DWI in Texas: What Happens After Conviction?
When you face conviction for a DWI in Texas, it’s important to understand how serious your situation is. When HPD catches you driving while intoxicated (DWI), you face some of the most severe penalties across the country.
However, it’s crucial to remember that an arrest doesn’t mean conviction. With the help of a Houston DWI defense attorney, you have a chance to reduce your charges or dismiss them. At Nguyen & Chen, our criminal defense attorneys help those who face DWI convictions fight for their futures. Schedule a free consultation to see what our team can do for you.
The Serious Consequences of DWI in Texas
In Texas, the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level for a DWI is .08 or higher. When your level surpasses this limit, you face arrest and conviction.
After an arrest for DWI in Texas, you have to appear in court to face the charges. This is true regardless of whether you live in Texas or are simply a visitor. Because the arrest occurred in Texas, you must appear in our court system. This also means you face the severe penalties of Texas DWI laws.
That’s why hiring a Houston DWI defense attorney is in your best interests. With an experienced attorney who understands the arrest and conviction process in local courts, you have a better chance of defeating or reducing charges.
When the court convicts someone of a DWI in Texas, the law establishes quite serious penalties. However, these consequences also vary depending on the circumstances of your case. This includes whether it is a first-time DWI offense, whether there was an accident, and other details specific to your situation.
What if I Don’t Live in Texas?
When the police arrest you for a DWI in Texas, it doesn’t matter where you live. You have to face the same penalties as a Texas resident. Similarly, a Texas resident charged in another state has to face those penalties. However, there’s the potential for Texans to face DWI charges back home as well.
When a resident of Texas is convicted of a DWI in another state, they potentially lose their driving privileges in Texas. Moreover, the law states that anyone who loses their driver’s license or has them suspended in another state, they are no longer eligible for a license in Texas.
This means that when a DWI in another state results in the loss of your license, Texas residents may not be able to get a license back home in Texas.
Getting Your License Reinstated
In Texas, there are options to retain your driver’s license. However, it requires fast action and a familiarity with specific forms, courts, and hearings. This is an ALR hearing. When you face a DWI in Texas, this administrative hearing lets you show evidence to a judge.
Then, the judge decides whether the court revokes your license. This hearing is a civil proceeding, not a criminal proceeding. Luckily, our Houston DWI defense attorneys understand the process for ALR hearings and know how to fight for your license.
Moreover, if your license was already revoked, you have options to reinstate it. Your best bet is to work with an attorney who understands Texas DWI laws. Again, our DWI lawyers are ready to help.
DWI Penalties in Texas
When the police charge you with a DWI, it’s crucial that you hire a Houston DWI defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you live here or not, you have to deal with the state’s DWI laws.
While being from another state complicates the case, it’s important to focus and act quickly. Additionally, it’s important to understand that the penalties of your DWI case depend on the details and your record.
First DWI Offense
- Up to 180 days in jail
- Fines up to $2,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to a year
Second DWI Offense
- Up to one year in jail – minimum of one month
- Fines up to $4,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 2 years
Third DWI Offense+
- Two to ten years in jail
- Fines up to $10,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license for up to 2 years
Additionally, with 2 or more DWI convictions in 5 years, you may have to install an interlock device in your vehicle. This means you have to breathalyze yourself every time you start your car. Moreover, you have to pay for the rental and installation costs.
What Are My Rights When Pulled Over for a DWI in Texas?
First and foremost, the best way to avoid DWI charges is to not drink and drive. However, it’s important to understand your rights in any given situation.
Per Texas law, you do not have to agree to a breath test or a blood alcohol test. Although, when you refuse the test, there are consequences to deal with. Refusal of a test results in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license for 6 months.
When the police stop you, you have the right not to answer the questions an officer asks. Whether they stop you over a traffic violation or at a DWI checkpoint, when an officer pulls you over, you don’t have to answer any of their questions.
Legal Requirements When Pulled Over
When pulled over, there are two things you have to provide the officers.
- Your driver’s license
- Your car registration.
However, you do not have to tell the officers anything, including the following.
- Where you were earlier
- Your destination
- Any questions about whether you consumed alcohol or how much
When an officer asks you to perform a field sobriety test, you have the right to refuse. Common field sobriety tests include these actions.
- Following an object with your eyes
- Walking a straight line
- Counting numbers
- Reciting the alphabet forwards or backward
You have the right to refuse. However, it’s important to remember that this is likely to result in your arrest. Still, an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney can help you put together your case and fight for your future.
How Can a Houston DWI Defense Attorney Help?
As soon as you face charges or suspicion of a DWI in Texas, it’s important to call an experienced Texas DWI lawyer. Your lawyer fights to protect your rights as a citizen and pursues the best possible outcome of your case.
Remember that the police and prosecutor are not on your side. When they talk to you, they want evidence to build a case against you in court. Whether you face a drunk driving charge or another criminal charge, the police and prosecutor are not your friends.
While they might claim to act in your best interests, DWI charges are rarely open and shut cases. Even when a blood test or breathalyzer shows alcohol in your system, you have options. The District Attorney’s office and police might want you to believe there’s no way to fight your charges. However, this is not true.
Occasionally, evidence proves that the officer did not follow proper protocol when conducting the test. As such, blood tests can be excluded from court cases.
DWI in Texas and the Attorneys at Nguyen & Chen
With an experienced Houston DWI defense attorney, you have an advocate on your side. We know how to handle evidence properly and fight to exclude it when it isn’t. Moreover, we act quickly to protect your driving privileges and ensure your rights are protected.
When our team fights to protect our clients in court, we fight for the best possible outcome no matter what. In some cases for a DWI in Texas, there’s a way to reduce your charges to attain less severe penalties. However, we only resort to that when the dismissal of your charges is no longer possible.
At Nguyen & Chen, our experienced criminal defense attorneys dedicate themselves to your defense. We always fight for your best interests. When you face a DWI in Texas, don’t hesitate for a moment. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with our Houston DWI defense attorneys.