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Texas DWI Penalties

  • In Texas, even your very first conviction can result in harsh penalties and saddle you with a permanent criminal history. 

    People are often surprised to learn even a first-time conviction for a DWI in Texas can result in a suspended license, in addition to potential fines and even jail time. 

    However, depending on the details of your arrest and criminal history, you may be able to reduce or even have your charges dropped. Read on to learn more about Texas DWI penalties. 

    What Are the Penalties for a DWI in Texas?

    A DWI in Texas is defined as a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above .008. However, the law could also be taken to mean a loss of mental or physical faculties behind the wheel. 

    For some people, this means they could be charged and convicted on a DWI even if they didn’t blow a number above the legal limit. For example, you could have failed a field sobriety test, or proven to the officer in some other way you were too inebriated behind the wheel to be legally driving. 

    Getting convicted for DWI in Texas, even for the first time, can carry some pretty significant penalties. 

    Some of these include:

    • License suspension
    • Fines
    • Jail sentence
    • Court costs
    • Probation
    • Community service requirements
    • Enrollment in a defensive driving course
    • Placement of an ignition interlocking device in your car
    • And other punishments

    These are just the base punishments available for a DWI conviction in Texas. In some cases, these could be elevated. 

    For example, if you register a BAC above .15, you could be found guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a $4,000 fine, and even a two-year-long license suspension. 

    It’s also important to understand the .008 legal BAC limit only applies to people of legal drinking age. If you’re under the age of 21 and found with any amount of booze in your system, you could be arrested on the distinct charge of DUI. 

    To add insult to injury, license suspensions in Texas are not automatically overturned. Once you’re able to, you can apply to have your driving privileges reinstated. However, you may be required to pay a fee numbering in the thousands of dollars per year for a limited period of time in order to drive again in Texas.

    Common DWI in Texas Defenses

    The severity of the punishments for a DWI in Texas highlight the importance of defending yourself before conviction with the help of an experienced attorney. 

    Although no two cases are the same, some people have had success in the past with these strategies:

    • Disputing the legality of the stop
    • Disputing probable cause
    • Proving that your rights were violated
    • Having certain evidence repressed from the record
    • Questioning the validity of chemical testing

    Don’t wait—let an experienced attorney get to work on your case now. 

    Do You Need a Lawyer for a DWI?

    The consequences of a DWI in Texas can be life-changing. Fight back with the help of an experienced DWI attorney in Fort Worth from The Law Offices of Jeff C. Kennedy. 

    Call 817-605-1010 or visit their website  to request your consultation.