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DUI vs. DWI

DUI vs. DWI Offenses

What is the Difference?

In different states, DWI and DUI mean different things. In Texas, each has its own penalties for conviction, and each has its own causes for conviction. A DWI in Texas includes alcohol or a controlled substance such as an illegal drug, or any combination of the two in a person's system while they are operating a vehicle. A DUI is essentially the same thing; however, it only applies to minors under the age of 21 who have any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Penalties for a DWI or DUI Conviction

A charge for DWI (can carry with it some very serious penalties depending on the number of previous convictions and other related circumstances. Some penalties for the first DWI conviction could include up to a $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, and/or driver license suspension for up to 1 year. Penalties for a third conviction can be much more severe: up to a $4,000 fine, up to 10 years in jail, and/or driver license suspension for up to 2 years, among other penalties.

If a minor has any detectable amount of alcohol in their system, the penalties for a convicted DUI can include a 60 day driver's license suspension, up to a $500 fine, 40 hours of community service, and/or mandatory attendance in an alcohol awareness class. There are more severe penalties that apply to minors under 21 who have a BAC of 0.08% or higher. They are essentially the same as the penalties for those over the age of 21: $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, etc. The one difference is that a minor will also receive a conviction for underage drinking.

Defending Against Legal Penalties

The penalties for a DWI and DUI can be difficult to experience, and no one deserves to be wrongly convicted. There is a lot of evidence that will be compiled, and there are many ways that evidence in a DWI/DUI case can be compromised, such as a mix up of a blood sample. In fact, there is rarely a piece of evidence that cannot be contested by a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer. If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI or a DUI, it is crucial that you contact an attorney immediately.