The Penalties For First Time DWI

Drunk young man driving a car with a bottle of beer and mobile phone.

Mistakes are a normal part of life. Depending on the circumstances of your situation, it can result in encounters with law enforcement or permanent marks on your records. One common mistake that individuals make is getting behind the wheel of their car after drinking. They may be under the belief that they are capable of driving, even if they are above the established drinking limit. It is important to understand what the potential penalties are for a first-time DWI, and Shane Phelps Law can help explain.

DWI Basics

The basic definition of driving while intoxicated or a DWI is when a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol in a public place. According to Texas law, legal intoxication refers to when your blood alcohol level reaches .08%. However, what you may not know is that you can also face charges as soon as your ability to drive is affected. This means that while you may not have a BAC of .08%, you can still get charged with a DWI and face the penalties for your actions.

The Penalties

There are several different penalties you can face after a first-time DWI charge. If this is your first offense, the ramifications may not be as severe, but can still leave long-lasting impacts on your record and reputation. You may encounter one or more of the following:

  • Your first offense of a DWI in the state of Texas will mean incarceration anywhere from three to 180 days. However, if there is an open container of alcohol at the time of your stop, the minimum amount of jail time you can receive is six days.

  • Fines are also a part of DWI penalties and charges. It is possible to get fined anywhere up to $2,000 for a first-time offense.

  • You will also face license suspension when charged with a first offense DWI. You can expect a minimum of a 90-day suspension, however, certain circumstances can lengthen the suspension period. For example, if you deny participation in BAC tests when stopped, you will have a mandatory suspension of 180 days.

Moving Forward

It is overwhelming to process the potential consequences of a first-time DWI. However, it is possible to learn from your mistakes and have your charges reduced. It is best to consult and have an experienced attorney on your side, as they can help create an effective defense strategy to tackle your case. With Shane Phelps Law, you will have an experienced and compassionate team in your corner.

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