If you have been arrested for drunk driving you are most likely charged with a Class B Misdemeanor which has a punishment range of up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. A second conviction for DWI is a Class A Misdemeanor while a third conviction becomes a felony.
If you have never been arrested before and there are no extenuating circumstances the odds of you receiving a jail sentence are fairly slim. If you are convicted of DWI you most likely face a term of probation. Of course, our goal as your attorney is to avoid you being convicted of DWI.
If you are charged with DWI the Texas Department of Public Safety will try to suspend your driver’s license. The rules regarding driver’s license suspensions are numerous and complicated. Generally, for a first offense DWI, if you refuse a breath test DPS will try to suspend your driver’s license for 180 days and if you fail a breath test DPS will try to suspend your driver’s license for 90 days. It is important to know that you have a right to refuse a breathalyzer test. That’s important enough to repeat—don’t take a breath or blood test!
From the date you are arrested you have 15 days to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. It is important that you meet with an attorney before this deadline passes so they may advise you as to the best course of action. Your driver’s license will be suspended 40 days after the date you were arrested. If your driver’s license is suspended, it is fairly easy to obtain an occupational driver’s license that will allow you to drive for work and other essential needs during the period of your suspension.
See how to get an occupational license here!
Difference between DWI and DUI
Many people confuse driving while intoxicated “DWI” with driving under the influence “DUI”. In Texas, a DWI is typically a Class B Misdemeanor (for a first offense) and a DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor that is issued to minors under the age of 21 when an officer notices a detectable amount of alcohol on a minor who was operating a vehicle. In short, if you are over 21 you cannot get a DUI. You CAN get a DWI if you are under 21. Even though it is a Class C Misdemeanor, a DUI is still an offense you should speak with a DUI attorney about.