DWI Conviction Penalties. Penalty Overview

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1 Penalty Overview As your Attorney, I will work to have your DWI charge dismissed or have you found not guilty. If DWI conviction penalties, such as a fine or jail time, are incurred, we will work together to reduce them. In many cases jail sentences are suspended, and you can receive probation. I use my knowledge and expertise to attain minimal probation restrictions and conditions. Conviction Offense Maximum Fine Jail License Suspension 1st DWI Class B Misdemeanor $2,000 1 / 9

2 3 to 180 days 90 to 365 days 2nd DWI Class B Misdemeanor $4, to 365 days 180 days to 2 years 3rd DWI 3rd Degree Felony $10,000 2 to 10 years in State Penitentiary 2 / 9

3 180 days to 2 years Intoxication Assault 3rd Degree Felony $10,000 2 to 10 years in State Penitentiary 180 days to 2 years Intoxication Manslaughter 2nd Degree Felony $10,000 2 to 20 years in State Penitentiary 180 days to 2 years 3 / 9

4 What is Probation? A DWI conviction, whether it is your first or fifth, always includes a jail sentence. But, the judge often suspends part or all of the jail time and places you on probation. The judge looks at several factors, including the number of prior DWI convictions you have, when deciding whether or not to place you on probation and the length and conditions of your probation. First DWI Conviction In most cases, if you have no prior DWI convictions, the judge will suspend your entire jail sentence and place you on probation for one year. Sometimes, under certain circumstances, the judge may opt for a six or 18 month probation period. The most common probation conditions the judge sets forth for a first DWI conviction are: Do: - Report to your probation officer, usually on a monthly basis. - Pay your fine, court costs, and monthly probation fees. - Your community service, usually 24 to 80 hours. - Attend DWI Education classes. - Attend a Victim Impact Panel, which is presented by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and is designed to educate on the dangers of DWI. - Get a drug and alcohol evaluation. If the evaluation reveals you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, the judge will order treatment. - Maintain a job and support all of your dependants. 4 / 9

5 Don t: - Enter bars, taverns, or lounges. - Become intoxicated. - Violate the law. - Drink alcohol or take any non-prescription drugs, except over-the-counter medication. Second DWI Conviction For a second DWI conviction, Texas law requires you serve at least part of your jail sentence. But, the judge can still suspend the remaining part of the sentence and place you on probation. Just as the terms of a license suspension intensify, so do probation conditions. If the judge chooses to allow probation, the following conditions are added: - Mandatory community service increases to 80 to 200 hours. - Your vehicle will be fitted with an Ignition Interlock Device, which won t allow you to start your car unless you blow into it and no alcohol is detected. If alcohol is detected, it notifies your probation officer automatically. Third DWI Conviction Because a third DWI conviction is a felony, the judge evaluates many factors to determine if you can receive probation. These factors include, but aren t limited to: - Amount of time since your last DWI conviction; - How well you followed previous probation conditions; - Whether or not there was an accident at the time of arrest; - Whether or not you submitted to chemical testing; - Your BAC at the time of arrest. If the judge decides to place you on probation instead of having you serve all of your jail 5 / 9

6 sentence, the following conditions, in addition to the conditions for a first and second DWI, are required: - Mandatory community service rises to 160 to 600 hours. - Serve a minimum of 10 days jail time. - Partake in various types of in-patient and/or out-patient alcohol programs. Intoxication Assault An Intoxication Assault conviction is possible if the prosecutor can prove that Driving While Intoxicated resulted in an accident which caused serious bodily injury to another person. If convicted of Intoxication Assault, it is possible to still receive probation, but your eligibility depends on the severity of the resulting injuries and your prior criminal record. In addition to the conditions for a first DWI, the probation conditions of Intoxication Assault include: - Mandatory community service rises to 160 to 600 hours. - Serve a minimum of 30 days in a state penitentiary. - Partake in various types of in-patient and/or out-patient alcohol programs. Intoxication Manslaughter If the prosecutor proves that Driving While Intoxicated caused an accident in which someone died, an Intoxication Manslaughter conviction is possible. Although it is possible to receive probation for Intoxication Manslaughter, it is highly unlikely because you must agree to a trial by jury. If you obtain probation for Intoxication Manslaughter, the following conditions, in addition to the conditions for a 3rd DWI, apply: 6 / 9

7 - Mandatory community service increases to 240 to 800 hours. - Serve a minimum of 120 days in a state penitentiary. - Partake in various types of in-patient and/or out-patient alcohol programs. DWI with a Child Passenger In Texas, Driving While Intoxicated with a passenger under the age of 15 is a state felony. The penalties of a DWI with a Child Passenger conviction are the same as a third time DWI convictions, and include: - Between 180 days and 2 years in a state penitentiary - Up to a $10,000 fine Intoxication Assault If an accident occurs and the prosecutor can prove that your Driving While Intoxicated caused serious bodily injury to another person, you can be charged with Intoxication Assault. According to the Texas Legislature, serious bodily injury is an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, causes permanent disfigurement, or impairs or dismembers any body part. Penalties of DWI with Assault are: - Up to $10,000 fine - 2 to 10 years in the state penitentiary - Drivers license suspension from 180 days to one year Intoxication Manslaughter 7 / 9

8 If an accident occurs and the prosecutor can prove that Driving While Intoxicated directly caused the death of another person, you can be charged with Intoxication Manslaughter, a 2nd degree felony. The penalties of an Intoxication Manslaughter conviction - Up to $10,000 fine - 2 to 20 years in the state penitentiary - Drivers license suspension from 180 days to 2 years Boating While Intoxicated (BWI) In Texas, operating a boat on a public body of water with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over 0.08 constitutes Boating While Intoxicated (BWI). In September 2001, the Texas Legislature extended the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) laws to Boating While Intoxicated (BWI). If you refuse a breathalyzer, urine test, or blood test, and the the watercraft is powered by an engine with 50 horsepower or above, the arresting officer confiscates your driver s license upon arrest. Similar to a DWI, you have 15 days to request an ALR hearing. In addition to a license suspension, the penalties for a BWI conviction are: Prior Convictions Fine 8 / 9

9 Jail 0 up to $2,000 up to 180 days 1 up to $4, days to 1 year 2 up to $10,000 2 to 10 years Contact us for a free consultation at / 9

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