Driving under the influence, or DWI, is a crime that can have deadly consequences. As such, most states have continually increased the penalties for those found guilty of this crime. Texas is one of the strictest states in regards to DWI, with steep penalties for even first time offenders. Despite the potential consequences of DWI, those charged with this crime do have rights, and it is important that those rights are upheld. Jason Trumpler is an experienced DWI attorney who has helped countless individuals protect their rights following a DWI charge. To learn more about driving while intoxicated and first offense penalties for Austin, TX residents, contact The Law Offices of Jason Trumpler, PC.
First Offense Penalties for DWI
Those arrested for a DWI typically go through a lengthy legal process. Many of these cases result in either a conviction or the acceptance of a plea bargain. Whether a person is convicted or a plea is accepted, the final stage of the DWI process will be sentencing. The penalties of a DWI are determined by a number of different factors. One of these is whether the individual has any prior convictions for DWI. However, even for those who are first-time offenders, the potential penalties of a DWI are quite steep. Below are the potential penalties of a first offense DWI that is classified as a class B misdemeanor:
- Up to a $2,000 fine
- Jail time ranging from 72 hours to 180 days
- Driver’s license suspension for 90 days to a year
- $1,000 annual surcharge to the Driver Responsibility Program (or DRP) for three years
It is important to note that most people who are convicted of a DWI for the first time will not actually serve jail time. Although they will be sentenced to jail time, in most cases, the jail sentence is suspended and the individual is instead placed on probation, or community supervision, for a length of one or two years.
Another factor that is considered when determining DWI penalties is the severity of the infraction. Individuals who are arrested with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or greater will face harsher penalties. This is considered a class A misdemeanor and first-time offenders of a DWI class A misdemeanor will face the following penalties:
- Up to a $4,000 fine
- 72 hours to one year in county jail
- Driver’s license suspension for 90 days to 1 year
- $2,000 annual surcharge to the DRP for three years
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device (this device will prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has any alcohol in their system)
The Importance of Legal Representation
When faced with the severe penalties of a DWI, it is important to have a skilled and experienced attorney on your side. Not only can an attorney help DWI defendants avoid a conviction, if there is a conviction or plea bargain, an experienced attorney can fight to minimize penalties and the long-term consequences of this action.
DWI attorney Jason Trumpler has helped numerous individuals avoid the harshest penalties of a DWI conviction. If you have been arrested for a DWI contact us at your earliest convenience to discuss the details of your case and learn how we can ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.