Houston DWI Penalties Lawyer
The penalties for a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) conviction can be severe, even for a first time offender. If the defendant has other prior convictions, other DWI convictions, or triggers other aggravating factors, the penalties are likely to be even harsher. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DWI in Houston, call a dedicated and experienced Houston DWI defense lawyer at Ayson Law Firm as soon as possible to start building a strong defense. You may be able to avoid the most serious consequences, stay out of jail, and even protect your driver’s license.
Penalties Based on Repeat Offenses
The typical punishment for DWI will depend on whether the defendant is a first-time offender or has prior DWI convictions. Punishments for repeat offenders in Texas are more severe, involving higher fines, longer jail or prison terms, and longer license suspensions. At any offense level, the defendant may be ordered to perform community service and will likely have to undergo DWI education.
Assuming there are no other aggravating factors, the punishments for DWI convictions are as follows:
- First DWI
- Level: Class B Misdemeanor
- Fine: Up to $2,000
- Incarceration: Three to 180 days in jail
- License Suspension: 90 to 365 days
- Second DWI
- Level: Class A Misdemeanor
- Fine: Up to $4,000
- Incarceration: 30 to 365 days in jail
- License Suspension: 180 days to two years
- Third DWI
- Level: Third-Degree Felony
- Fine: Up to $10,000
- Incarceration: Two to 10 years in prison
- License Suspension: 180 days to 2 years
Subsequent convictions can lead to a higher fine, increased prison time, and further loss of license.
In addition to considering whether the defendant has been previously convicted of DWI, certain other factors may lead to more serious penalties, regardless of the number of prior convictions. Aggravating factors that lead to additional penalties include:
- BAC of 0.15 or higher – If the defendant has a BAC of 0.15 or higher, they may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, even if it is their first offense.
- DWI with a child passenger – If the driver is intoxicated and has a passenger under age 15 in the vehicle, they face a state jail felony, imprisonment of up to two years, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 170 days.
- Intoxication assault – If the driver causes serious bodily injury to someone when driving while intoxicated, they face the same penalties as a third DWI
- Intoxication manslaughter – If the driver accidentally kills someone while driving drunk, they can be charged with a second-degree felony, punishable by a $10,000 fine and two to 20 years in prison.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, it is vital to start building your defense immediately. You can fight back against the charges and any aggravating factor enhancements, and you may even be able to prevent your license suspension if you file a timely request for an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. The seasoned DWI defense attorney at Ayson Law Firm is here to help.
Get Help After a DWI Arrest in Houston
If you have been arrested for DWI or DUI in Texas, you need to call a qualified DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. The sooner you call, the stronger your defense will be. We can help you avoid the most serious consequences of a DWI conviction, protect or reinstate your driver’s license, and avoid incarceration. Speak with a dedicated Houston DWI penalties lawyer of Ayson Law Firm today for a free consultation about your Texas DWI charges.