Houston Criminal Defense Attorney

What are the penalties for DWI in Texas?

A DWI arrest can be a very upsetting and scary experience. If convicted, you can face some pretty tough penalties, especially if you have one or more prior offenses.

In Texas, as in every other state, the legal limit is 0.08 percent blood alcohol content. You are legally intoxicated if your BAC is at 0.08 or more. But you can also be charged, regardless of your blood alcohol content, if you are deemed to be impaired by alcohol or any other drug.

For a first-offense DWI, the penalties include license suspension for up to one year, a jail sentence of three to 180 days, and a maximum fine of $2,000. You may have to pay an annual charge of $1,000 or $2,000 for up to three years to keep your license.

On a second offense, the license suspension can be for up to two years. The potential jail sentence goes up to one month to one year. The maximum fine increases to $4,000, and there is also the annual fee to keep your license. In addition, if you are convicted of DWI two or more times within five years, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. You have to blow into the device every time you want to start the car. If you've been drinking the device will prevent the car from starting.

With a third offense, the fines can go up to $10,000 and the jail sentence can be anywhere from two years to ten years. You may have to pay the annual fee of up to $2,000 to keep your license.

Anyone facing a drunk driving charge has the right to defend themselves in court. With the help of an experienced DWI defense attorney, it is often possible to get the charges or the sentence reduced. Contact The Law Offices of Jed Silverman for experienced and zealous representation!

Source: Texas Department of Transportation, "Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)," accessed Aug. 30, 2014