I am often asked about the differences between DUI and DWI punishments. As I explained in last week’s blog, a DUI in Texas is for a person under the age of 21 who has any detectable amount of alcohol in their system. A DWI is for a person of any age who was intoxicated through the introduction of any intoxicant into their system (that can be alcohol, cocaine, marijuana…the list goes on). Refer back to that blog if you want to know more about the differences in what is a DUI or a DWI.
A DUI in Texas is a class C misdemeanor. That is an offense on the same level as a traffic ticket. Usually we can work these case out to completely come off someone’s record. The maximum punishment on a DUI is a $1500 fine and court costs. A person can not be sent to jail on a DUI as punishment, although they can be arrested on the night of. While it might sound like you can take care of a DUI yourself, having a skillful lawyer is important to the correct resolution of your case. Properly handled these cases can usually come off your record. Handled poorly it will be on your record for the rest of your life.
A DWI in Texas can range from a class B misdemeanor (first offense with a Blood Alcohol Concentration below 0.15) to a class A misdemeanor (second offense, or a First with a Blood Alcohol Concentration above 0.15). These cases can carry punishments of up to $10,000 and up to one year in jail. The punishments can be even more severe if there was a person under the age of 15 in the car with you, if it is your third or more DWI offense, or if someone is seriously hurt or killed in the DWI. In those cases a person can face up to 20 years or more.
As you can see, whether you are charged with a DUI or a DWI, it is important to get competent legal representation to help fight your case. If you or someone you love is facing these charges, call us today to talk to someone about it. We are here to help.