If you landed on this page, you’re probably facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Texas. Undoubtedly, a DWI charge is nerve-wracking, especially when it’s your first offense and you don’t understand how the system works. Our advice is to continue researching and whatever you do, don’t handle your case alone. You need an aggressive DWI attorney by your side.
A common mistake is for people to think, “The blood or breath test evidence says I broke the law, so I might as well avoid an attorney, plead guilty and accept my punishment.” This is the wrong approach! Like other criminal cases, DWI cases can be fought and won and at the very least a good attorney can help a defendant avoid harsh penalties. Here is what you need to know:
First DWI Penalties
The penalties for a first DWI in Texas include up to a $2,000 fine, up to 180 days in jail, up to a one year driver license suspension, and an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 to keep your driver license. These penalties range, so a good lawyer will aim to get them reduced as much as possible for their client.
When DWI is a Felony
Typically, first and second DWIs are misdemeanors in Texas. However, a first or second DWI can be prosecuted as a felony if the driver caused serious bodily injury or death to someone else, including one of their own passengers. Also, third and subsequent DWIs are felonies in the Lone Star State.
When DWI Affects Immigration Status
Generally, a non-U.S. citizen won’t be deported because of a DWI, but there are circumstances where a DWI can trigger removal proceedings. A DWI can lead to deportation when it’s a drug-related DWI, when it’s a felony DWI, or when the Green Card holder has too many criminal convictions on their record and the DWI is the final straw.
DWIs Affect Employment
A DWI conviction is bad for employment. It can affect college scholarships, admittance into certain colleges, professional licenses, job promotions, and existing and future employment. Since DWIs come up on employment background checks, they tend to cause offenders to lose valuable job opportunities for years to come.
We are only scratching the surface when it comes to the effects of a DWI conviction. If you’re facing DWI charges, we urge you to contact our firm to meet with a Plano DWI lawyer who can help fight your DWI charges and aim for the best possible outcome.