Driving While Intoxicated is a serious case. If you ever find yourself being charged with DWI, the first thing you need to do is contact RRK Law, where an experienced Austin DWI attorney can help guide you through this overwhelming process.
Here are some common questions and answers for defendants facing a DWI charge:
The process will vary per jurisdiction, but in many situations, your vehicle will be impounded after the officer confirmed that you were driving while intoxicated. You will be taken into custody and booked, where you will be given an option to post a bail. Usually, your driving license would be temporarily suspended until a ruling is made.
Here’s the so-called Second Chance Law where your DWI record will be hidden from employers, banks, apartments, and more. However, this will only apply to first-time violators. The record will be nondisclosed but it will not be forgotten. It can still be used by law enforcers if ever another case arises on your account
After you’ve been convicted for DWI, you can only petition the court for nondisclosure after 2 years, given that you follow the rules of your probation and you used an interlock ignition device. If you don’t use an interlock ignition device, you’ll have to wait for 5 years before you can petition for nondisclosure. You can ask the Law Offices of Robert R. Kiesling, a DWI attorney, Austin TX for help with this request.
Penalties will depend on various factors like severity of the offense, state laws, and prior DWI convictions. It can be a fine, revocation or suspension of license, counseling program, or worse, jail time. The alcohol or drug counseling will be an out-of-pocket charge on your end. You might also acquire points on your driving record.
The revocation or suspension of a driving license, again, depends on state laws and severity of the DWI offense. First-time offenders are unlikely to lose their license forever. However, if you have multiple DWI convictions, you stand the chance of being banned from driving for good.
A DWI charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony charge, depending on circumstances and state laws. It would qualify as a mere misdemeanor if your BAC isn’t far from the legal limit, you don’t have prior convictions, and no one was seriously injured or killed.
The state of Texas recently passed House Bill 3582, a law that allows first-time offenders who are charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) the chance to receive deferred adjudication as an alternate path to resolving their case. This new option can provide certain advantages if the accused meets certain criteria and is able to successfully serve out the agreed-upon terms. So, what exactly is deferred adjudication for DWI offenses in Texas?
Deferred adjudication is an alternative court process that does not require a trial, but still involves pleading guilty or no contest to a charge in exchange for a judge deferring the determination of guilt or innocence.
It also usually involves probationary periods and other conditions that must be met as part of the agreement between the defendant and the court system. Depending on individual circumstances, successful completion of all conditions laid out by the judge can result in dismissal and complete expungement of charges from criminal records.
This new law is not retroactive. Therefore, if you were on probation, and you successfully completed it prior to the enactment of the law, you will not be eligible for deferred adjudication, even if you completed it successfully.
Further, any person accused of a misdemeanor that does not involve driving, boating, or flying while intoxicated is eligible for deferred adjudication. This includes felony cases, except those involving driving while intoxicated (DWI), boating while intoxicated (BWI), flying while intoxicated, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, any repeat drug offense with an enhancement due to a drug-free zone finding, and any repeat sex offense.
Deferred adjudication is a form of alternative sentencing which allows the defendant to avoid a criminal conviction if they satisfy certain requirements set by the court, such as completing community service or attending mandatory counseling.
This type of sentencing is typically used in cases where the defendant has no prior criminal record and is seen by the court as potentially being able to turn their life around if given a chance. It also serves as an incentive for defendants to take responsibility for their actions and comply with all terms set forth by the court.
The purpose of this kind of sentencing is to give individuals who have committed minor offenses an opportunity to reintegrate into society without having to carry around a criminal record that could impact their future opportunities.
It’s important to note that even with deferred adjudication, there will still likely be consequences such as hefty fines, possible license suspension or revocation periods, installation of an ignition interlock device (IID), possible jail time (which could be avoided through community service hours) and/or having to attend mandatory educational courses on safe driving habits and alcohol awareness.
For those unsure about their situation or looking for more information about DWI laws in Texas, consulting with an experienced attorney can help provide more insight into potential consequences associated with DWI charges and determine which strategies might work best for each individual case. Ultimately, this latest development in Texas law has created another option for those facing DUI/DWI charges who may have had few alternatives before.
A DWI case can involve a labored process of dealing with legalities and potential penalties. With the help of a top DWI attorney in Austin, TX, you will have somebody to represent you in court. Contact the Law Offices of Robert R. Kiesling for a consultation.