You’re driving home after watching the game at a friend’s house when you get pulled over. Within moments of handing over your license and registration you realize, to your horror, this could lead to your first-offense DWI.
“But I didn’t even drink that much,” you say to yourself. “Two beers at most. I bet I just get some stupid fine.”
If you’ve just gotten your first-ever DWI and think it’s not a problem, think again. First-offense DWI charges can lead to fines, license suspension, and even jail time. Read on to learn what happens when a driver like yourself gets your first-offense DWI in Texas.
What Happens Next
In most cases, when you’re arrested for a crime not much happens. But when you’re arrested for a DWI, even before conviction, you could face fines, or have your license taken away.
So what happens next? In most cases, the arresting officer will administer either a breath test or a chemical test to find out your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Unless you were involved in a car accident resulting in a serious injury or death, you have the right to refuse these tests and the officer must respect your refusal. However, there are some consequences that go along with this.
If you do choose to refuse, your license will be suspended for 180 days in addition to the 90-day suspension you might get. Regardless if you refuse or not, your license will be taken away and you’ll be given a “notice of suspension.”
This notice acts as a temporary license. From the moment you receive it, you have 15 days to request a hearing to contest the suspension of your license. This is the best time to contact your Sugar Land DWI lawyer and talk options.
If you decide to take these tests and not contest your suspension, your suspension will officially begin 41 days after your arrest. If you do refuse and are acquitted of all charges in court, your license won’t be suspended.
“Okay, so what penalties could I face with a first-offense DWI?”
Good question. Let’s suppose you decide to skip all the drama and take the officer’s tests. Maybe you were tired and thought this would get you home quicker. What happens then?
Like we stated before, your license will be replaced with a temporary one. If convicted at your court date, your license will be suspended anywhere from 90 days to 12 months. At this time you could apply for an occupational license. This would allow you to drive to work, school, and other places needed to complete household chores. However, you would have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on all cars you own and operate. To apply for an occupational license, you would need to provide evidence that you have a financial responsibility.
In addition to this, you could face fines of 2k-4k (plus admin fees) and, depending on your BAC, jail time of 72 hours up to 6 months. Your first-offense DWI is usually considered a class B misdemeanor. But if your BAC was over 15 percent, it’s then a class A misdemeanor and your jail time could be 1 year.
Worse still, you have to pay up to $2,000 annually for three years after your DWI to keep your license and you may also have to complete an education program, community service, and probation.
So while complying with the tests might save you drama in the moment, it can create more drama later. Your best bet is to take the “notice of suspension” and hire a Suger Land DWI lawyer.
Hire the Sugar Land DWI Lawyer, David Hunter Today!
If you want to know more about a first-offense DWI or think you need a Sugar Land DWI Lawyer, David Hunter can help. David’s extensive experience as a trial lawyer and Texas Judge have given him a unique perspective on the Texas criminal justice system that allows him to provide a top-notch defense to each and every client. He handles DWI cases regularly and knows exactly what to do so you’ll spend less time in court and jail.
Call (281) 417-3117 or click below to schedule a free consultation and see how David Hunter could help you with your case today!