Denton DWI Attorney
After a DWI or DUI arrest it is critical that you deal with the charges immediately by consulting with a qualified, Board Certified, Denton County DWI criminal defense attorney. The criminal charge of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can result in jail time, lengthy probation terms, fines, as well as unexpected consequences such as increased insurance rates and loss of driving privileges. Based on the arrest alone, you may face a driver’s license suspension if a hearing is not requested in a timely matter. This can be a true hardship in Texas and could result in you becoming unemployed or losing housing opportunities.
Different Kinds of First Offense DWI Charges in the State of Texas
A standard DWI first-offense charge in the state of Texas is a Class B Misdemeanor. Such a conviction carries with it a maximum of 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. That being said, there are some situations where you may face even more severe penalties for a DWI – even if it is your first offense. This includes:
- DWI Assault – In the even that you cause serious bodily injury to another person while drunk driving, your charge will become a third-degree felony. That means that a conviction carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and state imprisonment for up to 10 years.
- DWI with a Minor – If there is a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle with you while you are drunk driving, the charge is escalated to a State Jail Felony. A conviction in this case carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to 2 years.
- DWI Manslaughter – If you kill another person while driving drunk, the charge is a second degree felony. A conviction in this case carries with it a fine of up to $10,000 and state imprisonment for up to 20 years.
Other Possible Mandatory Penalties
No matter what other penalties you face, you’ll also spend at least 3 – 6 days in jail if convicted of a DWI. You may also face the prospect of being supervised to perform community service as well as attend education and possibly even rehabilitation programs. It will be up to the judge in your particular case. What’s more, your license can also be suspended.
Common stipulations also included with a DWI conviction include:
- Ignition Interlock Device – Depending on your BAC, you may be required to have a device installed onto your car that will not allow you to start the ignition until you blow into it to verify there is no alcohol on your breath. Anyone in the state of Texas who has a BAC greater than .15 may be forced to install this device, even if it’s their first offense.
- A DWI Education Program – You may also be required to attend one of the state’s pre-approved 12-hour courses on drunk driving and alcohol. Typically, you are given 180 days from after receiving probation to complete this. Failure to complete the course in the required time limit will result in the revoking of your license. The only way to get it back if this happens is to complete the 12-hour program you were assigned.
- Evaluation for Rehabilitation – In most cases, a conviction also means mandatory evaluation for a rehab program. The evaluation is run by an actual drug and alcohol counselor who has been pre-approved to perform this evaluation by the state. If they determine you have an addiction, you may also be legally required to go through a rehab program.
Civil Consequences of a DWI Conviction in the Denton, Texas Area
Beyond the criminal charges, many independent civil charges will be imposed if you are convicted. These include, but are not limited to:
- A Suspended License – If your BAC was higher than .08, if you refused to take a blood or breath BAC test, or upon conviction of your first DWI, your license will be suspended. This is a separate process that you can appeal, but that you only have 15 days to file. This is one the primary reasons you need to act quickly if you are accused of a DWI, you may lose your license if you do not act fast enough.
- A DWI Surcharge – This is imposed by the Department of Transportation in the State of Texas. The fees are $1,000 each year for a total of three years upon a first DWI conviction. The amount is doubled to $2,000 if BAC is higher than .16. Failure to pay your annual fee within 30 days will result in the revoking of your license.
- If your license is suspended by the court, which can range from 90 days to a year, the reinstatement process will cost at least the $125 reinstatement fee, and possibly more if you are required to complete other requirements by the court.
At the Law Office of Earl Dobson, we have experience dealing with DWI and DUI cases and all of the consequences that will come with it. Earl Dobson is Board Certified in criminal law and has handled thousands of DWI cases during his 20 year legal career. Earl Dobson was the chief prosecutor in a Criminal Court with emphasis on intoxication impact cases. You will receive a straightforward, honest and accurate evaluation of your case and a plan of action on what would be the best route to follow through the Denton Court System.
You only have 15 Days to Protect Your Drivers License in Denton County.
In the State of Texas, you have exactly 15 days to request a hearing to determine the fate of your driving privileges. Contact us today to find out more about how to save your license.
Please call or e-mail us today to set up a free consultation and evaluation to discuss your options. Fill out the contact form to the left, or call the phone number at the top of the page to set up an appointment. In the consultation we will discuss:
- The effects of a breath test refusal
- What strategies we should employ and chances for success at trial
- Negotiating a plea bargain and the effects that come from pleading guilty
- Whether there was probable cause for a traffic stop when you were pulled over and if the arresting officer followed proper procedures
- How to obtain a temporary license or work license if your license is suspended.