Whether you only planned on having one drink or you thought your buzz had gone away before getting behind the wheel, facing a DWI charge is an overwhelming experience for many.  If facing a first-offense DWI charge in the Lone Star state, it’s important to understand what you are up against. The following blog explores the common questions you may have about this offense and the importance of connecting with Houston DWI lawyers who can fight for you during these challenging and anxiety-inducing times.

What Warrants a DWI in Texas?

In Texas, anyone found driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). It’s important to understand, however, that you will be automatically charged with a DWI if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This is known as the legal limit. However, if you have any detectable amount of alcohol in your system and the officer determines it has hindered your ability to safely operate a vehicle, they can still charge you with a DWI, even if you are below the legal limit.

What Penalties Can I Face for a First-Offense Charge?

Those charged with a DWI for the first time are often under the false misconception that they will walk away with a stern warning from the officer. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, Texas takes these offenses very seriously, and you can face significant consequences if convicted.

A first-offense DWI is charged as a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. As such, you will face a mandatory minimum of 72 hours in jail with the potential for up to 180 days. Additionally, you will lose your driver’s license for up to one year and face a fine of up to $2,000.

However, it’s necessary to understand these are the minimum offenses you can face. If there are additional factors, such as driving with a BAC at or over 0.15% or driving with a minor in the vehicle under the age of 15, the charges can increase to a Class A misdemeanor and felony, respectively. This means the penalties you will face can also increase.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If you are charged with a DWI, understanding the importance of connecting with an experienced attorney is essential. Not only can they help guide you through the confusing criminal justice system, but they can also help represent you during these challenging times. This includes ensuring the police and prosecutor cannot take advantage of you. Additionally, they will examine the circumstances of your case to determine the best course of action for your circumstances.

At the Sparks Law Firm, PC, we understand how complex these matters can be. That’s why our dedicated legal team is ready to represent you. Whether you made a mistake or were falsely accused, we can stand by you. Connect with us today to learn how we can guide you through these complex matters.