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    DWI penalties

    Houston DWI attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp

    When people in Texas have been caught driving while intoxicated, it is in their best interest to hire a DWI lawyer. DWI charges can be quite complicated, and the punishments are severe. An experienced DWI attorney knows how to handle these cases and can obtain the best settlement possible.

    What is driving while intoxicated?

    Driving while intoxicated is the term used when people are caught driving while they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Drivers in Texas can be stopped by the police if there is any reason to suspect drunken driving. If drivers have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, they are considered to be legally intoxicated.

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    Driving while intoxicated penalties

    The punishments for DWI in Texas are quite severe, and they can involve fines, jail time, community service and driver’s license suspension. Typically, repeat offenders are punished more severely than those who have been convicted of a DWI for the first time. Listed below is a breakdown of the current DWI penalties in Texas.

    First-time offenders

    • Fines up to $2,000
    • Incarceration for three days to six months
    • Loss of driver’s license for three to 12 months
    • 24 to 100 hours of community service

    Second-time offenders

    • Fines up to $4,000
    • Incarceration for one month to a year
    • Loss of driver’s license for six months to two years

    Third-time offenders

    • Fines up to $10,000
    • Imprisonment for two to 10 Years
    • Loss of driver’s license for six months to two years
    • 80 to 200 hours of community service

    DWI with a child passenger

    • Fines up to $10,000
    • Incarceration for six months to two years

    Commercial vehicle DWI (.04 BAC or more)

    • Suspension of CDL for one year (first conviction)
    • Permanent revocation of CDL (second conviction)

    Possible legal defenses

    First of all, when drivers are stopped for a DWI, they can refuse to answer any questions or deny a breathalyzer and blood test. However, by doing so, they may lose their driving privileges for six months. They can request a hearing to save their license, though, as long as they make that request within 15 days.

    If a driver refuses a blood or breathalyzer test, it will be much harder for the prosecutor to convict them since there is a lack of evidence. Typically, DWI attorneys will work hard to reduce drunken driving charges and penalties. In many cases, jail time can be avoided if the defendant completes a DWI education course and agrees to probation.

    Talk to a Houston DWI lawyer today

    As anybody can see, it would be in their best interest to hire the help of an experienced DWI lawyer if they ever get in trouble. The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp can help with drinking and driving cases and much more. Contact Matthew Sharp today for a free consultation.

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