Facing a first DWI in Texas can be nerve-wracking and stressful. What probably started out as an innocent night on the town with a few drinks quickly ended with your future flashing before your eyes.
Let’s paint a picture: you’re heading home after a night out with old friends. You think you’re okay to drive because you only had a couple of beers a few hours ago at the bar. You feel normal, you’ve got your wits about you, and you know you can hold your alcohol. You’re halfway home when you notice you haven’t had your headlights on — but not before you noticed the police officer hiding behind a billboard.
You follow orders, but the police officer indicates that things aren’t going so smoothly. You’re asked to get out of the car and perform some confusing tests, followed by an intoxication analysis. Much to your surprise, you blow a 0.10 and it seems like game over — you’re put in cuffs, thrown in the cruiser, and taken to jail.
What’s going to happen? How will this affect my life? Is there a way out?
There may be many questions running through your head and you may feel alone –– but you’re not. Javier Guzman, a trustworthy Laredo DWI attorney from Guzman Law Firm, is here to answer your questions about what to expect when facing a DWI charge for the first time.
What happens when you get your first DWI in Texas?
When you are arrested for your first DWI, it’s easy to feel like it’s game over. This is far from the truth.
Once you are arrested, you will be given a court date for your arraignment to meet with a judge and tell the court how you plead. Pleading “not guilty” will result in a trial while pleading “guilty” will move you into sentencing much faster. It may seem tempting to get it over with, but we do not recommend entering a guilty plea at this stage, regardless of the evidence against you.
Being sentenced with a first DWI in Texas depends heavily on your individual situation and the severity of the incident.
Though being arrested and charged with a DWI does not guarantee that you will be convicted of a DWI, you will have your license suspended and only 15 days to save it. You’ll need to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days after your arrest in order to save your driving privileges.
But most importantly, after you are arrested for a DWI in Texas, you need to hire a DWI defense attorney that you can trust immediately. The longer you wait, the more time a case can be built against you, making a DWI conviction more likely. And believe us, you cannot afford a DWI conviction in Texas.
What type of charge is a first DWI in Texas?
Is DWI a felony in Texas? A first DWI in Texas, with no aggravating factors present, is typically charged as a Class B Misdemeanor. However, there are some cases in which your charge will be escalated to a felony charge even if this is your 1st or 2nd DWI in Texas:
- If your BAC was over 0.15 (twice the legal limit)
- You were driving with a minor in the car
- You caused an accident resulting in injury
- You caused an accident resulting in death
Penalties for a first DWI in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, these are the standard penalties you are facing once charged with a first-time DWI offense in Texas.
What is the fine for first offense DWI in Texas? If convicted, you could be made to pay a fine of up to $2,000. This fine does not include a state fine of $3,000.
Upon conviction, you could serve between three and 180 days in jail, depending on your criminal background and the specifics of your case.
Upon conviction, you will lose your driver’s license for up to a year if you do not request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing 15 days after your arrest.
Do you get probation for a first DWI in Texas?
Probation –– also referred to as “community supervision” in Texas –– can be granted by a judge in place of serving jail time. You will be asked to abide by strict rules during your community supervision including:
- Paying monthly or set fines (typically $50–100 per month)
- Having regular check-ins with your community supervision officer
- Completing community service for a set number of hours
- Attending alcohol or drug education courses
- Routine drug and alcohol testing
The length of community supervision varies from case to case, but you cannot get out of community supervision early. However, it’s possible that if you abide by the rules, you may be able to adjust certain terms, such as visiting your community supervision officer less frequently.
Can you get a DWI dismissed in Texas?
Even if your first DWI is also your first-ever criminal charge, this mistake can haunt you for the rest of your life if not dealt with properly. With the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney, you have a shot at getting your first DWI charge dismissed and removed from your record.
Depending on the specifics of your case, your attorney can argue your case down to a lesser charge, have your case dismissed, or help you to receive a “not guilty” verdict which can result in your first DWI charge and arrest taken off of your record. However, if you were convicted of a DWI, that will remain on your record forever. Don’t let your DWI charge turn into a DWI conviction.
This is why having top legal representation matters. Only experienced and committed attorneys like Javier Guzman of Guzman Law Firm can help you to erase this awful mistake and get your DWI expunged.
Javier Guzman Can Fight Your First DWI in Texas Charge
Being charged with a first DWI in Texas is a serious matter. One mistake shouldn’t alter your life. In order to beat this, you will need excellent, relentless representation. You will need Javier Guzman.
Javier Guzman is not only a highly experienced Laredo criminal defense lawyer, he is also Laredo’s ONLY Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, the highest form of scientific recognition available for lawyers as designated by the Chemistry and Law Division of the American Chemical Society. As a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, Javier has in-depth knowledge of the science behind toxicology — including breath tests and blood tests — and can use that knowledge to help you build the most effective case possible in the fight of your life.
If you are looking for an aggressive attorney to build a strong defense strategy for your case, Javier Guzman may be the right attorney to explore your legal options. Schedule a consultation with Guzman Law Firm or call 956-333-3977 today.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.