First Time DWI Offenders in Denton County
If you’ve been charged with a DWI / DUI offense in the state of Texas and it’s your first time, there is a lot at stake that you need an experienced attorney to help you protect. Too often, first time offenders don’t understand they will be treated and prosecuted as a criminal, so they don’t respond quickly enough and fail to protect their rights in time.
The Denton County DWI / DUI Attorney Joe Boswell of Boswell Legal Group, P.C. has the legal expertise and court-room experience needed to ensure your rights are protected. Call our office or fill out the form on this site right away so that we can get started on your defense as soon as possible. Time is of the essence, do not wait.
The Possible Penalties and Charges for a First Time DWI Offense in Texas
In Texas, most first time DWI offense are considered to be a Class “B” misdemeanors. As such, at minimum, convictions may result in fines as much as $2000 and jail time of up to 180 days. These are the bare minimum of penalties you will face. If your situation is complicated in any number of ways, the penalties increase significantly. For example:
- If a breath or blood alcohol test reveals your BAC is .15 or above, the charges are upgraded to a Class “A” misdemeanor. This doubles the potential fines and extends jail time up to 1 year. Additionally, you may be required to have a device installed on your vehicle that will verify you are not intoxicated before you can use it.
- If you were charged with committing a DWI or DUI offense while a passenger was in the car under the age of 15, the charges immediately become felony charges. This means that fines may be as much as $10,000 and that you can be sentenced for up to 2 years in a state jail.
- If you injured another person while you were intoxicated, you will be charged with a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 – 10 years of time in state jail and fines that can run as much as $10,000.
- In the event that someone is killed as a result of your actions as a driver operating a vehicle while intoxicated, then you will be charged with manslaughter, which is punishable by 20 years in prison and fines of no more than $10,000.
First DWI Offense Sentencing
Upon conviction, unless you are given probation by the court, you must spend at least three days in the county jail. An alternative to this is being supervised to perform community service as sentenced by the court.
This will ultimately depend on how the judge in your case rules, which is another reason you need strong legal representation. Ultimately, they may ask you to submit to additional sentencing conditions that include rehab or DWI school. Failure to follow court-mandated conditions such as these will ultimately result in the revoking of your license.
In fact, having your license suspended is likely the most difficult repercussion of a first-time DWI in Texas. In some cases, your license can be suspended for up to 180 days – even if you are not convicted. This would be in response to a refusal to take a blood or alcohol test. Additionally, it can be suspended for 90 days if your BAC tests above .08. Both of these penalties are due to “implied consent” laws in Texas.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
One big thing you want to protect yourself from with a first time DWI or DUI offense is the ALR process that begins 40 days after you receive a notice of your license being suspended. Most first offenders fail to realize there is a 15-day window in which you can request a hearing to stop this.
In all the issues of the criminal charges, it’s easy to lose track of the civil processes like the ALR. If you or someone you love has been charged with a DWI or DUI in Texas, call our offices today. Don’t wait, time is of the essence. The sooner you call, the sooner we can start to fight to protect your rights and license.