Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) considered by the authorities as a serious crime and you may face serious legal issues for this. Law officers are very strict about this matter. They are always conscious of finding out those drivers who are violating the rules.
In many cases, they can arrest you by suspicion when you appear to qualify as driving under the influence. Very often, they rely on suspicion than the actual factors. If you are facing this problem, don’t panic right away. You can hire an expert DWI attorney to get legal help. A good DWI attorney will try to protect you as much as possible whether you are guilty or not.
It pays to be informed, so read up as we discuss the factors of DWI. Here are the things that you need to know:
What is DWI?
Before starting about the factors, you have to know what DWI is. DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. All states have individual laws for this crime. In Texas, there are three ways to define DWI:
-Not having normal physical faculties.
-Not having normal mental faculties.
-The alcohol concentration of .08 or more in the body.
How do officers collect evidence?
There are so many different tests to determine driver’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). DWI begins when a law officer asks the driver to take such tests. It can be either blood test, breath test, or urine test.
The police can stop you anytime if they think you are a suspect of driving under the influence, and they follow your movement, driving style, and behavior. If the police find anything that indicates your guilt, the police will ask you to take the tests. You can refuse it, but that may cause the cancellation of your driver’s license. It’s better to cooperate with the officers while you are in such situation.
Penalties of DWI
The penalties of DWI vary according to each state’s law. There is a lot of confusion whether a DWI is a felony or a misdemeanor. Before clarifying that, let’s find out what a felony and a misdemeanor is.
Felonies are the worst crime of all types of crime. A felony is a criminal act for which a suspect will be in jail for more than a year. As the system of punishment is serious, courtroom follows rigorous observation so that they can protect the rights of the defendants.
When is A DWI Charge A Felony?
A DWI charge can finally be a felony conviction based on lots of different instances. If the police catch you for DWI issued two times in Texas, the third time DWI charge will be a third-degree felony instead of being a DWI.
A misdemeanor is a punishable offense for which you can be in prison for more than a year. Sometimes, the imprisonment served in a local facility instead of a high-security facility.
When is A DWI Charged A Misdemeanor?
Various factors affect the fines, charges, and jail time in a DWI conviction. But the 1st and 2nd DWI charge will be raised to a misdemeanor with several classifications.
Take a look at these penalties of DWI in detail:
For the DWI First offence charge Class B misdemeanor. It includes fines up to $2000, 72 hours to 180 days jail range and up to 1-year license suspension.
For 1st time with Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or over .15, DWI charge Class A Misdemeanor. It includes fines up to $4000, 72 hours to 1 year in the county jail and up to 1-year license suspension.
For 1st time with Open Container Enhancement, DWI charge Class B misdemeanor. It includes fines up to $2000, 6 hours to 180 days jail range and up to 1-year license suspension.
For the 2nd time, DWI charge Class A Misdemeanor. It includes fines up to $4000, 30 hours to 365 days jail range and up to 2 years license suspension.
For the 3rd time, DWI charge 3rd Degree Felony. It includes fines up to $10,000, 2-10 years jail range and up to 2 years license suspension.
For 3rd time with one prior TDCJ penitentiary trip, DWI charge 2nd Degree Felony. It includes fines up to $10,000, 2-20 years jail range and up to 2 years license suspension.
For 3rd time with two prior TDCJ penitentiary trips, DWI charge Enhanced Felony Punishment. It includes fines up to $10,000, 25 years jail range and up to 2 years license suspension.
For intoxication assault which causes serious bodily injury, DWI charge 3rd Degree Felony. It includes fines up to $10,000, 2-10 years jail range and up to 2 years license suspension.
For intoxication manslaughter which causes death, DWI charge 2nd Degree Felony. It includes fines up to $10,000, 2-10 years jail range and up to 2 years license suspension.
DWI with child passenger charge includes fines up to $10,000, six months to 2 years imprisonment range and up to 2 years license suspension.
These are the basic penalties of DWI. There are some other penalties too such as:
Penalties for refusing test
When an officer suspects that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they may ask you to undergo a chemical test. You are allowed to refuse it, but because of refusing, they will cancel your license for two years. You will not lose your license immediately. You can have only 15 days to plead for an administrative hearing. For any inconvenience, after 40 days of your refusal, an automatic suspension will commence.
DWI Education Program
First-time offenders need to attend a DWI education program for at least for 12 hours. They need to complete the courses within 180 days of being probation. Otherwise, authorities will revoke the driver’s license. This DWI education program teaches offenders about how drugs and alcohol affect a driver’s mental condition so that they avoid driving in a drunken state again.
DWI Intervention Program
You need to attend this course at least 32 hours. This program is for second-time offenders. Discussed in this program are subjects like lifestyle, the necessity of positive thinking, effects of drugs on the human mind, codependency, and solutions to these problems.
Alcohol Education Program
This program is for the suspects of DWI charge. The motive of this program is to provide the drivers an idea how drugs affect their driving and the abnormal behavior of an addict leading to abuse.
Felony or misdemeanors result in severe punishment, and more often, these are complex in Texas as they come with lots of restrictions and variety of charges. So you need to consult with an experienced DWI lawyers with the least possible delay. They could save you from DWI charge even if you got arrested for driving while drunk in some cases. They can be the key persons here to save you and your family from serious charges that would affect you in the coming days. So don’t waste time, start looking for the best DWI attorney immediately.