An arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas creates immediate negative consequences for the individual, and is in many ways more damaging than an arrest for other, more “serious” crimes. Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Russ Hunt Jr in Georgetown will work from the moment he takes on your case to help you avoid the damaging consequences that can arise from a DWI conviction.
Criminal Penalties for DWI Conviction
For just a first DWI offense, you face a fine up to $2,000 if convicted, and a sentence of anywhere from 72 hours to six months in jail. Your license can also be suspended up to one year. The potential punishments increase dramatically if you receive additional arrests or convictions. For a second DWI conviction, you can be fined up to $4,000 and jailed for up to a year, and your license can be suspended for two years. An arrest for a third DWI is a felony offense, and the penalties will include fines of up to $10,000 and up to ten years incarceration in prison.
Administrative Penalties for DWI Arrest
In addition to these criminal consequences, you also face an immediate 90-day driver’s license suspension from the Texas Department of Public Safety even if you cooperate and take the breath or blood test. DPS will also make you pay a surcharge of $1,000-$2,000 a year for the three years following a DWI conviction in order to be able to have a license. This surcharge is raised for subsequent offenses and for high blood or breath test cases.
Other DWI Consequences
It is important to understand that under the law, DWI is not just a simple traffic violation; it is a criminal offense with serious consequences that can impact every part of your life with significant repurcussions. If you are convicted of any criminal charge, you can lose your job or lose the ability to get certain jobs. You may be limited in your ability to enter government service or to obtain, maintain or renew a professional license. Your right to receive government assistance can also be in jeopardy, from food stamps to student loans. Any criminal matters can also be devastating to one’s immigration status. If you are going through a divorce or already subject to child custody orders, you may find that an arrest or conviction can seriously damage your position with respect to your spouse.
Help for DWI Arrests
You are not required to submit to a blood or breath test unless the police can get a warrant for a blood draw. You are never required to perform standard field tests (SFT’s). If you do submit to their tests and the police think you didn’t perform adequately, they can arrest you for DWI, even if your driving was not impaired. Fortunately, a capable defense attorney can discuss the case with you and explain the facts of the case to the prosecutor and judge in their proper light.
Russ Hunt Jr. is there to protect your rights. If the officer who tested you was untrained or inexperienced, if his equipment or methods used were inaccurate, or if the stop should never have occurred in the first place, Russ will fight to make sure you are not unfairly convicted. Russ will represent you at both the criminal and administrative license revocation hearings, and he will fight for you to keep your license and keep your record clear.
If you have been arrested for DWI in Williamson or Travis counties or the surrounding areas, contact Board Certified Criminal Defense Attorney Russ Hunt Jr. for immediate assistance.