A driving while intoxicated (DWI) conviction may result in various penalties and additional consequences, such as increased insurance rates and DPS surcharges. It is important to work with a team of Houston DWI lawyers who have the experience, education, and drive to fully protect your rights.
The penalties for DWIs in Houston are as follows:
- First DWI offense: A fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or the possibility of serving jail time from 3 days to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days. (Class B Misdemeanor). Or, if your blood comes back with a BAC greater than 0.15, it can be enhanced to a Class A Misdemeanor, which doubles the range of punishment and fines.
- Second DWI offense: Fine of no more than $4,000 and/or jail from 30 days to 1 year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to 2 years. (Class A Misdemeanor)
- Third DWI offense: A fine up to $10,000 and/or 2 to 10 years of imprisonment, and suspension of your driver’s license ranging from 180 days up to 2 years. (Third-Degree Felony)
- DWI with an open alcohol container (first offense): In addition to the penalty referenced above, you face a minimum 6 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. (Class B Misdemeanor)
- DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication (intoxication assault): If convicted you may serve a minimum of 2 years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000. (Third-Degree Felony)
- DWI where a death has occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication (intoxication manslaughter): If convicted you may pay a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or be imprisoned from 2 to 20 years. The district attorney can stack charges against you for each death, for example, 2 deaths can mean 4 to 40 years in prison. (Third-Degree Felony)
- Prior DWI conviction and present drag racing charge: Drag racing is a Class B misdemeanor; however, it becomes a Class A misdemeanor if the person had a prior drag racing conviction, a DWI conviction, or had an open alcohol container while they were driving.
- DWI with a passenger under the age of 15: Punishment for a non-enhanced state jail felony is confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000. (State Jail Felony)
In the misdemeanor classifications, you may be eligible for probation, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a probated jail sentence or fine. If convicted of intoxication assault and granted probation, a minimum of 30 days in jail is mandatory as a condition of probation. Probation of intoxication manslaughter requires a minimum of 120 days, and up to 180 days, in jail as a condition of your probation. If you are convicted of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, though, and the court or jury finds that you committed the offense with a deadly weapon, you may be ineligible for probation. (Only a Jury can give probation with a deadly weapon finding with a prison sentence assessed at less than 10 years.)
Facing DWI charges? Work with a firm that has over 100 Not Guilty verdicts. Call our Houston DWI defense lawyers at (713) 864-9000 for a free, confidential consultation.
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If you've been arrested for a DWI or DUI in the state of Texas, you are facing two cases against you. The first one is the criminal case by the state of Texas, and the other is by the Texas Department of Public Safety to suspend your license.Learn More