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Austin DWI Penalties

What Are the Penalties for DWI in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI conviction may carry the following penalties:

  • Driving Under the Influence
    • $500 fine
    • Driver license suspension up to 180 days
  • First DWI Offense:
    • $2,000 fine
    • 3 to 180 days in jail
    • License suspension for 90 days to 1 year
    • Class B misdemeanor on your record

Multiple DWI Penalties in Texas

A past DWI charge can impact a new DWI charge and its subsequent penalties. A first-time DWI is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas with a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours; however, a second-time DWI charge is a Class A misdemeanor with a minimum term of confinement of 30 days.

Second-Offense DWI

Therefore, a second-time DWI can result in jail terms that are ten times worse than a first-time DWI, and potential penalties increase for a third-time DWI.

  • $4,000 fine
  • 30 days to 1 year in jail
  • License suspension for 180 days to 2 years
  • Class A misdemeanor on your record

Third-Offense DWI

A third-time DWI charge could result in severe consequences as the charge is classified as a third-degree felony. A felony is a criminal charge that could lead to more than two years in prison, which means a third-time DWI is 24 times worse than a second-time DWI.

  • $10,000 fine
  • 2 to 10 years in prison
  • License suspension for 180 days to 2 years
  • Felony conviction on your record

As you can see, potential penalties for a DWI conviction increase greatly for every previous DWI conviction on someone’s record. Therefore, if you are facing a DWI charge and have a prior DWI charge on your record, it might be a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable Austin DWI defense attorney about your case.

Multiple DWIs are only one of the factors that could increase potential penalties; let’s take a look at some of the other factors.

Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger in Texas

Another factor that can impact a DWI charge and its subsequent penalties is driving while intoxicated with a child passenger. Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger is similar to driving while intoxicated except a child passenger is present inside the vehicle.

By Texas’ definition, a child passenger is someone younger than 15-years-old. Therefore, 14-year-olds and younger are the ones who can trigger a driving while intoxicated with a child passenger charge.

If someone is accused of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger and has no prior DWIs, his or her charge will be a state jail felony.

Potential penalties for a state jail felony may include:

  • First time offender could be escalated to state jail felony if passenger under 15 is present
  • 180 days to 2 years in jail
  • Fine of up to $10,000

DWI with a child passenger (state jail felony) is clearly worse than a typical first-time DWI (Class B misdemeanor). Additionally, a first-time DWI penalty may increase when someone’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is excessively over the legal limit.

Excessive BAC DWI

If someone exhibits a BAC of 0.15% or higher, he or she could face increased DWI penalties. A first-time DWI is typically a class B misdemeanor, but a DWI where someone tests at a 0.15% BAC could be charged as a class A misdemeanor.

A class A misdemeanor could result in the following penalties in Texas:

  • Up to $4,000 fine; or
  • Jail term of up to a year; or
  • Both the fine and the jail term.

First Offense DWI w/ Open Container

  • First Offense DWI w/ Open Container:
    • $2,000 fine
    • Confinement in jail for 6 days up to 180 days
    • OR both such fine and confinement
    • Driver license suspension ranging from 90 days to 365 days

*This information is not legal advice. It is provided for educational use only.

Austin DWI Defense Lawyers

If you have been arrested for DWI in Austin, Travis County, Williamson County, Hays County, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm. Our Austin DWI attorneys take your case seriously and fight to protect your constitutional rights. Jarrod Smith and Brad Vinson are aggressive trial lawyers that will fight for you from day one to get the best possible resolution for your case.

If you need legal advice regarding a criminal offense in the State of Texas, please contact Smith & Vinson Law Firm today for a FREE initial consultation with our Austin DWI lawyers! Call us at (512) 359-3743.

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