Answers to Common Questions About Your DWI Arrest

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  • Do I need to hire an attorney if I am arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Austin, Texas?
    • It is always a great idea to consult with an experienced attorney like me if you are arrested for DWI in Austin. You can contact me at (512) 359-3300. An experienced attorney who routinely and aggressively handles DWI cases can negotiate a reduction or dismissal in your in your case. In addition, many times these cases need to be evaluated for possible trial or motions to suppress.  I think it is crucial that you contact an experienced DWI attorney IMMEDIATELY if you are arrested for DWI.  If the attorney is not able to negotiate a reduction or dismissal, an experienced DWI lawyer can ensure that you get the best result possible.
  • What are the penalties for Driving While Intoxicated in Austin without probation?
    • The range of punishment for DWIs vary.
      • Class B misdemeanor DWI First Offense - 72 hours to 180 days in the county jail and/or a fine not to exceed $2,000.
      • Class A misdemeanor DWI if it is proven that the blood alcohol concentration at the time of driving was greater than 0,15%. The range of punishment is up to 1 year in the county jail and fine not to exceed $4,000.
      • Class B misdemeanor DWI with open container - DWI with open container. Minimum 6 days confinement in county jail up to 180 days in the county jail and a fine not to exceed $2,000.
      • DWI with one prior conviction - Class A misdemeanor. Minimum 30 days in the county jail up to 1 year in the county jail. Fine not to exceed $4,000.
      • DWI with two prior convictions or more. Felony 3rd Degree with 2 to 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
      • Driving While Intoxicated with child passenger younger than 15 year of age, is a state jail felony, carrying from a minimum of 180 days up to two years in a state jail facility along with the possibility of a $10,000 fine.
  • What are the penalties for DWI in Austin with probation?
    • Again, the range of punishment varies.
      • DWI 1st offense - a Class B misdemeanor which can be probated without any jail time required as a condition of community supervision. Probation can be anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Generally, in Austin, prosecutors request a minimum of 1 year of probation.
      • DWI with .15 or higher is a Class A misdemeanor with no mandatory jail time, but if probation is granted, an ignition interlock device is required for ½ the term of probation,
      • DWI-1st offense under 21 years of age is either a Class B misdemeanor or a Class A misdemeanor if the alcohol concentration is .15 or higher. If the person is younger than 21 years of age at the time of the offense, the judge who places the defendant on community supervision must suspend the driver’s license for 90 days beginning on the date of the community supervision. Article 42A.407 (f)C.C.P. The judge must order as a condition of community supervision, that the defendant not operate any motor vehicle unless it is equipped with an ignition interlock device. Article 42A.408(e)C.C.P. If the sentence is a jail sentence and not community supervision, then the license suspension is for one year. See §521. 343 Transportation Code. There is no ALR credit available to someone under 21 years of age at the time of the DWI offense. §521. 344 (c)(2) Transportation Code.
      • DWI 2nd Offense - Minimum 72 hours jail. If the offense is within 5 years there is a minimum of 5 days of jail. The jail time must be served day for day. The license suspension is from 180 days up to two years. However if the prior DWI offense date is within 5 years of the conviction date, then the minimum license suspension is one year.
      • DWI with 2 or more priors - Felony DWI. Probation is available. Probation is up to 10 years. Minimum of 2 years. The jail time is from 10 days up to a maximum of 6 months in jail. Shock probation is also a possibility under Article 42A.202 C.C.P. allowing up to 180 days in jail.

  • Will I have to get an ignition interlock device (IID) on my car?
    • As a condition of bond.
      • Article 17.441(a) C.C.P. states that a defendant charged with a subsequent offense under Section 49.04-49.08, Penal Code shall be required to install and ignition interlock device and to not operate a vehicle unless it is equipped with the device. The magistrate may not require the installation, if the they find that to require the device would not be in the best interest of justice. Many counties, including Travis, Williamson, and the surrounding counties, require the defendant to obtain a portable alcohol monitor or a Scram ankle monitor, if they are not driving. It is, therefore, a condition of bond to not consume alcohol at all during the pendency of the case.
      • The court has discretion to require the interlock as a condition of bond in other cases as well. The court will generally order it as a condition in Travis, Williamson, and the surrounding counties, in all cases involving drivers under the age of 21 and in all cases where the blood alcohol reading is greater than a 0.15%. The court can also consider prior arrests that did not result in a conviction.
    • As a result of conviction.
      • If you are convicted of driving with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.15% and granted probation then the interlock will be required for at least one half the period of probation.
      • DWI Under 21
        • ​​​​​​​Article 42A.407 (f)C.C.P. The judge must order as a condition of community supervision, that the defendant not operate any motor vehicle unless it is equipped with an ignition interlock device. Article 42A.408(e)C.C.P. If the sentence is a jail sentence and not community supervision, then the license suspension is for one year.
      • DWI 2nd Offense or More​​​​​​​
        • ​​​​​​​All subsequent conviction DWIs require the interlock for 1/2 the period of probation if you are granted probation. On 2nd offenses, if the prior conviction occurred 10 years ago or longer than the court has discretion to not require the interlock. In practice, however, local courts will generally require it. In all 2nd offenses where the prior has occurred within 5 years, the court is required to order the ignition interlock even in cases where it does not grant community supervision.
    • DWI Surcharges
      • ​​​​​​​1st Offense
        • ​​​​​​​$1,000 per year for 3 years
      • 1st Offense with a BAC greater than 0.16%
        • ​​​​​​​$2,000 per year for 3 years
      • Subsequent Conviction
        • ​​​​​​​$1,500 per year for 3 years
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