If faced with a DWI in San Antonio it is important to know that there is help available. However, you should also know that if you have refused to submit to chemical testing, or failed a blood or breath intoxication test for a DWI, you only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension to get your driver’s license back. Our DWI lawyer in San Antonio can help you in trying to avoid the suspension of your driver’s license.
How our San Antonio DWI Lawyer can help
If you have been charged with a DWI in San Antonio, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced DWI lawyer in San Antonio who can zealously represent you and aggressively protect your rights. The Law Office of Case J. Darwin Inc. offers a fair, competitive fee and such fee will normally include a trial. Most DWI attorneys will simply just plead you out, and, normally, the penalties are the same as if you had a trial. Thus, it is our philosophy that you should go to trial or receive a reduction in your charge (such as a reckless driving charge), as juries can tend to sympathize to DWI defendants.
What you need to know about DWI Charges
First, Texas Law requires that any person found to have committed the crime of DWI be adjudicated guilty. This has serious implications because a DWI conviction can never be expunged from your record nor can your record ever be sealed.
DWI First Offense
Up to a $2,000 fine, 72 hours to 180 days in jail, and Driver’s license suspension: 90 days to 1 year. Probation: Most people convicted of a first offense DWI do not serve any jail time. They are technically sentenced to jail, but the jail sentence is suspended and they are put on probation (community supervision). The probation is generally for a term of one to two years. While on probation you must do what the judge orders you to do. These orders are called conditions of probation. If you do not do what the judge has ordered you to do (the conditions), then the judge has the option of revoking your probation and putting you in jail for any number of days up to the original jail sentence you received that was suspended.
The judge can order any reasonable condition on your probation. The typical conditions of probation are the following:
- Do not violate the law
- Report to your probation officer (this is usually once a month)
- Pay your fine, court costs, and monthly probation fees
- Do your community service. For a first-offense DWI, you must do between 24 and 80 hours community service. The type of community service varies,
You cannot drink alcohol
- You must attend a DWI education classes
- You must attend what is called a Victim Impact Panel. M.A.D.D. presents this Victim Impact Panel. It is designed to educate on the dangers of driving while intoxicated, and;
- Get a drug and alcohol evaluation. (If the evaluation reveals you have a problem with drugs or alcohol, then treatment of the problem will be ordered.), and maintain a job.
These are the most common conditions that are imposed on a person placed on probation for a DWI first offense.
DWI Second Offense
Up to a $4,000 fine, 30 days to 1 year in jail, and Driver’s license suspension: 180 days to 2 years.
If you are convicted of a second DWI in San Antonio, TX, you are eligible for probation. Probation is not granted as often for a second DWI as it is for first, but it is not uncommon. If you are given probation on a second DWI, the requirements will generally be much more demanding than a first offense. Likewise, the length of probation will more than likely be for a full two years. The additional requirements that are generally required on a second offense are as follows:
- You must serve jail time as a condition of your probation (The maximum is 30 days, this is day for day jail time.)
- The community service must be from 80 to 200 hours, and;
- You will be required to have a deep lung air device on your vehicle. This is a breath test hooked up to your car’s ignition. If alcohol is on your breath, your car will not start. This will be automatically reported to your probation officer as a violation of your probation and can cause your probation to be revoked.
DWI Third Offense
Up to a $10,000 fine, 2 to 10 years in the state penitentiary, and Driver’s license suspension: 180 days to 2 years. Probation: If you are convicted of a third DWI, situations exist where you are eligible for probation and some where you are not. If you are eligible for probation, the term must be from 2 to 10 years. The courts will look at many factors in determining if you get probation. Some of these factors are:
- How long has it been since your last DWI?
- If you previously had a probation, how did you do on that probation (Did you ever violate a condition of the probation?)?
- How severe are the facts of the new case? Was there an accident? If you took the test, how high was you alcohol concentration?
- Are there any aggravating factors?
Shock probation is another possibility. Shock probation is where you are actually sentenced and go to the penitentiary. At any time prior to 180 days from the date of being sentenced to prison, the court can Shock you out of prison and put you on probation. To qualify for Shock probation you must be eligible for probation and never have been sentenced to prison. Then it is the decision of the court that sent you to prison.
The following conditions of probation will likely be required if a person is granted probation for a Felony DWI (In addition to the ones required for a Class A misdemeanor):
- There must be from 160 to 600 hours of community service
- You must serve jail time as a condition of probation, and;
- A judge can require various types of alcohol treatment programs.
These range from inpatient treatment to outpatient treatment.
For more information on DUI and DWI laws in Texas visit dmv.org.