Texas is one of the strictest states in the nation when it comes to the law. Texans are known to be stringent when it comes to implementing peace and order. Thus, whether you are from the area or not, as long as you are there, you are expected to abide by the law.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most popular laws being broken in the United States, while accidents cannot be prevented at times, drinking and driving can be. If you are caught drunk driving, you may get charged for DWI, and it comes with consequences. While the first and second are not so severe, when it falls into a felony, you could be in much bigger trouble and may need to hire a Houston DWI defense attorney. If you are unaware of the seriousness of getting charged with DWI, better read through this article to know the basics of the penalties.
The first and second DWI charge is counted as a misdemeanor and therefore, penalized as such. However, it still depends on the severity of the cost. Many factors are being considered when it comes to DWI convictions.
However, for the first offense, if it is essential, you will get convicted for class B misdemeanor. The maximum fine for that is $2000 wherein the maximum jail time is six months. On the other hand, your second offense is still a class B misdemeanor, but it comes with more severe punishment than you first. The maximum prison time for it is one year while the fine is up to $4000.
When we say felony DWI, we are looking into several factors. There are three situations when a DWI charge will get convicted as a felony.
- Third Offense
- Serious Bodily Injury
Let’s take into consideration the first on the list. Getting charged once or twice can still be reasonable, but the third charge is a permanent action which may lead to worse outcomes. Thus, on your third conviction for DWI, it will already get counted as a felony. The penalties will follow. You may receive a maximum of ten years in prison plus a maximum fine of $10,000. It is also possible for your license to get suspended for two years. But in case you want to retain it, you may need to pay up to $10,000 for annual charges.
Causing Serious Bodily Injury
In any case that your drunk driving is proven to cause serious bodily injury to an individual/s, you will get charged for a felony even when it is just your first or second offense. The consequences may vary depending on the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) in your body during the time of the incident. If it exceeds the maximum allowable which is 0.08 percent, then you are in deep trouble.
If your drunk driving caused the death of an individual, then your charge is counted as a felony. It is called intoxication manslaughter and is in the underwritings of the Texas Penal Code Section 49.08. It is calculated as a second-degree felony and charges as such.
If you need any assistance for DWI, visit our law firm anytime during our business hours.