Dallas DWI Penalties Lawyer – Questions

What are the penalties for DWI?

If you decide to plead guilty to a DWI or do not receive a favorable verdict at trial there is a range of penalties that can occur. Depending on the number of prior convictions a person has and when those convictions occurred, a DWI can be either a misdemeanor or a felony offense.

Generally speaking, the penalties for DWI are as follows:

a) first offense:

a first-offense conviction includes a fine not to exceed $2,000.00 and/or the possibility of serving jail time from 3 days to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days. (Class B Misdemeanor).

b) second offense:

the maximum fine increases to no more than $4,000.00 and/or jail from 30 days to one year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to 2 years. (Class A Misdemeanor).

c) third offense:

here, you may receive a fine up to $10,000.00 and/or 2 to 10 years of imprisonment, and suspension of your driver’s license ranging from 180 days up to 2 years. (3rd Degree Felony).

d) DWI with an open alcohol container (first offense):

In addition to the penalty referenced above you face a minimum 6 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000.00. (Class B Misdemeanor).

e) DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury because of the intoxication:

this crime is called intoxication assault, if convicted you may serve a minimum of 2 years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000.00. (3rd Degree Felony).

f) DWI where a death has occurred because of the intoxication:

this crime is extremely serious and is intoxication manslaughter. If convicted you may pay a maximum fine of $10,000.00 and/or be imprisoned from 2 to 20 years (Intoxicated Manslaughter or Manslaughter with use of Deadly Weapon are both 2nd Degree Felonies).

e) DWI with a child passenger:

A person commits a state jail felony if they drive while intoxicated and there is another person in the vehicle who is under 15 years of age. ‘Punishment for a non-enhanced state jail felony is by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than 2 years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.00.

In some of the above minor classifications you may be eligible for probation, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a probated jail sentence or fine.

Standard Misdemeanor DWI Conditions of Probation include:

  • Report once a month to a probation officer
  • Not to commit any further crimes during the term of probation
  • To pay a monthly supervisory fee to the probation office (approximately $40.00)
  • To perform a specified number of community service hours during the term of your probation (between 24 and 80 hours) (community service is volunteer work to benefit the community)
  • To attend DWI awareness classes dealing with the effects of alcohol or listening to victims of DWI related tragedies,
  • To disdain from consuming alcohol for the term of your probation
  • To pay your non-probated fines and court costs
  • Any other requirements the court sets for you.

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