One of the most common charges in Texas is Driving While Intoxicated of DWI. It is also one of the most contested cases and tried cases in criminal courts. The Texas Penal Code defines DWI as a person who operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. “Intoxicated” means not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, or controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body, or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.
Although you may be arrested only for DWI, you may suffer more consequences than you thought. First, a DWI is a criminal case. However, you are also subject to the loss of your driving privileges, which is a civil case, as a result of your DWI arrest. Therefore, in any DWI case, you will have to deal with a criminal and civil case. An experienced DWI attorney will know how to deal with both cases in order to protect your interests. For example, you should contest the suspension of your driving privilege by requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. The hearing is a first opportunity to preserve the testimony of the arresting officer to be analyzed and used later in the preparation of your defense case to the DWI charge.
Of course you are subject to jail time and costs when you are charged with DWI. A first time DWI charge carries the potential punishment of six months in jail and a fine up to $2,000.00. Additionally, you may be placed on supervised probation for up to two years.
Other consequences of a DWI arrest can include high court costs and fines, loss of driving privileges, imposition of restrictive conditions when driving such as the installation of an ignition interlock device on your car, or severe conditions of probation. These potential consequences can effect your ability to resolve your case within reason. In other words, it may hinder your desire to accept a plea offer because you would be subject to so many conditions of your plea. You may decide that you have nothing to lose by taking your case to trial versus accepting a plea offer. This has a secondary consequence. You will need to hire an attorney to properly represent your case and you may or may not want to spend money on a trial versus accepting a plea you really do not want to take but must accept because you cannot afford to take the case to trial. Costs to defend a DWI case must be a consideration when thinking about your DWI case. Our office will lay out all the potential costs up front so that you can decide how to handle your case.
So far, we have discussed the basic DWI laws in Texas and the potential consequences, both financial and non-financial, which you may face from your DWI arrest. You do not want to handle a DWI case without knowing what you are facing first. Our office can tell you what to expect. We provide you the information and you make the decision in your best interest to resolve your case.
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