What Is the Process for a First Offense DWI in Texas? | TX

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What Is the Process for a First Offense DWI in Texas?

 Posted on January 15,2024 in DWI

TXGetting arrested for your first DWI in Texas can be a scary and overwhelming experience. A Texas DWI defense attorney can help guide you through the process and consequences to expect after a first-time DWI charge.

What to Know About The Arrest

If a law enforcement officer pulls you over and suspects you of driving while intoxicated, they will typically conduct a series of roadside sobriety tests and a breath or blood test to check your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. If your BAC is 0.08% or higher and the officer determines you are intoxicated based on the tests, you will be arrested and taken to jail.

At the jail, you will be fingerprinted, photographed, and formally charged with a DWI. You will also have the option to take an additional breath or blood test. After processing, you may be held in jail until sober or released on bail. Those arrested must arrange for transportation, as your license will be confiscated if you fail the sobriety tests.

The Potential Consequences

A first-time DWI conviction in Texas is punishable by:

  • Up to 180 days in jail, though probation is more common for a first offense
  • Fines up to $2,000
  • Loss of driver’s license for up to a year
  • Annual surcharges of up to $2,000 for three years to keep your license
  • Possible vehicle impoundment if caught driving while license is suspended

You will also have to complete alcohol education classes, community service hours, and possibly alcohol treatment depending on your BAC level. Your auto insurance will also likely increase significantly.

The Process After An Arrest

After being arrested and processed for a DWI, the next steps include:

  • Hiring a Texas DWI defense attorney to represent you
  • Making a plea to the court within 30 days of your initial appearance
  • Completing substance abuse assessment if applicable
  • Attending hearing for probation terms if not sentenced to jail time
  • Serving any sentence obligations like jail, probation, fines, license suspension
  • Completing a DWI education program
  • Getting an occupational license if your license is suspended

Contact a Karnes County County, TX DWI Attorney

While a first-time DWI charge should not be taken lightly, a Karnes City, TX DWI lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed by challenging the validity of the traffic stop, breath test machine calibration, administration of roadside tests by the officer, and other evidence. Call BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys at 830-769-1010 for a free consultation.

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