Austin DWI Attorney Clarifies, What Is The Punishment For The First DWI In Texas?
“My first advice to any person or any client is to NOT drive a vehicle after drinking,” states Kevin Bennett, considered the best DWI attorney in Austin, Texas. “If you are not driving then you won’t be arrested on a drunk driving charge. But the reality is that many people do get arrested for DWI and they are finding themselves sleeping on a concrete bed and using a stainless steel toilet with no lid in the morning. And when you add up all the costs involved they can total tens of thousands of dollars. A taxi or Uber ride would have been a lot cheaper,” comments Mr. Bennett, founder of The Law Office of Kevin Bennett.
There are a number of possible punishments for a first time DWI offender in Austin. If there is a conviction the judge will evaluate the circumstances surrounding the arrest and the police officer’s report and testimony. But the punishment begins with the following.
Assuming a first-time DWI offense with no injuries and no accident, the arrestee can expect to be charged with a Class B misdemeanor which comes with a possible jail sentence up to 180 days in jail and a $2000 fine. If the individual is convicted the judge has additional punishments available if he/she feels they are appropriate.
Other Associated DWI Punishments and Costs
- Potential Job Loss
- Legal Representation of a DWI or DUI lawyer
- Mandatory Participation in a DWI school
- Mandatory Participation in one or more alcohol and drug educational programs
- Mandatory Community service
- Probation Officer Reports
- Ignition Interlock Device
A DWI arrest can impact an individual for life. Therefore Mr. Bennett has stated that the most important decision one can make after the fact is to hire an experienced and skilled DWI attorney that can communicate effectively and minimize the damage for the individual. And there can be a lot of potential problems ahead.
However, any competent criminal attorney or DWI lawyer will have to review his/her client’s case for aggravating factors. These factors can expand the punishment significantly. If there was an open container in the arrestee’s car then the driver will receive a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six days. If the blood alcohol content (BAC) was .15 or greater then the charge is upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor. This charge includes the possibility of a maximum of one year in jail and a $4000 fine. Perhaps the most serious aggravating factor is having a child under the age of 15 in the car during the offense. The prosecutor will upgrade the charge to a felony with a potential of two years in jail and a $10,000 fine.
There are also administrative penalties for a driving-while-intoxicated arrest. The most serious is a suspension of the driver’s license. If the driver took a breathalyzer test and had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher then the driver’s license is suspended between 90 and 365 days. If the driver refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test then the suspension period is between 180 days and two years.
How Do I Choose A DWI Lawyer?
This is one of the key questions a person should ask after being arrested for a DWI offense. They should organize their thoughts and carefully read the reviews left by earlier clients. Most questions about a DWI lawyer will fall into following categories.
- Experience with DWI cases
- Success rate with DWI and DUI cases
- Reviews of past clients
- Lawyer’s major practice is criminal law and DWI law
“I have defended hundreds of people arrested for DWI offenses since I established The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. My background as a criminal attorney and an Austin DWI attorney has helped me represent people who are in greater need of education and counseling rather than punishment. All of my clients regret their actions and my job is to effectively defend them, minimize their punishments, and help them straighten out their lives. And they all get my lecture on a second DWI offense. It is not pretty and they need to understand that in the clearest of terms,” stated Mr. Bennett.
Kevin Bennett is a native citizen of Austin. He was born in the Texas capital and earned an Economics degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated with a law degree from the South Texas College of Law in Houston. He has a history of assisting and advocating for others in times of need. He is acutely aware that good people can make bad mistakes and that sometimes individuals are falsely accused of wrongdoing. These errors should not require an individual to spend the rest of his or her life paying for them. Mr. Bennett can be reached at (512) 476-4626.
Hiring the right DWI lawyer is the most important decision an individual can make after a DWI arrest. An attorney should be experienced in the area and have good reviews.