DWI is a very expensive allegation. If you are convicted, then you face being assessed thousands of dollars in fines, court costs, administrative surcharges, increases in your car insurance (as well as being required to maintain SR-22 insurance during the time that you have an occupational drivers license), education courses, Victim Impact Panel classes, restitution, as well as time spent performing community service and other conditions required if you are granted community supervision (probation) by the judge rather than a jail sentence.
For a first offense allegation, you face a range of punishment (if no person was injured and no child was involved) of up to 180 days confinement in a county jail, and up to a $2,000 fine or both. For a second offense, it is a Class A misdemeanor which carries with it a range of punishment of up to 365 days in county jail, up to a $4,000 fine, or both…plus many enhanced surcharges.
A third offense is considered and charged as a Felony. In addition to potential exposure to confinement in the Texas Department of Correctional Facilities, also a fine of up to $10,000.
It is imperative to fight each charge with diligence as it is very easy for an arresting officer to make an arrest. It is much more difficult for the State of Texas to obtain a DWI conviction as they must prove each and every element BEYOND A REAS0NABLE DOUBT which is the highest burden of proof in our system of jurisprudence. As a citizen accused of Driving While Intoxicated, you are presumed to be innocent and have nothing to prove. The State holds the burden of proof, and the jury will be instructed that they are not allowed to use your election not to testify as evidence of your guilt should you so choose. Your attorney can cross examine the State’s witnesses, including but not limited to the arresting officer. You are also afforded the opportunity to put on your own evidence and own witnesses should you so choose in your defense…although you are not required to do so in order to be found “Not Guilty” because you are presumed to be innocent under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
If you have been accused or arrested in Texas, it is important to consult and hire and be represented by an experienced DWI lawyer. Please contact one of our experienced lawyers today for a free initial consultation in the Plano, Texas office at Pelley Law Office, L.L.P. to learn your rights and defenses at 555 Republic Drive, Ste. 101; Plano, Texas 75074 or call 903-813-4778.