First Offense DWI
Houston First Offense DWI Lawyer – Brett A. Podolsky
Drunk driving can mean big trouble in the state of Texas. Even a driver’s first driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction can make life difficult. Anyone who is facing a first DWI charge in the Houston-area should retain the services of an expert DWI attorney to represent them in court.
What is DWI?
To be charged with a DWI in Texas, the police must show that a driver was operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08. Conviction may also occur if it can be shown that the driver was mentally or physically impaired by drugs or alcohol. Nevertheless, a police officer must first have probable cause to make a traffic stop and arrest. Swerving, speeding or running a red light can provide probable cause for a traffic stop by the police. An open container of alcohol in the vehicle, failure to pass a field sobriety test or admitting to drinking alcohol can also result in a DWI arrest.
A first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor in the state of Texas. A first DWI can lead to three days to six months in jail or a fine of no more than $2,000. Depending on the nature of the charge, a defendant may also be subject to the following charges and penalties:
- Driving while intoxicated with a minor in the vehicle: A defendant can receive six months to two years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 for driving while intoxicated with a minor child under the age of 15.
- Intoxication assault: This charge can be levied when a drunk driver seriously injures another party. DWI assault is classified as a third-degree felony in the state of Texas. If convicted, a defendant can receive up to 10 years in prison or a fine of no more than $10,000.
- DWI manslaughter: Causing the death of another person while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a second-degree felony. Conviction can result in up to 20 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000.
Consequences of Your First DWI Offense
Anyone convicted of a first DWI misdemeanor must spend at least three days in county jail. The mandatory incarceration requirement rises to six days if there was an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. The judge or jury may also choose to sentence an offender to probation or community service.
Get Help From a Houston DWI Lawyer
Aside from the possibility of having their license suspended, a defendant in a DWI misdemeanor case may also be required to pay administrative fees, undergo rehabilitation for drugs and alcohol, or install an ignition interlock device in their car.
To learn about the potential criminal penalties and legal defenses for a first driving while intoxicated conviction, speak with board certified attorney Brett Podolsky today at 713-227-0087.