The penalties and consequences for DWI charges are significant which is why they require a thoughtful criminal defense approach. Accused individuals should ensure they fully understand the charges they are facing, their criminal defense rights and the possible criminal defense options that may be able to help them.
Texas law defines driving while intoxicated (DWI) as when an intoxicated driver is operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Intoxication is defined as a blood alcohol content level of .08 or above or impairment of the normal use of the accused individual’s mental or physical faculties because of alcohol or drugs use or the combination of the two. Authorities will use breath tests and field sobriety tests to determine if the driver will end up facing DWI charges.
DWI penalties in Texas increase by number of offenses and can result in 180 days in jail, $2,000 in fines, licenses suspension ranging from 90 days to 1 year and a fee to retain their license for the first offense; 1 month to 1 year in jail, $4,000 in fines and license suspension up to a year for a second offense; and 2 to 10 years in prison, $10,000 in fines and licenses suspension from 1 to 2 years for a third offense. The fees to retain a driver’s licenses also increase with the number of offenses.
Because of how serious DWI charges are, it is essential for accused individuals to know how to challenge the facts and circumstances as alleged by authorities. DWI charges may also be challenged if authorities did not follow the procedures they are required to follow as part of the accused individual’s criminal justice rights.
In addition, other types of defenses may also be available to protect accused individuals from DWI charges. Utilizing criminal defense resources, accused individuals should be familiar with how to protect themselves from the stiff penalties and consequences, including jail time and hefty fines, associated with DWI charges.