What is Felony DWI in Texas?
While most people use DUI and DWI interchangeably, these acronyms stand for different things. A DUI in Texas is only used when charging a minor that has been caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or other substances. A DWI only applies if the offending driver is of appropriate age and is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A DWI and DUI are both serious charges. That means you need an experienced DWI lawyer to represent you.
What Are DWI Conviction Penalties?
For a first DWI offense, you may just face a fine and a short period of license suspension. Penalties increase significantly after the second DWI conviction. Minors and people that cause serious road accidents face serious charges even if it’s a first offense.
Penalties for a DWI include:
- Drivers’ license suspension
- Jail time
- Community service
- Vehicle impoundment
Offenders can spend up to 10 years in jail if convicted for second, third, and subsequent DWI offenses. You can be arrested for a DWI if a breath test or blood test reveals that you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 and over. You need a lawyer to represent you in any DWI case for you to avoid serious penalties and collateral consequences.
What Is Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing
People arrested for a DWI have to request an ALR hearing to prevent their license from getting suspended. You have to schedule this hearing within 15 days from the date of your DWI arrest. People who fail to request an ALR hearing face an automatic license suspension.
Remember that an ALR hearing can also have a serious impact on your DWI charges. You need an experienced lawyer to represent you so that you can get your license back. Your lawyer can strategize and create a solid defense to help you maintain your driving rights.
What Increases The Severity Of A DWI Charge?
DWI cases can get really complicated if there are aggravating circumstances involved. These include:
A BAC 0.15 or higher: People found with a BAC of 0.15 percent or higher as a first DWI offense, face Class A misdemeanor penalties. If it’s a second or third DWI with a BAC of 0.15 percent or more, they face a third-degree felony charge.
If there was a child passenger in the vehicle when the individual was arrested for a DWI, the driver can also be charged with child endangerment. They also get an additional fine of up to $10,000 and face jail time of up to 2 years.
What Is A DUI In Texas?
A DUI in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor. The punishment for this consists of a maximum fine of $500 but no jail time. This charge only affects minors under the age of 21 who drink alcohol and then drive a car. In other states, a DUI is what Texas law refers to as DWI.
Minors in Texas are not allowed to take alcoholic beverages of any amount or use drugs. That means that their BAC does not have to be 0.08 and more for them to get arrested. Any amount of alcohol found in their system will result in an arrest.