Probation For DWI In Texas
Let’s take a look at the different punishments and probation conditions that usually accompany Texas DWI convictions.
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What are the punishments for a first DWI offense?
Texas Penal Code Section 49.04(b) tells us that a DWI first offense is a Class B misdemeanor. That means a fine up to $2,000, suspension of the person’s driver license for 90 days-1 year, and anywhere from 72 hours-180 days in jail.
However, 49.04(d) tells us that if the person convicted of a DWI had a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or more, the charge will automatically be a Class A misdemeanor.
That means, even for a first-time offense, a fine up to $4,000, 72 hours-1 year in jail, and a suspended license for 90 days to 1 year.
What are the penalties for a second or third DWI offense?
For a second offense, the crime is a Class A misdemeanor. This means a potential fine up to $4,000, a suspended or revoked license for 180 days to 1 year, and 30 days to a year in jail.
For a third offense or higher, the crime is a Third-Degree felony. That means a fine up to $10,000, 2-10 years in jail, and a driver’s license suspension for 180 days-2 years.
Can you get probation for a DWI?
Often times DWI convictions result in probation. When someone receives probation for a DWI, he or she is usually sentenced to much stiffer penalties than he or she actually suffers. The offender might be sentenced to jail time, a hefty fine, and the suspension of his or her driver’s license.
However, the judge then “probates” that sentence. What that means is that those punishments are “suspended” and are not actually carried out while the offender is on probation.
The judge will set a period for the probation along with certain guidelines and requirements. If the offender successfully completes probation, the original harsher sentence will not be carried out.
What are some probation conditions for a DWI?
What conditions will apply during the probationary period are determined by each individual judge. Every case is different. However, common conditions include:
- Reporting monthly to an assigned probation officer.
- Paying a portion of the original fine and court costs.
- Attending DWI education or alcohol awareness classes.
- Remaining in the county unless the offender obtains permission from the judge.
- Not consuming any alcohol during the probationary period.
- Performing a designated amount of community service.
- Not committing any additional crimes while on probation.
- Submitting to a breath test if requested by law enforcement or the judge.
- In certain cases, having an alcohol ignition interlock device installed in the offender’s vehicle.
While these conditions are common during DWI probation, they are only a few examples.
Remember, the judge crafts the conditions of probation for each offender, and each individual case is different.
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