Even a first-time DWI charge can have serious consequences that can impair your ability to work, drive, and support yourself and your family. As the potential repercussions are so severe, you may wish to look to a Collin County DWI lawyer for legal assistance in your case.
A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer could evaluate the facts surrounding your case and provide you with all available options for resolution. With the legal advice that you need in this situation, you may be able to make more effective decisions in your case.
DWI Charges and Penalties
A first DWI charge is generally a Class B misdemeanor unless there are circumstances that elevate the offense or potential penalties. These aggravating factors include the presence of an open alcohol container in the vehicle and a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater.
A Class B misdemeanor can result in a jail sentence of up to 180 days. A DWI conviction also can lead to the administrative suspension of driving privileges. The court also may require those drivers who are convicted of DWI to complete an approved alcohol education class. For those who are facing any level of a DWI charge, getting advice from a DWI attorney in Collin County may be essential to a successful resolution of the charges.
Administrative Driver License Suspension
When drivers are accused of DWI, they become subject to the administrative driver license suspension process, which operates completely independently of any penalties ordered by a court in criminal proceedings. For a first DWI conviction in which drivers had a BAC of 0.08 percent or greater, the potential suspension is 90 days, and one year in the case of a second offense within ten years. If drivers refuse to take the BAC blood or breath test, then the suspension is 180 days for a first offense and two years for a second offense within ten years.
The timeframe in which drivers accused of DWI can request a hearing on the suspension of their licenses is extremely limited. Drivers have only 15 days to request an Administrative License Revocation hearing or their license suspensions will go into effect. A Collin County DWI lawyer could help drivers in this position with administrative license suspension proceedings, as well as with their criminal court proceedings.
Intoxicated Driving as a Felony Offense
In some cases, certain circumstances make the DWI offense much more serious, which can result in felony charges. For example, committing a DWI with a child passenger under the age of 15 is a state jail felony for which drivers can serve as much as two years in prison under Tex. Penal Code § 49.045.
Similarly, if a DWI results in serious bodily injury to others, the charge may be intoxication assault pursuant to Tex. Penal Code § 49.07. This offense is a third-degree felony that could result in a prison sentence ranging from two to 10 years, in addition to a maximum $10,000 fine.
Call a Collin County DWI Attorney
When you are arrested for DWI, you may feel as if your entire world is falling apart. You are likely scared and may be unsure how to even begin handling your DWI case. In these circumstances, your first call might need be to a Collin County DWI lawyer.
No matter how bleak your situation may look, there still is hope. Obtaining legal representation may be key to working through your DWI charges and emerging relatively unscathed from the experience. Call today.