Written by attorney Dan Kirby

What to Expect from a First DWI Conviction

Being arrested for DWI for the first time is a frightening experience. Getting the help of an experienced DWI attorney can help you understand what types of penalties you are facing and how to fight them.

Have you been arrested for DWI in Texas? If so, you will need to learn more about Texas DWI laws so you can be proactive about your situation. Texas lawmakers are notoriously tough on drunk driving; therefore, you are going to need all the help you can get from a skilled DWI defense lawyer.

A first time DWI offense is a class B misdemeanor in Texas. It is punishable by a maximum $2,000 fine, from 72 hours to six months in jail and a minimum of 24 hours to a maximum of 100 hours of community service.

If there weren’t any aggravating circumstances, most individuals will be placed on probation after a first DWI offense. The average length of such probation is from one to two years. However, there are specific conditions that must be met while a person is placed on community supervision (probation). These can include drug/alcohol evaluation, mandatory attendance of an approved DUI education class, and mandatory attendance and completion of a Victim Impact Panel.

A person who is placed on probation following a DUI conviction is also expected to hold down a suitable job, they cannot commit any new crimes and they must maintain their job and their residence unless they notify their community supervision officer.

They are also expected to report monthly to their supervision office, pay all required fines in a timely manner and pay the monthly supervisory fee. Once on probation, they are required to perform all of their specified hours of community or volunteer service without fail.

The above are the minimum requirements that you will be expected to fulfill. If there were unusual facts present in your case such as an accident, a poor driving record, an alcohol problem etc. then you could be ordered additional conditions of your probation.

Additional conditions that may be imposed would be the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, alcohol treatment or you may be ordered not to consume any alcohol. Furthermore, if you caused an accident and you did not carry insurance, you may be ordered to pay restitution for any unpaid amounted as ordered by the Court as a condition of your probation.

In addition to the above penalties, a first time DWI conviction will result in a permanent mark on your criminal record. A criminal record will directly affect your future opportunities such as employment, housing and financial aid for college. If you have been arrested for DWI, you should secure legal counsel from a highly experienced DWI lawyer right away!

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