In Texas, the consequences of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction are based on the number of prior offenses on your record within a 10-year time period. However, even if this is your first time being arrested for drunk driving, you shouldn’t go into this situation expecting leniency. A first DWI offense may result in a number of serious penalties, including probation, fines, and a suspended driver’s license. For this reason, it’s important to work with an Austin DWI attorney who can defend you against this serious charge.
When determining your punishment for a drunk-driving conviction, the judge will adhere to sentencing guidelinesset forth by Texas state law. While jail time is a possibility, many judges suspend this sentence in lieu of probation for a first offense; however, if you violate the terms of your probation, you will be required to serve out the original jail sentence and could face additional penalties.
In addition to a two-year maximum probation period, the judge can also order you to perform community service, pay large court fines, attend alcohol education courses, and abstain from drinking alcohol. Your license can also be suspended for up to one year, although you may be eligible for a limited permit that will allow you to drive to court-approved locations, such as work.
The consequences of a drunk-driving conviction don’t end with a criminal sentence–you can also face serious repercussions in your professional and personal life. For example, having valid insurance is a requirement for having your license reinstated, but your auto insurer could substantially raise your rates once they discover a DWI on your driving record.
Another unfortunate consequence of a DWI is the permanent criminal record you will develop, which can be easily viewed by the public. Every time you apply for a job or school, you could be judged based on your conviction–resulting in the loss of valuable opportunities.
A drunk-driving conviction can take a lot away from your life, including your money, your ability to drive, your livelihood, and sometimes your freedom. Fortunately, Attorney Ken Gibson has the training and knowledge necessary to fight your case head on. For a free consultation with Mr. Gibson, please call to set up an appointment today.