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In the state of Texas, your first DWI conviction is considered a Class B misdemeanor, the second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor and a third DWI conviction is a third-degree felony. You can also be charged with a felony in the state of Texas for a DWI offense if any of the following are true:
- There was a minor in the vehicle with you who was less than 15 years old at the time you were driving while intoxicated. In this case, you could be sentenced to state jail for not more than two years and not less than six months, along with a maximum fine of $10,000.
- While you were driving while intoxicated, you were involved in an accident, and another person suffered serious bodily injury. This offense is called Intoxication Assault in Texas, and is a third-degree felony offense. You could be sentenced to from two years in jail up to a maximum of ten years in jail, and can be assessed a fine as large as $10,000. Under Texas state law, the judge must order at least 160 hours of community service for this offense, and not more than 600 hours of community service.
- While you were driving while intoxicated, you were involved in an accident and another person died as a result. This is known as Intoxication Manslaughter and is a second-degree felony. If you are convicted of Intoxication Manslaughter, you could face from two to twenty years in prison, and a maximum fine of $10,000. If your vehicle was driven in such a way that made it a “deadly weapon,” you could be sentenced to an additional penalty which would prohibit early release from prison based on good time credit until at least half of your sentence has been served.
Any DWI Conviction in the State of Texas is Serious - Even if you are not being charged with a felony, it is imperative that you take your DWI or DUI charges seriously. If this is your first DWI in Texas, and your BAC 0.08 percent or less, you will be charged with a misdemeanor, however you could still spend time in jail, depending on the surrounding circumstances, and could pay significant fines and fees. A misdemeanor DWI in Texas can result in the loss of a job, or difficulty finding employment in the future. A felony DWI conviction in the state brings even more adverse consequences. Harris County felony criminal records can prevent you from obtaining a professional license, from receiving a government student loan, and, in some cases, even from obtaining housing. When you have a felony conviction on your Harris County criminal records, you may not even be allowed to vote, or to own a gun.
A misdemeanor or felony DWI in Texas can cost you significant amounts of money for a long time, and can make it difficult—or impossible—to obtain automobile insurance. The charge you face will depend on many factors; while your first or second DWI in Texas will be charged as a misdemeanor, a third DWI conviction will brand you as a repeat offender, with penalties commensurate. With either a misdemeanor or felony DWI in Texas or DUI in Texas, the Harris County District Attorney may seek to have your vehicle impounded, or the judge may order you to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. Having an ignition interlock device will cost you money to have the device installed, a monthly fee, and, in some cases, you will have to pay to have the device removed, as well.
Texas License Revocation for a DWI in Texas or DUI in Texas
As if the criminal penalties you will face for a misdemeanor or felony DWI are not serious enough, you may also be forced to deal with a potential administrative license revocation. Within 15 days of the date you are arrested in the state of Texas for DWI or DUI, you must schedule an administrative license hearing. If you fail to schedule your ALR hearing in Texas within this window of time, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended. It is important that you have an experienced Sullo & Sullo Houston DWI attorney by your side at your ALR hearing, as well as at your criminal trial.
Your Houston DWI lawyer can review the charges against you, challenging any evidence presented. Having knowledgeable legal representation from Houston DWI attorneys during your ALR hearing Texas can truly make a difference in the outcome. For most people, driving is necessary, to get to and from work, to and from school, and to run the thousands of necessary errands most of us have. Being without a driver’s license can result in the loss of a job or even the necessity to drop out of college.
How Sullo & Sullo Knowledgeable Houston DWI Attorneys Can Help When you are faced with DWI in Texas charges or DUI in Texas charges, it is important that you not leave your future to chance. Many people believe they should simply plead guilty in order to have the entire thing over and done with, allowing them to move forward with their life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pleading guilty to a Texas DWI can have very far-reaching consequences, while having an experienced Houston DWI lawyer defend your rights and your future can result in a much better outcome.
At Sullo & Sullo, we understand the situation you now find yourself in; we know that good people can make mistakes, and we will work hard to ensure this one mistake will not irrevocably alter your future. We offer Houston criminal lawyer free consultations, and will work hard on your behalf—like we work for every single client who walks through our doors—to help you avoid Harris County jail and Harris County criminal records. We can assist you with your ALR hearing Texas, as well as your Harris County criminal court case. Our significant knowledge of Texas DWI and DUI laws works to your benefit, as we fight to lessen the impact of your charges.