DWI Penalties in Bryan, Texas

In Texas, a driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrest can result in severe penalties that vary depending on several factors, including the offender's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, prior offenses, and whether aggravating circumstances are present. Typical DWI penalties in Bryan, Texas for a first offense for non-commercial drivers are typically classified as a Class B misdemeanor. This carries penalties such as fines up to $2,000, jail time ranging from 72 hours to 180 days, and license suspension for 90 days to one year.

However, aggravating factors such as having a BAC at or above .15 or transporting a child passenger younger than 15 years old can escalate the offense to a more serious misdemeanor or even a felony, leading to higher fines, longer jail sentences, and extended license suspensions.

Commercial drivers face even stricter consequences, with a BAC of 0.04 or higher resulting in disqualification from operating a commercial vehicle for at least one year, regardless of whether the offense occurred while driving commercially or personally.

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Why Choose the Law Office of Shane Phelps for a DWI Charge?

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Navigating the legal complexities and potential consequences of a DWI arrest in Texas requires an experienced DWI defense lawyer. At the Law Office of Shane Phelps, our attorneys can analyze the circumstances surrounding the arrest, challenge the legality of the traffic stop or field sobriety tests, negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative sentencing options, and advocate for the protection of your rights throughout the legal process.

By leveraging their knowledge, experience, and resources, our skilled DWI defense lawyers can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome and minimize the long-term consequences of a DWI conviction. Call us today at 979-773-7028.

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Our Law Office in Bryan, Texas

The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C., is located at 400 N. Washington Avenue, Bryan, TX 77803. We are in the heart of Bryan, at the corner of E. 23rd Street. Contact us for a free consultation.

Texas DWI Laws for Non-Commercial Drivers

DUI/DWI Penalties

Texas DWI laws are spelled out in the Penal Code, Title 10, Offenses Against Public Health, Safety, and Morals, chapter 49, Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage offenses. In Texas, DWI (or DUI – driving under the influence) refers to driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. It also applies to driving while under the influence of drugs. It is illegal for people younger than age 21 to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Texas Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) DWI Laws

Individuals who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and operate commercial vehicles are held to a higher legal standard because of the size of their vehicles and their cargo, whether it is people or materials. A person who has a CDL and has a BAC of 0.04% or more in Texas is legally considered a drunk driver and may be arrested for a DWI.

Texas DWI Laws for Child Endangerment

You can be convicted of child endangerment for driving while intoxicated if you’re carrying a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age. This offense is punishable by a maximum state jail sentence of two years, a fine of up to $10,000, and the loss of your driver’s license for 180 days.

Typical DWI Penalties in Bryan, Texas

ChargeOffense LevelFineJail TimeLicense SuspensionAnnual Surcharge
1st DWI & BWIClass B MisdemeanorMaximum fine of $2,00072 hours to 180 days90 days to one year$1,000 for three years
1st DWI & BWI with BAC at or over .15Class A MisdemeanorMaximum fine of $4,00072 hours to one year in county jail90 days to one year$2,000 for three years
1st DWI with open container enhancementClass B MisdemeanorMaximum fine of $2,000Six days to 180 days in county jail90 days to one year$1,000 for three years
2nd DWI & BWIClass A MisdemeanorMaximum fine of $4,00030 days to one year180 days to two years$1,500 for three years
3rd DWI & BWI3rd Degree FelonyMaximum fine of $10,000Two to 10 years in prison180 days to two years$1,500 for three years
3rd or more DWI & BWI with one prior penitentiary trip2nd Degree FelonyMaximum fine of $10,000Two to 20 years in prisonUp to two years$1,500 for three years
3rd or more DWI & BWI with two prior penitentiary tripsEnhanced Felony PunishmentMaximum fine of $10,00025 years to life in prisonUp to two years$1,500 for three years
DWI with child passenger (younger than 15 years of age)State Jail FelonyMaximum fine of $10,000Six months to two years in state jail facility90 days to two years$2,000 for three years
Intoxication Assault3rd Degree FelonyMaximum fine of $10,000Two to 10 years in prison180 days to two years$1,000 for three years
Intoxication Manslaughter2nd Degree FelonyMaximum fine of $10,000Two to 20 years in prison180 days to two years$1,000 for three years

Collateral Damages from a Bryan, Texas DUI Arrest

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Aside from lengthy jail sentences and expensive fines, a DUI conviction in Texas can harm your employment and education opportunities. Whether you are applying for a new job or applying to an accredited university, a DWI on your criminal record can negatively affect your chances of accomplishing your goals.

Following are common ways a DWI conviction can affect your reputation:

DWI conviction and employment: Some employers will refuse to or cannot hire individuals with a DWI conviction because employees with DWIs on their record are considered a huge risk of hurting another person. This is especially true for industries that require a person to operate machinery or a vehicle, as well as professions that require a license.

DWI conviction and educational opportunities: When you apply for a college, you may be required to list any criminal convictions or arrests on your application, such as DUI crimes. If you have one DWI conviction, you may be admitted to a university upon completion of a drug or alcohol program. Even after you have already been admitted, some colleges may have a policy that requires a student to report any arrests to the administration. Failure to report a DWI arrest can lead to a suspension.

DWI conviction and financial aid and scholarships: Requirements for private scholarships or financial aid programs vary depending on the rules established by the organization in charge. While some may only be affected by felony convictions, others may want to know if you have been arrested or convicted of any offense, including DWI.

Fortunately, a DWI conviction can later be remedied through an expunction or non-disclosure proceeding. At Shane Phelps Law, we are prepared to protect your future.

What is an Expunction or Non-Disclosure Proceeding?

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An expunction or non-disclosure proceeding is a legal process aimed at removing or sealing certain criminal records from public view.

