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Consequences of Drunk Driving

Updated: Mar 5, 2023 @ 9:33 pm

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Houston DWI Attorney Tad NelsonTo learn more about these and other DWI consequences, contact our firm and arrange a free initial consultation.

Court-related Consequences

  • When convicted of DWI in Texas the CONVICTION is FINAL. There is no Deferred adjudication, no Petition for non-disclosure, and certainly no Expunctions. Once convicted it is on your criminal record FOREVER.
  • JAIL – up to 12 months on a misdemeanor offense; and up to 10 years in The Penitentiary on a first time felony DWI.
  • Fines – Misdemeanor – up to $4000; – Felonies- up to $10,000.
  • State surcharges – Misdemeanor – minimum of $1,000 per year for three years, with greater amounts up to $2,000 for multiple offenders or offenders with high (.15) breath test results also up to three years.
  • Probation periods of up to 2 years on a misdemeanor, and 10 years on a felony. Although probation is not always available in all courts for a first time felony charge; therefore the DEFENDANT may end up in the Penitentiary on a first time felony.
  • Ignition interlock – the “blow and go device” – will be required on virtually all repeat offenses. This will also be a condition of bond on all defendants with prior convictions as well as a condition of any Occupational license issued.
  • There will be many conditions of probation that will include reporting to a probation officer, taking a 24 hour DWI, attending a presentation by the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, probation fees, etc, etc. Pretty much anything else the Judge decides.
  • DWI is the only motor vehicle offense that is reported to the State Criminal Database (TCIC) and the National Criminal Database (NCIC). The NCIC is kept by the FBI; never a good thing when they open a file on you!
  • A first conviction starts the ball rolling on enhanced punishments. DWI in the State of Texas is punished progressively; the next one is always going to be worst.
  • Community service hours – starting as low as 24 hours for the first misdemeanor and progressing all the way up around 500 for some felonies.
  • Attendance at a 12 or 30 hour DWI education class as a precondition to the State returning your driving privileges. You may also b e ordered to attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP), which is a presentation of the impact of DWI put on by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Drivers).

Drivers License Consequences

  • License suspension (length varies, depending on priors DWI convictions and dates of those prior convictions).
  • Sr-22 (assigned high risk insurance with higher rates) for several years under certain conditions.
  • If caught driving on a suspended license there will be an immediate arrest initiated by law enforcement.

Related Resource: DWI Conviction Penalties

Consequences of DWI Offenses in Texas

The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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