Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Texas. In 2014, there were more than 500 fatal DUI crashes in the state, according to the Texas Department of Transportation. As a result, police have no qualms about arresting drunk drivers.
If you have been arrested for DUI or DWI, then you are probably wondering which penalties you could face. There are two broad fields of consequences for first-time offenders: administrative and criminal. If police arrest you on DUI charges, it is important to understand the differences between administrative and criminal penalties, and how each may impact your future.
If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, contact Dallas DUI attorney John L. Corn, Attorney at Law. Mr. Corn can evaluate your case to build a comprehensive defense strategy.
Call us today at 214-528-4529 to schedule an appointment, and read on to learn about possible penalties for first-time DUI offenders in Texas:
Criminal DUI Penalties
First-time DUI offenders in Texas will spend a minimum of three days in jail, according to the Texas Penal Code. A judge can sentence a first-time offender to a maximum of 180 days behind bars.
There are several factors that may influence your sentence. These include committing a DUI offense with a minor in the vehicle, or causing a serious crash while under the influence. If a judge determines that the driver committed the DUI offense with a minor, then the sentence may increase to between 180 days and two years behind bars.
There are also fines that may accompany the jail time. A judge can order a fine of up to $2,000 if no minor was present, or up to $10,000 if there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the DUI.
There is also a DUI surcharge program in the state of Texas, and first-time offenders must pay $1,000 each year for three years as part of this process. In serious DUI cases, this fee may increase to $2,000 per year for three years.
First-time DUI offenders in Texas may face an administrative license suspension of between 90 and 180 days. If you refused to consent to a blood alcohol content test, then there is a mandatory license suspension of 180 days.
First-time DUI offenders do not need to complete an alcohol screening test to have their license reinstated. Although Texas laws do not require first-time offenders to use ignition interlock devices, a judge may choose to order one if he or she deems it is appropriate.
There are several effective defenses against DUI charges, depending on the facts behind the offense. In some cases, it may be possible to convince the court to drop the charges or reduce the penalties.
Dallas DWI lawyer John L. Corn, Attorney at Law can guide you through the legal system and aggressively defend your rights. Call us today at 214-528-4529 to schedule an appointment.