It can happen to the best of us. It can happen to the most careful people out there. Being charged with your first DWI in Texas is stressful and scary. You might automatically start thinking about having to spend time in jail and paying heavy fines. Texas penalties for DWI are strict. That’s why it’s always important to fight DWI charges with the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney, even if it is your first charge.
Never Ignore Your First Charge
It is imperative that you do not ignore your first charge of DWI in Texas. Why? Because a second DWI charge could lead to mandatory jail time. An initial DWI charge is a misdemeanor and one that should never be brushed to the side. If you are able to successfully fight the first charge to the point where it is dropped, you won’t have to worry about being sent to jail if you are charged with DWI a second time.
Be Prepared to Lose Your License
Here at Flood-Lewis & Associates, we are very successful at saving people’s licenses from being suspended at all. There is no automatic license suspension, however, you should be prepared to be without your license for up to one year, if that does occur. You might not lose your license, or you might have it suspended for only a handful of months. Either way, you need to be ready to find different ways to get to work or school if you are charged with and convicted of DWI in Texas. A DWI conviction on a first offense may come with jail time ranging from three days to 180 days and a fine of no more than $2,000.
Auto Insurance and Employment Impact
There could be an impact on other areas of your life, in addition to your freedom if you are convicted of a DWI crime. These areas include your auto insurance rates and your employment. When a DWI goes on your driving record, it automatically labels you in the eyes of the insurance company as a high-risk factor to insure. If the DWI was due to an accident, or you were charged with a felony, your auto insurance company might drop you from your policy. If not, be prepared for your rates to increase.
When it comes to employment and what is a DWI, you could wind up losing your job, especially if you are required to drive a company vehicle. Upon a DWI conviction or ALR suspension, if you have a CDL, you will lose this license immediately, which means you will no longer be able to drive a commercial vehicle. Employers run background checks on their potential employees and a DWI will appear on your criminal record.
How an Attorney Can Help
Facing a first-time DWI charge in Texas does not mean it’s the end of the world. You will not lose your driving privileges altogether and will not be sent to prison for 10 years. However, you still need to speak to an attorney about the situation. An experienced Houston DWI attorney will be able to argue that the traffic stop was not conducted correctly, or that the device used for the breathalyzer test was not calibrated properly, or that the police officer did not follow the chain of custody with the evidence.
Charged with a Texas DWI? Call Flood-Lewis & Associates Today
If you have been charged with a DWI in Texas, it is imperative that you protect your rights immediately. We will fight for you, and we will stop at nothing to get victory on your behalf. Defending your civil liberties against tyrannical violations is our top priority. Call the experienced DWI defense attorneys from Flood-Lewis & Associates in Houston at 713-224-5529 to schedule a consultation today.