Being accused of any DWI in the state of Texas is a serious situation and one that means a phone call to a criminal defense attorney should occur immediately. However, there are varying offenses and consequences associated with how many times you have been accused and convicted DUI in the past as well as whether or not a child was inside the car.
You might be additionally charged with child endangerment for driving while intoxicated, if you have passengers younger than 15 years old at the time of your arrest. DWI with a child passenger can be punished by up to two years in a state jail, a fine of as high as $10,000 and loss of your license for up to 180 days.
A first offense DUI carries a fine as high as $2000, up to 180 days in jail, loss of your driver’s license for as long as a year, and an annual fee over the course of several years to retain your driver’s license. Subsequent offenses also carry more significant consequences. After two or more DWI convictions in Texas across five years, for example, you have to install a special ignition switch that prevents your vehicle from being turned on if you have been drinking.
A second offense DUI carries fines as high as $4000, loss of driver’s license for up to two years and up to a year in jail. A third offense elevates the fines to a high as $10,000, up to ten years in prison, loss of your driver’s license for up to two years and the annual fee for multiple years to retain your driver’s license. As soon as possible after you have been pulled over for a DWI, schedule a time to consult with an experienced DWI defense attorney in Texas.
He or she will walk you through the circumstances of your arrest and help you understand whether or not there are grounds on which you can fight back and accuse the police officers of mishandling the pullover, the arrest or the evidence. All of these circumstances can have a significant impact on your ability to avoid criminal charges.