It’s important to realize that driving while intoxicated, or DWI, in Texas is a serious crime. Another critical point to highlight is that most people arrested for DWI have no criminal history. A first or second arrest for DWI is considered a misdemeanor, but a third and any subsequent arrests for DWI are considered felonies.
If you have a DWI charge in Austin, Texas don’t try to “go it alone” or “wing it”—you will not be happy with the results. An Austin DWI lawyer is effective at creating a strong defense, and helping their client get a dismissal or reduced charges. They understand all DWI laws in the State of Texas and can uphold them during legal proceedings, all while protecting their client’s rights as efficiently as possible.
A DWI conviction can have severe consequences for the alleged offender, and can lead to jail time, a suspended license, and/or alcohol monitoring devices including portable alcohol monitors (PAM), a scram bracelet, or a required ignition interlock device (IID).
New DWI Fines
As of 2019, a new law eliminates surcharges and increases DWI penalties in the state. A conviction of DWI in Texas as of September 1, 2019, will result in a $3,000 fine for the first DWI in a 36-month period, $4,500 for a subsequent DWI in a 36-month period, and $6,000 if the driver’s BAC was 0.15 or more when tested. These fines are a set amount, meaning that they will be charged precisely that, and not a fine up to that amount as the old fine laws were noted on the books.
If these new laws sound confusing to you, you are not alone. In all cases, an Austin DWI Lawyer can help you understand the consequences associated with a DWI conviction. If you are convicted your life will change, and some detriments associated with a DWI conviction can be devastating, including difficulty finding and maintaining a good job, maintaining custody of children, disqualification for adoption and may possibly affect being able to get loans for an education or mortgage. You may also have problems later being able to rent an apartment, own and use firearms, or simply vote in elections that are locally or nationally based for felony DWI’s.
First Time DWI Offenders—Nondisclosure and Expunction
First-time DWI offenders may be eligible for nondisclosure under certain circumstances. To be eligible for an expunction you must either be found not guilty by a Judge or Jury, or have the case dismissed outright. Expunction means that the charge can be eliminated from someone’s records and will give the Defendant the right to legally and honestly deny they were ever charged. A nondisclosure is similar to an expunction, except law enforcement agencies and licensing agencies can still see your criminal record while the general public would not be able to see it. An Austin DWI lawyer can help with this often time-consuming and confusing process.
Fighting DWI Charges
DWIs are defensible even if there is evidence you were illegally intoxicated. You are always innocent unless proven guilty in an American court of law. An experienced Austin DWI lawyer will challenge field sobriety, breath or blood tests, or challenge the DRE and its results.
Call to Schedule a Legal Consultation with a DWI Defense Attorney in Austin, Texas Today
If you or a loved one are facing a DWI charge, it’s important to call and schedule a legal consultation with an experienced Austin DWI lawyer as soon as possible. These laws can be confusing to many people, and it would benefit you to call and get the right information the first time regarding any laws that might apply to you as an alleged offender. James Gill has many years of experience defending those facing DWI charges in Texas, so call today to schedule a legal consultation with him at 512-448-4560. The Law Offices of James Gill, PLLC serves all of Austin, Westlake, Kyle, Buda, San Marcos and the surrounding Texas communities.