If it’s your first time experiencing a DWI charge in Houston, you’re probably wondering about what’s going to happen next. Once you’ve received your charge, you’ll likely have a lot of questions about potential consequences, penalties, and what to expect when you go to court. Let’s break down the penalties you’ll likely experience after a first-time DWI/DUI offense.
In Texas, it is considered ‘driving under the influence’ if you are operating a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. If you are pulled over and suspected of being intoxicated, you will be asked to give a breathalyzer to determine your BAC. Even if you blow less than the legal limit, you may still be arrested if you are driving erratically, or breaking laws with any BAC above 0. In addition to alcohol, you can be arrested for driving under the influence of any drug or substance, including marijuana, cocaine, or prescription drugs such as Xanax that affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely.
If it’s your first DWI offense, you will receive a fine of up to $2,000 and could receive a jail sentence of up to six months. You will also face suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months and will have to pay an annual fee of $2,000 per year for three years to keep an active driver’s license.
As a first-time offender, you may be able to obtain an occupational driver’s license during your suspension, which will allow you to get to work, school, and to complete household duties. An occupational license will also require you to provide evidence that the places you are going to affect financial responsibility. You may also be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicles that will test your BAC every time you attempt to start your car.
In addition to the legal implications of a DWI, you may also experience a significant increase in your auto insurance costs. A DWI conviction can also affect your employment, housing opportunities as well as your privileges for carrying a firearm or holding proper licensure. If you are applying for college or jobs, a DWI conviction may show up on your background checks and may even affect your ability to apply for financial aid or scholarships.
The penalties for a DWI can be severe and impact the rest of your life. It’s important to get official and specific legal information regarding your case and your circumstances. Reading about potential consequences online can be a helpful first step to know what to expect, but contacting a DWI attorney will give you more detailed information about how to move forward.
If you’ve been arrested on DUI/DWI charges in Houston, it’s time to contact a criminal defense attorney who is familiar and experienced in these specific types of cases. Contact Christopher T. Gore for a consultation to find out more about how he can represent you and help you move forward after these charges.