Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious charge in Texas. Penalties for DWI include heavy fines, loss of driving privilege, mandatory community service, and mandatory jail time. If you’ve been charged with DWI, you need to be aware of the potential penalties you might face, aggravating circumstances that could increase those penalties, and how hiring the right attorney to defend you against your DWI charge can help.
Penalties for a Denton County DWI
Texas drivers can be arrested and charged with Driving While Intoxicated if their breath or blood alcohol content is 0.08 or higher. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer or blood test, your license will automatically be suspended for 180 days. If you take the test and fail, you’ll be facing the following criminal charges and penalties for DWI.:
DWI First Offense
A first offense for Driving While Intoxicated is punishable by:
- Fines up to $2,000.00
- Jail time ranging from 72 hours to 180 days
- Loss of driver’s license for up to a year
DWI Second Offense
The penalties for a second DWI charge are increased to:
- Fines up to $4,000
- 30 days to a year in jail
- Loss of driving privileges for up to 2 years
DWI Third Offense
A third DWI carries the same loss of driving privileges, but the potential fines and jail time are even more severe:
- Fines up to $10,000
- 2-10 years in prison
- Loss of driving privileges for up to 2 years (same as for 2nd offense)
In addition to the above penalties, once your license is returned, you will have to pay an annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for 3 years in order to retain your license
Additional Penalties for DWI
Under Title 10, Section 49 of the Texas Penal Code, Driving While Intoxicated is generally a misdemeanor. However, there are certain aggravating factors that can result in felony DWI charges. These include:
Sec. 49.065 Driving While Intoxicated With Child Passenger
A DWI with a child under the age of 15 in the car is a state felony.
Section 49.07 Intoxication Assault
If someone has been accidentally injured as the result of your DWI, the charge will be a 3rd degree felony.
Section 49.08 Intoxication Manslaughter
If there was an accident in which someone is killed as the result of your DWI, the charge is a 2nd degree felony.
Regardless of the degree, a felony is a serious charge which carries jail times ranging from 2-20 years and thousands of dollars in fines. A felony stays on your record, and could cost you your job, and prevent you from getting future employment.
Contact Our Experienced Texas DWI Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a DWI anywhere in Denton County Texas, regardless of the circumstances, you need to speak with an experienced DWI attorney right away. At the Wheeler Law office, we’re available 24/7. We offer a free consultation, with flat fee pricing and payment plans to fit every budget. Call us today at (940)-465-3178. Serving Denton, Collin, Dallas, Tarrant and surrounding counties, we’ll provide the hard hitting criminal defense you need, at a price you can afford.