DWI convictions can have serious consequences in Texas, especially if there are aggravating circumstances, such as prior DWI convictions or an open container in the vehicle. If you have been charged with a DWI, an attorney at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, can help defend those charges and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
What Is The Difference Between A DUI And DWI
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between the two in Texas. Minors can be charged with DUI for driving when any amount of alcohol is detected, even when their BAC is below .08%. Drivers can be charged with DWI when their BAC is .08%, or greater or they are under the influence of drugs.
DWI Conviction Consequences
A first-time DWI conviction can result in loss of license for up to one year, a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, and a fee between $1,000 and $2,000 per year for three years to keep your license. The consequences are less severe for minors charged with a DWI. Minors can end up with community service, a $500 fine, loss of license for up to 60 days, and alcohol classes.
The following aggravating circumstances can result in increased penalties:
- You have prior DWI convictions
- Driving while intoxicated with a child in the vehicle
- Someone is severely injured or killed because of your intoxicated driving
- Your BAC is greater than .15%
- You have an open container if your vehicle
In the worst cases, you may be looking at up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $10,000, and mandatory community service.
Defending Your DWI Charges
People often incorrectly assume that they will automatically be convicted once they have been charged with a DWI. This is not necessarily the case, especially when you have an experienced legal advocate defending your charges. Your attorney will go over the events that led up to your arrest and charges, examine the police report, and review all other evidence.
During the investigation, your attorney could discover that evidence in your case was mishandled, the police did not have a valid reason for pulling you over, or that there is other evidence that supports your defense. Additionally, your attorney can negotiate with prosecutors to see if you can reach a plea agreement that is in your best interests. Plea agreements can help you avoid a trial and potentially harsher consequences if convicted.
Call A Houston DWI Attorney
It is critical to remember that charges are not convictions, and you have the right to defend yourself and challenge the charges. An attorney can help you by investigating your DWI, reviewing evidence and documents, negotiating with prosecutors, and representing you in court. Call a Houston DWI attorney at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, at 719-229-9992 or submit an online form to request a consultation.
We know that DWI convictions come with serious consequences, and we will do everything we can to protect your rights and your future. Follow us on Facebook to learn more about our law firm and Texas DWI laws.