Here’s how a DWI conviction will affect you in the days, months and years to come
If you have been convicted of a DWI in Texas, there are many different penalties that you could face. For instance, you could have your license suspended for up to a year, pay a fine of up to $10,000 or spend time in jail.
Let’s take a look at how these penalties may impact your life both now and over the long-term.
Fines could drain your bank account
The fine that you pay as part of your sentence for a DWI conviction could have been used for a down payment on a home or new car. It could also have been used to pay a surprise medical expense or some other bill that you wanted to catch up on. However, since you’re paying thousands of dollars to the state of Texas, you will have to make changes to your lifestyle.
Instead of living in an apartment or home, you could find yourself living with your parents or on your friend’s couch. This can have an impact on your social life as well as on your career. Not having a car means that you can’t work as a delivery driver or for any other employer that requires you to have your own transportation.
Jail time can impact your relationships with your spouse and children
Parents who had visitation or other rights to their children prior to being convicted of a DWI may lose those rights. This is because someone who doesn’t have a driver’s license cannot be relied upon to take a child to school or to pick the child up for a weekend visit.
Furthermore, a judge may question your decision-making abilities if you chose to drive a car after drinking alcohol. Therefore, a mother or father may be limited to supervised visitation or no visitation at all.
You could be subject to random drug or alcohol testing
It’s possible that you will receive probation as opposed to a jail sentence for a first offense. However, during the probation period, you could be required to submit to drug or alcohol testing at the discretion of state authorities.
In many cases, you will be required to abstain from drinking any alcohol until your probation period expires. Therefore, being caught with a blood alcohol content of .02 percent or higher could mean that you’ll go to jail or face further restrictions while on probation.
Employers and schools can see the DWI on background checks
Your choice to drink and drive could haunt you long after you have completed your probation or jail time and paid your fine. This is because employers, schools or anyone else who does a background check can see that you were convicted of a DWI. This may automatically disqualify you from certain government jobs or other careers that prohibit you from having a criminal record.
Colleges may have second thoughts about enrolling students who were convicted of a DWI before they turned 21. Ultimately, they likely won’t want someone with a criminal record playing a major role on a sports team or otherwise representing the university, which may limit your opportunities in school.
Your reputation within the community could suffer
There’s a chance that your reputation among friends, family members and others in the community will suffer. If you own a business, your customers may be reluctant to keep buying your products or using you as a service provider.
No matter how long ago your DWI was, it could also be used to make you look bad in the event that you choose to run for public office.
Seek help from an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney
The consequences of a DWI don’t necessarily end when your trial ends or when you get out of jail. The good news is that the right defense attorney can help you get the charge downgraded to reckless driving or get it dismissed entirely. This could allow you to get back to running your business, raising your kids or otherwise living your life.