I was in a minor car accident. No injuries, kids in my car. First offense. I know what the penalties are 180 days-2 years in State Jail. What am I really looking at. Money is tight to get a lawyer quickly. The people I hit are not pressing charges. I have already started AA classes. I'm trying to avoid jail time.
You are correct that a first offense DWI, with a Child Passenger, is a State Jail Felony. And yes, a State Jail Felony in Texas does carry a maximum punishment of up to 2 years in state jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. Other conditions may also be placed upon you such as an interlock device required to be installed on your car, alcohol awareness and various DWI classes, and/or community service. What you can actually expect to receive depends on several factors. Do you have any other criminal history? What county did you receive the charge in? If you received the DWI in a more conservative, pro-prosecution county, the plea bargain offered will be much more harsh. But generally speaking, if you do not have other criminal history, and nobody was hurt in the accident, you will most likely be looking at an offer of probation. The DA seeking jail time on a first offense, with no injuries, is unlikely. If they do decide to seek jail time, you may also be eligible for a work release program, wherein you could serve the time on weekends or at night, after work. But in my experience, it is unlikely that the DA will seek any amount of jail time in this situation. Please understand though, that you should still consult an attorney to make sure that you are properly represented and all of your rights are protected. This could have an enormous effect on the plea bargain you end up receiving.
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Mr. Ross' answers are correct.
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