maximum fine to be imposed upon conviction is a maximum of $6,000. The maximum jail sentence is 12 months.

There is also an instance when a first time DWI charge can be categorized as a felony. The only first time DWI charge to be classified as such is for a DWI with a child passenger. If the driver was driving while intoxicated and there was a minor in the vehicle at that time, then they can fact this state jail felony. The driver will face a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 24 months confinement in a state jail facility. A conviction for this offense will also result in driver license suspension and a mark on the driver’s permanent criminal record. For conviction of a felony, there are also other devastating consequences such as the loss of certain civil liberties like the ability to vote and, under some circumstances, possess a firearm.

Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are facing a DWI charge in Texas, do not delay in retaining dedicated legal counsel. The trusted criminal defense team at Navarrete & Schwartz will be your dedicated advocates the whole way. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.

Posted in DWI