If you were arrested for a DWI in Houston, your freedom, reputation, and financial stability are at risk. You can be charged with a DWI if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08. Keep in mind that the officers can arrest you if you appear to be intoxicated regardless of your BAC.
If you face DWI in Texas, the personal and financial consequences could be severe and long-lasting. For such reasons, it is vital to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you protect your future. However, one of the most common questions that people have after being arrested for a DUI is if they can afford an attorney to protect them. Our team at Johnson, Johnson & Baer, P.C. has put together useful information to know after being arrested for DWI, including information about legal fees.
What Happens When You Get Pulled Over for a DWI?
If you get pulled over on suspicion of a DWI, the police officer will first engage you in a brief conversation to determine if you seem impaired. If the officer thinks you seem intoxicated, they will ask you to step out of the car and take a sobriety test. You may also be asked to take a breathalyzer test. Always be polite and follow the officer's instructions. You should also have your driver's license, registration, and insurance information at hand. If the field tests or breathalyzer show that you're intoxicated, you will be arrested. It is possible that you’ll spend the night in jail.
What Should You Do If You Get Arrested for DWI?
Getting arrested can be a frightening experience. You'll get through it more easily if you follow the officers' instructions, stay polite and do your best to retain your composure. The day after your arrest, you will meet with a court official who will give you a court date and release you on your own recognizance.
Note: If you are arrested for DWI and you have an open container in your car, you could spend six days in jail.
What Are My Rights After Being Arrested for DWI in Texas?
In Texas, you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test. If you do, you will face an automatic suspension of your driver's license for 180 days. You can have an attorney represent you at your court date. It's a good idea to line up legal assistance as soon as you get a court date. Waiting until the last minute will limit your lawyer's ability to examine your case and develop a strong defense. The sooner your lawyer can start, the better your chances of avoiding a DWI conviction.
Texas DWI Penalties
What happens if you're convicted for a DWI in Texas? You could face some stiff penalties and possible jail time.
Penalties for a First Conviction:
- A fine of $1000.
- Possible jail time of up to 180 days.
- Yearly fees to keep your license. These could range from $1000 to $2000 and you'll have to pay them for two to three years
- Loss of your license for one year.
Penalties for a Second Conviction:
- A fine of up to $4000.
- Possible jail time of up to one year.
- Yearly fees to keep your license. These will range from $1500 to $2000 for three years.
- Loss of your license for two years.
Possible Additional Charges:
- Open container: If you have an open container of alcohol in your car, you will be charged a $500 fine.
- Child endangerment: If you have a passenger under the age of 15 in your car, you could be charged with child endangerment if you're convicted of a DWI. That comes with a $10,000 fine, loss of your license for 180 days and possible jail time of two years.
Lasting Consequences of a DWI Conviction
A DWI conviction can have lasting consequences. Some of these consequences include the following:
- Insurance rates: Your insurance rates will go up, and you may have trouble getting traditional car insurance. You'll have to purchase expensive, high-risk insurance.
- Ignition interlock: If you get two DWI convictions in five years, you will have to install an ignition interlock system in your car. This requires you to pass a breathalyzer test every time you drive your vehicle. If you drive more than one car, you must install the interlock on each one. This can be inconvenient and expensive.
- Additional convictions: Getting additional driving-related convictions will result in higher fees and longer jail time.
How an Experienced Texas DWI Lawyer Can Help?
At our Texas DWI law firm, we have the experience and knowledge needed to aggressively fight your DWI and avoid conviction. Our lawyers have over 90 years of combined experience in Texas courts. We are rated as a Texas Super Lawyer and have the highest possible AVVO rating of 10. If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, it's essential to get aggressive, experienced help. Don't let the state take away your driving privileges, your freedom, and your reputation, and get the legal defense plan you need. We are ready to help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Call us today to get started.
Contact our experienced Houston DWI attorneys today at (713) 422-2270 to schedule a consultation!