If you have been accused of driving while under the influence, it is a mistake to think that this is a minor charge that you can handle on your own. You may be under the impression that it is in your best interest to speak and cooperate with police officers, but this is not accurate. A first-time DUI/DWI in Texas is a matter that warrants the attention of an experienced criminal attorney.
Protect Your Rights Immediately
The best way to protect yourself is by hiring a Houston DWI defense attorney as soon as possible. It could be a mistake to speak to officers, as you may unknowingly reveal more information than you need to, and it is far better to use your right to remain silent during this situation. There is a heavy price tag associated with being convicted of a DWI, even when it’s your first time in the state of Texas.
The Costs of Being Convicted of DWI in Texas
There are penalties, costs, and fees associated with being convicted of DWI. If your urine, blood or breath exceeds the legal limit in Texas of 0.08% blood alcohol content, you could be charged with DWI or DUI in Texas.
The best way for you to minimize or eliminate the penalties and costs associated with a drunk driving charge is to hire a Houston DWI defense attorney. After you have been arrested for this crime in Texas, you will need to post bail. This will typically range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars which will be returned to you except any non-refundable DUI fees if you appear as scheduled to in court.
You may also be responsible for paying impound and towing fees to get your vehicle back after a Texas DUI charge. If you have been convicted of a DUI or DWI in Texas, you will pay a costly fine and may be required to pay any ignition interlock device fees as well.
Administrative and Criminal Penalties for a First-Time DUI
There are administrative penalties associated with a DUI arrest in the state of Texas. First of all, it will initiate administrative license suspension for a period of 90 days up to 180 days unless you successfully contest this as soon as possible after you have been arrested. If you have refused to submit to a test under the implied consent laws of Texas, you may lose your license for 180 days.
You could, even on a first time DWI charge, be facing incarceration for up to three days and up to a maximum of 180 days. If there are aggravating factors associated with your DWI arrest like your first offense with a minor, you could be looking at incarceration from between 180 days to 2 years.
You could also be facing fines up to $2000 associated with regular DUI and DWI cases in Texas. If a minor is present, however, these maximums are increased to $10,000. There are also surcharge programs in the state of Texas, mandating a $1000 annual payment for three years for offenders in a DWI surcharge program. This surcharge is increased to $2000 annually for a period of 3 years if your blood alcohol content at the time of your arrest is higher than 0.16%.
The Long-Term Implications of a Texas DUI/DWI Conviction
Your DWI conviction will remain on your record and also impact future DUI criminal cases for up to 10 years. It is essential to protect your rights by consulting with a Houston DWI defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged.