What happens on your first DWI in Texas? Being stopped due to suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI) in Texas can be a very scary experience. Many adults who are arrested and charged with a DWI do not fully understand the laws associated with the crime, which can be very problematic. If they believe the consequences of a first-offense DWI will be minor, they will very likely be unpleasantly surprised to discover that such charges are more significant than expected. Read on for a brief overview of what to expect if you are stopped for a first-offense DWI as an adult in the Lone Star State.
THE ROLE OF BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION IN TEXAS DWI ARRESTS
Texas law makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. (See Texas Penal Code 49.01.) A DWI charge can be made against you if you are stopped and arrested by law enforcement officers who suspect that you are driving while intoxicated in some way. One way officers can make an arrest is if they find that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is over the standard legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.
BAC refers to the percentage of alcohol in your bloodstream when measured within an approximate period of 30 minutes to an hour after drinking. The legal blood alcohol limit across the United States is 0.08%; every state in the nation levies severe penalties on drivers with a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater, even in the case of first-offense DWIs.
TEXAS DWI CHARGES
Being pulled over for a first-offense DWI in Texas usually results in charges filed as a misdemeanor. Many people ask things like, “Is your license suspended immediately after a DWI?” and “Will I have to go to jail as a DWI first offense penalty?” These are certainly two of the main possibilities when it comes to DWI penalties in the State of Texas; if you’re arrested for and charged with a DWI as an adult, there will be criminal and administrative penalties upon conviction that could include both.
FIRST-OFFENSE DWI PENALTIES IN TEXAS
There are many possible penalties for DWI convictions in Texas. Criminal penalties for first-offense DWIs filed as a Class B misdemeanor can include a fine of up to $2,000 and jail time between three and 180 days. If your BAC is 0.15% or higher, the crime will be filed as a Class A misdemeanor and result in a fine of up to $4000 and jail time of up to one year. Administrative penalties for a first-offense DWI include the suspension of your driver’s license for one year. Depending on the circumstances and details of the case, other penalties may be levied.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with a first-offense DWI in Texas, you should reach out to a reputable criminal defense attorney for guidance. The experienced and skilled counsel at Erskine Law can help in Austin, Texas, and the surrounding area. Erskine Law offers legal services from competent and caring counsel. Contact Law Maverick Brian Erskine of Erskine Law to schedule a consultation today. Thanks for reading about What happens on your first DWI in Texas?