DWI charges in Conroe and the Houston area are typically classed as misdemeanors, but defendants should still know what they are facing. By having a DWI Lawyer throughout the process, the defendant can learn what to expect and they can get an idea of the case’s possible outcome. Below are several things to consider when charged with a DWI.
Higher BAC = More Severe Charges
There are several ways to be charged with DWI. One can face charges for operating a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or they can face more severe misdemeanor charges for operating with a higher BAC (usually .08-.14%). Operating with a BAC of .15 or more can result in a Class A misdemeanor charge.
Loss of Driving Privileges
When one is arrested for DWI, the police file an affidavit for probable cause. When a judge signs the affidavit, the defendant’s driving privileges are suspended. Those on their first conviction can face a license suspension of up to two years.
There May be Other Driving Options
The court can allow a DWI defendant to drive even on a suspended license. Here, the court has the authority to issue a hardship or restricted license, or to allow the defendant to operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device.
DWI Can Lead to a Jail Sentence
As previously stated, a DWI with a .15 BAC is a Class A misdemeanor, which means that the defendant can receive a jail sentence of up to one year. Those facing subsequent or felony DWI charges can face even more severe penalties, and finding a lawyer can sometimes help a defendant achieve a favorable outcome in a DWI case.
All DWI Cases Don’t Have to Lead to Conviction
Many jurisdictions offer alternatives to a DWI conviction appearing on one’s record. In many cases, these programs are a combination of things like ignition interlock installation, mandatory alcohol treatment classes and victim impact meetings and community service. Here, a Conroe DWI lawyer can intervene on the client’s behalf and get the punishment’s severity reduced.
DWI is a serious crime, even if it is a misdemeanor, and a conviction can have lasting consequences. Most cases have simple resolutions, but some can be complex, and defendants should consult an attorney as soon as they learn that they are facing charges. By hiring a local DWI Lawyer, defendants can protect their legal rights and get the best possible outcome.