Austin DWI & Drunk Driving Lawyers
Helping Austinites in Challenging Times
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense that can result in severe financial, professional, and personal costs. If you have been charged, you must protect yourself as soon as possible by hiring a professional criminal defense lawyer that can help you avoid facing harsh penalties.
What is Driving While Intoxicated?
In Texas, DWI refers to the operation of a motor vehicle while being intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol. Texas law defines intoxication through two distinct conditions:
1) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body
2) a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 0.08
It is important to note that the first condition allows an officer to accuse you of a DWI regardless of your blood alcohol concentration. An officer only needs probable cause indicating that you are intoxicated, usually denoted through observations of the driver's appearance, odor, behavior, the presence of alcohol, and a series of sobriety tests.
The second condition is a more objective measure of signifying intoxication. A BAC of 0.08 or above can result in a DWI charge for adults, while a BAC above 0 can result in a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge for minors. Both charges can have extreme consequences.
DWI Penalties in Austin
DWI charges can result in severe penalties. The extent of the penalty depends on the number of previous offenses.
1st Offense: The first offense can result in a fine of up to $2,000, jail time between 3-180 days, license suspension of up to 2 years, and mandatory DWI education.
2nd Offense: The second offense can result in a fine of up to $4,000, jail time between 1 month and 1 year, license suspension of up to 2 years, and mandatory DWI education.
3rd+ Offense: Three or more offenses can result in a fine of up to $10,000, jail time between 2 to 10 years, license suspension of up to 2 years, and mandatory DWI education.
An experienced lawyer is invaluable when facing a DWI charge. Having a lawyer on your side with extensive experience in DWI cases can be the difference between a DWI dismissal and possible jail time. Start your defense as soon as possible to fight a potential suspension of your driver's license.