I Just Got Arrested for a DWI in Austin: Your Guide to Austin, Texas, DWI Arrests

Blurred photo from inside a car at night

It can happen any night of the week. Maybe you were driving home from dinner. Perhaps you were cruising home after watching a mid-afternoon game at a friend’s house. Perhaps you went out to have “just one.” But in Austin, Texas, DWI arrests occur at any time, and there’s nothing ordinary about the trouble they can cause.

In addition to legal punishments, which can include fines, jail time, mandatory alcohol education classes, and more, getting a DWI can negatively affect your professional life. Those facing Austin DWI arrests may be in danger of losing their jobs, volunteer positions, college admissions or scholarships, and more.

If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges in Austin, it’s important to understand the process and know your rights under Texas law.

Austin DWI Arrests

DWI consequences in Austin will depend on many factors, including your history with drunk driving, your blood alcohol level, whether you had a child in the car with you, if you caused a car wreck, and others.

Texas DWI, which can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony based on the circumstances, can come with a range of consequences for those who are convicted. This includes potential jail time, hefty fines, an alcohol education course, a license suspension, ignition interlock device requirements, and more.

If you face an Austin DWI arrest, you are typically taken to Travis County Jail, where you will be fingerprinted and photographed. A magistrate sets a bond for your release, which is typically $2,000 or less if it’s your first DWI arrest.

Once someone posts bail for you, whether it’s a bail bondsman or a loved one, it’s important to place a call to a DWI lawyer to represent you.

A Texas DWI arrest kicks off a legal process. The time from the arrest until the case is finished can be months.

What Class Misdemeanor Is a DWI in Texas?

The state recognizes three classes for misdemeanors: A, B, and C. Of the three, the Class A charge is the most serious and carries more severe punishments.

First-time Texas DWI arrests usually rank as Class B misdemeanors. While the least serious of the charges, it can still negatively impact a driver’s life in many ways. You face up to $2,000 in fines, up to 6 months in jail, and up to a 365-day license suspension.

Some DWIs are classified as Class A misdemeanors. These are usually reserved for second offenses or when the driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or more. Class A misdemeanors include a fine of up to $4,000 and a maximum of two years in jail. Moreover, a driver faces a license suspension for up to three years.

It’s important to note that some DWI offenses can be classified as felonies in Texas, such as third time DWI offenders or those who were DWI with a child passenger in a vehicle.

Further, a judge may require drivers facing Austin DWI arrests to attend alcohol education courses and do community service work. The driver’s ability to bear arms or leave the county may be restricted.

While a driver’s license may be suspended for DWI, it’s possible for the driver to get an occupational license, which allows the driver special permission to drive to and from work or handle other essential matters such as doctors appointments.

How Long Does a DWI Stay on Your Record in Texas?

Typically, every DWI conviction in Texas is permanent. An Austin DWI charge may show up on internet searches for your name and may prevent you from getting a job or gaining acceptance to a school.

However, while the records of Texas DWI convictions are permanent, it’s possible to clear DWI charges from your record through a process called expungement. However, expungement generally is only available to those who were found not guilty, who were arrested as a minor, or who had a deferred or dismissed case.

How to Navigate a Second DWI Offense in Texas

If you’re facing a second DWI arrest in Austin, you will find the process is slightly different from the first time. This is true even if your first charge was dismissed.

Second offenses are treated much more seriously than first offenses based on the statutes alone, and Austin judges have the authority to assign much harsher penalties.

In addition to increased fines and jail time, a second DWI in Austin can lead to other consequences, including requirements to install an ignition interlock device on the driver’s car that prevents the car from being driven if the driver has consumed alcohol.

If you’re facing a second DWI charge, it’s in your best interest to hire a good lawyer. A DWI lawyer can help protect your freedoms and get the best possible outcome for your case.

If you’ve been arrested for a second DWI, you have only 15 days to request an administrative hearing to prevent an automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

In addition to increased fines and jail time, a second DWI conviction in Austin will lead to other consequences. For example, a person facing a second DWI arrest won’t be able to post bond until they agree to install an ignition interlock device on their car that prevents it from being driven if the driver has consumed alcohol.

A second DWI conviction also carries a mandatory three-day jail sentence.

If you’re facing a second DWI charge, it’s in your best interest to hire a good lawyer. A DWI lawyer can help protect your freedoms and get the best possible outcome for your case.

Ready to schedule your free consultation with our Austin criminal defense lawyers? Contact us online or call us at (512) 991-0576 today.

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