Expunction, also known as expungement, involves the complete elimination of the record as if the arrest or conviction never occurred. This is typically available for individuals who were arrested but not convicted or had their charges dismissed or acquitted. Expunction is beneficial as it allows you to legally deny the existence of the arrest or charge on applications for employment, housing, or other opportunities.

Non-disclosure, on the other hand, involves sealing the criminal record from public access, but it still exists and can be accessed by certain entities such as law enforcement agencies and government officials. Non-disclosure is typically available for individuals who completed deferred adjudication probation for certain offenses, such as low-level misdemeanors or some non-violent felonies.

While non-disclosure does not completely erase the record, it can prevent it from being visible to potential employers or landlords during background checks.

Both expunction and non-disclosure proceedings offer individuals with past criminal records the opportunity to move forward with their lives without the burden of past mistakes hindering their opportunities for employment, housing, or other aspects of life. These legal remedies can be pursued with the assistance of a qualified attorney who focuses on criminal law.

Alternative DWI Penalties

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For DWI offenders in many jurisdictions, alternative sentencing options offer alternatives to traditional DWI penalties like fines and jail time. These alternatives aim to address the underlying issues contributing to the offense while promoting rehabilitation and reducing the likelihood of future offenses.

Community service is a common alternative sentencing option where offenders perform unpaid work in the community. This not only benefits the community but also allows offenders to make amends for their actions and learn the value of giving back.

Probation is another alternative to incarceration, where offenders are released under supervision and required to comply with certain conditions, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, attending counseling or treatment programs, abstaining from alcohol and drugs, and maintaining employment or education. Probation allows offenders to remain in the community while still being held accountable for their actions.

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are installed in the vehicles of DWI offenders and require the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the vehicle. If alcohol is detected on the breath, the vehicle will not start. IIDs are effective in preventing drunk driving incidents and can be mandated as part of a DWI offender's sentence, often allowing them to retain their driving privileges while ensuring public safety.

Participation in alcohol treatment programs or counseling is frequently required as part of alternative sentencing for DWI offenders. These programs aim to address substance abuse issues and provide education, support, and tools for managing alcohol use.

An experienced DWI attorney can work with the courts on your behalf to advocate for an alternative to harsher DWI penalties.

Reinstating a Driver’s License After a DWI Conviction

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DWI penalties often include driver’s license suspension. Reinstating a driver's license after a DWI conviction in Texas typically involves several steps and may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. Here is an overview of the general process:

  • Serve Your Suspension Period: After a DWI conviction, your driver's license will likely be suspended for a certain period, depending on factors such as whether it's your first offense or if aggravating circumstances were present.
  • Fulfill Court Requirements: You may be required to complete certain court-mandated requirements as part of your DWI conviction, such as attending alcohol education classes, completing community service, or paying fines and court fees.
  • Apply for Reinstatement: Once you've completed your suspension period and any court-mandated requirements, you can apply for reinstatement of your driver's license. This typically involves applying to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and paying a reinstatement fee.
  • Provide Required Documentation: Along with your application and reinstatement fee, you may need to provide additional documentation, such as proof of completion of required alcohol education or treatment programs, proof of insurance (SR-22), and any other documents requested by the DPS.
  • Undergo an Assessment: In some cases, you may be required to undergo a driver's license reinstatement assessment, which may include a written test, a vision test, and possibly a driving test.
  • Wait for Processing: After submitting your application and all required documentation, the DPS will review your case and process your reinstatement request. The processing time may vary depending on the volume of applications and any additional requirements specific to your case.
  • Receive Your License: Once your application is approved and processed, you will receive your reinstated driver's license by mail or you can pick it up from a DPS office, depending on the procedures in your area.

It's essential to follow the reinstatement process carefully and ensure that all requirements are met to avoid delays or complications. Your DWI attorney can help with this process and ensure you meet all the requirements and deadlines.

Hiring a Defense Attorney to Navigate DWI Penalties

DWI defense attorneys in Bryan, TX

Seeking legal representation from experienced DWI defense attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. These attorneys possess an understanding of DWI laws, procedures, and potential defenses, allowing them to provide informed guidance and strategic advocacy throughout the legal process.

DWI attorneys are familiar with the intricacies of court procedures, paperwork, and deadlines, ensuring that all necessary steps are taken to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcomes.

Additionally, DWI defense attorneys are skilled negotiators who can work with prosecutors to negotiate plea deals or alternative sentencing options. They can advocate for reduced charges, lesser penalties, or diversion programs, depending on the circumstances. This can be particularly valuable for first-time offenders or individuals facing aggravated DWI charges.

A DWI lawyer can challenge the legality of the traffic stop, dispute the accuracy of field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results, or explore procedural errors in the arrest process. They can identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case and advocate vigorously on behalf of their clients.

Contact Bryan, Texas, Lawyers at the Law Offices of Shane Phelps

Shane Phelps, Attorney for DWI Defense in Bryan, TX
Shane Phelps, Bryan, DWI Defense Lawyer

If you're facing a DUI arrest in Bryan, Texas, don't face the legal complexities alone. The Law Office of Shane Phelps is here to provide you with the expert legal representation you need to navigate this challenging time. With years of experience in DWI defense, our team understands the nuances of Texas DWI laws and knows how to build a strong defense tailored to your unique situation.

Having a skilled attorney by your side can make all the difference in mitigating DWI penalties, whether it's negotiating reduced charges, exploring alternative sentencing options, or fighting for your rights in court. Don't wait until it's too late.

Contact the Law Office of Shane Phelps today for a free consultation and take the first step toward protecting your future. Call us today at 979-773-7028 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our Bryan DWI defense attorney. We are available 24/7 to assist you.

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