Legal Rights and Potential Consequences of DWI Arrest Getting arrested for reasons of driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of drugs doesn't automatically mean an individual is facing a certain conviction and jail time. The best ammunition an arrested individual can possess is knowledge of what rights are available before arrest and after arrest. Additionally, knowing the possible consequences and punishments associated with a DWI in the city of Houston, Texas allows for a much savvier individual. No matter how much information a person might possess on the arrest process, however, contacting a DWI lawyer Houston should be the first phone call made after legal problems arise. DWI information every Houstonian should possess includes: 1. Illegal blood alcohol content in the state of Texas is a concentration of .08 or higher. 2. A DWI is a Class B misdemeanor at the very least and does carry a minimum sentence if a person is convicted. 3. Texas has a zero-tolerance policy for under-age drinking and special charges may be levied upon a minor. 4. All individuals have rights to a trial by jury and are not required to undergo a court trial where the judge makes the decision of guilt or innocence. 5. The prosecutor must prove several items to convict someone of DWI. Those elements include possessing an illegal blood alcohol content, operation of a vehicle in a public place, and that the defendant was operating under diminished mental capacity. 6. When pulled over by law enforcement an individual is required to answer no questions. Any DWI lawyer Houston will suggest that a person says absolutely nothing during a stop. 7. Breathalyzer tests and the resulting blood test may be refused, although a license may be suspended for up to 6 months. After refusing such tests, retaining use of a license requires calling a DWI lawyer Houston to make a special request of the court. Each of these legal guidelines applies to every citizen in Houston. Being aware of these laws helps guide a person's actions when an arrest has been made, or before an individual is sent into the legal system for processing and eventual prosecution. The penalties for being convicted of DWI and other associated crimes vary greatly and range from Class B Misdemeanor charges to 2nd Degree Felonies. The following punishments may be levied against the individual if a call isn't made on time to a DWI lawyer Houston to avoid conviction:
1. The first offense for a DWI may carry a fine of $2,000, a 90-day license suspension, and a minimum jail sentence of 72 hours. The maximum penalties include a year suspension of a license and up to 6 months in jail. 2. The second time someone is convicted of DWI, punishments offered include a fine of up to $4,000, a month of jail time, and a license suspension of at least 6 months. Maximum penalties associated with a second offense include jail that lasts an entire year and a license suspended for 2 years. 3. The third conviction of DWI carries even stiffer penalties with a fine of up to $10,000, a jail sentence of at least 2 years, and a suspended license of 6 months. At the judge's discretion, those penalties may increase to up to 10 years of jail time and a suspended license of up to 2 years. 4. Texas also provides a special penalty if a person is found guilty of DWI while a child passenger is in the vehicle. A child passenger is classified as someone under 15 years of age. Additional punishments may include a $10,000 fine and time spent in the state jail for up to 2 years. 5. A driver found with an open container of alcohol in his or her vehicle also faces additional punishment of 6 more days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. This crime is a Class B Misdemeanor. 6. A DWI where an injury occurs as a result of a person's operation of a vehicle while intoxicated is an additional crime with which a person may be charged. The crime is called Intoxication Assault and penalties associated with this crime include up to a decade in jail and a $10,000 fine. This crime is a 3rd Degree Felony. 7. In cases where a death was caused during the commission of a DWI offense, a charge of Manslaughter or Manslaughter with Use of a Deadly Weapon may be levied. Each of these 2nd Degree Felonies might land someone in jail for 20 years along with a fine of $10,000. 8. If an individual has a prior conviction for drag-racing, the charges for DWI will be bumped up to a Class A Misdemeanor from a Class B Misdemeanor. As any DWI lawyer Houston will suggest, being arrested for multiple crimes or being arrested with prior convictions may often increase penalties and the severity of charges levied against the defendant. Speaking with a lawyer quickly will always be the best way to make sure that a person never has to deal with these consequences and that a person's rights are always upheld during the arrest and any successive court proceedings. The suggestion that a person should contact a DWI lawyer Houston as soon as possible after arrest is one of the most important pieces of advice when facing a potential DWI conviction.
If you've been arrested for DWI in Houston, it's vital to call 212-555-1234 to speak with a knowledgeable legal professional about your case. Alternatively, you may use the contact form on this page to get in touch with a DWI lawyer Houston.
Published on Sep 16, 2013
If you’ve been arrested for a DWI arrest in Texas, you need to take it very seriously. A DWI can be a messy and expensive legal problem. But...