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DWI: First Offense

Updated: Mar 5, 2023 @ 6:11 pm

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Understanding Texas Law & First-Time DWI Offenses

Houston DWI Attorney Tad NelsonIt only takes one — conviction for a first DWI offense can have repercussions that will haunt you for a lifetime. To prevent this from happening, you need to contact an aggressive, results-oriented defense attorney as soon as possible.

At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we have the experience, history of success and dedication to the study of criminal defense law needed to help you fight your DWI with success. We will stand by your side at both your civil and criminal hearings, and ensure that you always have a strong advocate protecting your rights. Whether you live in Clear Lake, Galveston, or elsewhere in Greater Houston, you can count on us. If you have any questions, call our office at 713-802-1631.

Criminal Penalties: First Offense DWI Convictions

  • Up to a $2,000 fine for first offense DWI
  • 72 hours to 180 days in jail
  • Driver’s license suspension: 90 days to 1 year


Most people convicted of a first DWI offense do not serve any jail time. They are technically sentenced to jail, but the jail sentence is suspended and they are put on community supervision (probation). The probation is generally for a term of one year but under certain circumstances it can be as much as two years or as little as six months. While on community supervision you must do what the judge orders you to do. These directives are called conditions of probation. If the conditions are not followed, the judge has the option of revoking your community supervision and putting you in jail for any number of days up to the original jail sentence you received that was suspended.

The judge can order any reasonable condition on your probation. The typical conditions of probation are as follows:

  • Do not violate the law.
  • Report to your probation officer. (This is usually once a month.)
  • Pay your fine, court costs and monthly probation fees.
  • Do community service. For a first offense DWI you must do between 24 and 80 hours community service. The type of community service varies.
  • Abstain from the use of alcohol and any non prescription medication.
  • You cannot enter bars, taverns and lounges.
  • You may never become intoxicated.
  • You must attend DWI Education classes.
  • You must attend what is called a Victim Impact Panel. This is presented by M.A.D.D. It is designed to educate on the dangers of DWI.
  • Get a drug and alcohol evaluation. (If the evaluation reveals you have a problem with drugs or alcohol then treatment of the problem will be ordered.)
  • Maintain a job and support all your dependents

(These are the most common conditions that are imposed on a person placed on probation on a DWI first offense)

Consequences Of A First DWI In The State Of Texas

Common consequences of DWI convictions include:

  • Days, weeks or even months of jail time
  • Thousands of dollars in fines
  • Suspension of your driver’s license for up to a year
  • Probation that lasts from six months to two years
  • A criminal record that will follow you for the remainder of your life

We use our extensive DWI defense experience to help you minimize or avoid the repercussions of a DWI charge. Our dedicated team is led by Tad Nelson, a Texas attorney with more than two decades of legal experience and a background in the prosecutor’s office. Mr. Nelson’s insight into prosecutorial tactics and strategies allows us to craft effective defenses that protect your rights and keep a DWI from ruining your life.

View our DWI Law And Penalties page for more details about First DWI Offenses in Texas.

Arrested in League City, Or Houston for a 1st-Time DWI?

Contact Our League City or Houston Office Today!

Even a first DWI can affect you for the rest of your life if it is not handled properly. Arrange a free initial consultation with one of our accomplished lawyers and protect your rights by calling 713-802-1631 or by filling out our online form.

Understanding Texas Law & First-Time DWI Offenses

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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