After a fun night out with friends, you may think you can manage the short drive home because you only had a few drinks. However, the police officer who pulled you over disagrees and now you’re facing your first criminal charges. A DWI is a serious charge, and knowing how to proceed is crucial. When facing charges, a McAllen, Texas DWI lawyer is vital to keeping your record clean. Keep reading to explore the consequences you can expect for a first-offense DWI.
Does a First-Offense DWI Mean I’ll Go to Jail?
In Texas, a DWI is a serious charge with severe charges. In other states, you may only have a few fines or points on your driver’s license if it’s your first time. However, Texas takes these crimes more seriously, as you can face up to six months in prison, on top of other consequences.
There is a mandatory jail sentence of three days for anyone caught driving while intoxicated for the first time in Texas. It’s essential to note that this is just the minimum requirement. Even if it is your first charge, there is a possibility you will face 180 days in jail. Though you may think you can get off easy for your first time drinking and driving, the laws in Texas are strict to deter repeat offenders.
What Other Consequences Are There?
There are a number of other penalties you will face if you are facing a first-offense DWI charge. This includes a fine of up to $2,000, mandatory community service, enrollment in a DWI educational course, and a license suspension for up to one year. You will also be required to pay a fee of up to $2,000 to retain your license for the first three years following your conviction.
However, there are other penalties you can expect to face, depending on additional factors. For example, if you are found to have a passenger under 15 in the car while intoxicated, this will result in a felony. Not only will you face up to two years in prison, but you can pay a fine of up to $10,000. Similarly, a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.15% or higher can result in a maximum $4,000 fee on top of the mandatory minimum three-day jail sentence.
Are There Any Possible Defenses?
Though you may think a DWI charge is unbeatable, there are options. An experienced attorney will examine the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine whether or not the breathalyzer was functioning properly, if the officer had been properly trained to administer field sobriety tests, and if the stop was legal.
When you need an attorney to fight to keep your record clean, Angel Davila Law can help. We will do everything possible to help you receive the best outcome possible for your circumstances. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our dedicated legal team.