A DWI conviction can put your life on hold, especially if you’re involved in law enforcement or the military. Both the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TLOE) and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) states a DWI conviction is grounds for disciplinary action.
As a police officer, you could face career-related consequences such as suspension or even the revocation of your badge. You can contest for a probated license, but you’ll be restricted by the conditions listed in your probated license. Some of these include specified reporting conditions, document submission conditions and required voluntary duty.
Military personnel face their own internal consequences for DWI. Whether your DWI happened on base or civilian grounds, you could be subject to administrative penalties by your commanding officer. Your officer could lower your rank, pay or require you to participate in substance and alcohol abuse treatment.
Don’t wait another moment to save your livelihood. If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI and are employed by law enforcement or the military, it’s important you seek trusted legal representation.
Driving while intoxicated can not only put you in jail but could devastate your career. Police officers and military personnel face life-changing consequences if they’re convicted of DWI. If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI and is a currently a police officer or in the military, it’s vital you contact an attorney from [firm].
The attorneys at [firm] have an in-depth understanding of both statutory and career-related penalties of DWI. We have represented numerous police officers and military men and women in Texas criminal courts. Call us today at [phone] to schedule a free case consultation.
[firm] defends clients throughout the Houston metroplex area including West University Place, Pasadena, Tomball and River Oaks.
Overview of DWI Consequences for Military and Law Enforcement
For both police officers and military personnel, there’s a chance you’ll be facing the statutory penalties for DWI. Military personnel may face differing penalties if their DWI occurred on a military base. Police officers tend to face statutory penalties in conjunction with career-related punishments imposed by the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement (TLOE).
The chart below outlines the statutory penalties for DWI in Texas.
|Number of Offenses:
|Class B Misdemeanor
|Minimum of 72 hours in jail; maximum of 180 days in jail
|Class A Misdemeanor
|Minimum of 30 days in jail; maximum of 12 months in jail.
|Minimum of 2 years in prison; maximum of 10 years in prison.
A judge will normally include added conditions to a DWI sentencing. Some of these include:
A deciding factor in how your DWI will be handled is where the offense happened. If your DWI happened off base, then you’ll likely be placed in civilian court. There you will be required to face the statutory penalties for your DWI. However, you could also be subject to administrative penalties imposed by your commanding officer.
Your commanding officer cannot detain you, but they can implement a punishment they deem fit for your DWI. Some of these consequences include, but are not limited to:
A DWI is handled differently if it happens on a military installation. UCMJ § 911 states you could be charged with a military DWI if you do any of the following:
Your offense will be handled under court-martial instead of traditional criminal courts. The court-martial process is basically a military court composed of military personnel. The military offers two types of court-martial trials based on the offense being tried.
The majority of misdemeanor offenses are handled under special court-martial. A special court-martial is composed of no less than three officers which act as jury or a military judge. The defense will have an opportunity to present evidence and their case in court similar to a civilian trial.
If you’re found guilty, a special court-martial can impose career-related consequences including, but not limited to:
Other higher offenses are managed by general court-martial. A general court-martial consists of five court members who act as jury, military judge, prosecution and the defense. You can choose to have your verdict decided by a military jury or judge. The following are some possible punishments you could face in general court-martial.
Law enforcement are supposed to protect Texas roads from people who violate traffic laws. However, sometimes police officers make mistakes. If you’re in law enforcement and you’ve been charged with DWI, you might be in trouble. Texas Occupations Code § 1701.501 states TLOE could suspend or revoke your badge if your DWI is:
The Texas Commission of Law Enforcement also reserves the right to impose administrative penalties. You could be saddled with a fine of up to $1,000 per day per violation. The cost of your administrative penalty is based on the following factors:
TLOE could suspend your badge for a period of time if you have a DWI conviction. The suspension period is determined by the level of offense your DWI is. The following chart summarizes the suspension terms for officers with a DWI conviction.
|Degree of Offense:
|Class B Misdemeanor
|Class A Misdemeanor
|Third-Degree Felony (Placed on community supervision)
If you were put on probation for a non-felony DWI, then you could have your license suspended for up to 10 years. TLOE uses several factors to determine a suspension term such as:
Depending on the circumstances, you might still be able to use your suspended license. TLOE states you could probate your license if there is proof of mitigating factors. Some of the factors TLOE uses to determine a probated suspension include:
You can request a hearing to have your license suspension probated. At the hearing, TLOE will be able to sit and hear your presented evidence for why your suspension should be probated. If you’re successful, TLOE can impose some conditions on your probated license. These include:
The worst possible outcome of your DWI is a revocation of your professional license. TLOE is entitled to revoke your license if they believe the DWI directly relates to the duties of the law enforcement occupation. The following factors are used to determine if a DWI directly relates to the responsibilities of a police officer.
Officers with a felony-level DWI conviction will have their license immediately revoked. A revocation of your license will mean you’re barred from pursuing any future licensing or certification of TLOE. Basically, it could be the end of your career.
You can reinstate a revoked license with the assistance of a skilled attorney. A practiced attorney can request a hearing and present several proofs of facts to negate your revocation.
TLOE Commission Rules – Visit the official website of the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement to learn more about their current disciplinary procedures for police officers. Access the site to learn the commission rules, the Rules Handbook and other resources.
Uniform Code of Military Justice- Visit the official website of the Texas Military Department to find the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Find more information about prohibited offenses under military law, the procedures for court-martial and how military appeals work.
If you or someone you know is employed in the military of law enforcement with DWI charges, it’s crucial you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. You will need representation for both criminal and administrative penalties from your career.
Call [firm] to speak to a seasoned criminal defense attorney today. [firm] has years of experience defending people in standard court, disciplinary proceedings or even court-martial. Don’t wait another moment and contact us today at [phone] to schedule a case consultation.
[firm] accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Tomball, West University Place, Pasadena and Houston.
This article was last updated on March 11th, 2019.