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How A DWI Guilty Plea Can Ruin Your Life

By: Mark Diaz January 9, 2023 no comments

How A DWI Guilty Plea Can Ruin Your Life

If you are charged with a DWI in Galveston and plead guilty, it may have a devastating impact on your life. That is why hiring a Galveston DWI lawyer is essential to fight the charge with everything in their power.

If you are considering pleading guilty to a DWI charge, read below about why that is usually a terrible idea. When you want the most vigorous DUI defense, please contact the Galveston DWI lawyers at Mark Diaz & Associates. They have an excellent track record fighting these serious charges for their Texas clients.

What Is A Texas DWI?

In Texas, you are legally intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher. So, when the police pull you over, they will probably try to give you a breath test. If you show a BAC over .08%, they will arrest you for DWI.

Many people do not understand how easy it is to get a .08% BAC. Women and people who are lighter in weight can get to .08% by drinking only one or two drinks in 60 minutes.

That is why if you think you have drank too much, you should err on the side of caution every time. It is easy to get a ride home these days with taxis and ride-share. Whether you get a ride from Uber, Lyft, or the local cab company, that is always a better option than a DWI. Remember that getting a ride home will cost you much less than paying a DUI fine.

DWI Conviction Consequences

Getting charged with a DWI that leads to a conviction can bring the following criminal penalties in Texas:

1st Offense

A fine of up to $2,000, three days to 180 days in jail, and a driver’s license suspension from 90 to 365 days. It is a Class B misdemeanor.

2nd Offense

A fine of up to $4,000, 30 to 365 days in county jail, and a driver’s license suspension from 180 days to two years. It is a Class A misdemeanor.

3rd Offense

A fine of up to $10,000, 2 years to 10 years in jail, and a driver’s license suspension from 180 days to two years.

Note that the criminal punishments for a Texas DWI can be worse if you are convicted for intoxication assault, manslaughter, or drunk driving with a minor passenger. Other possible punishments are an ignition interlock device and a yearly fee to keep your driver’s license.

Further, if you are convicted of multiple DWIs in Texas you can get more than 10 years in prison. So even if you have not caused accidents or injured anyone, a long prison sentence is possible with too many drunk driving convictions.

How A DWI Guilty Plea May Ruin Your Life

It is always preferable to fight a DWI charge. If you do not, you can get put in jail, fined, and given many hours of community service. You also face the following life problems:

Employment And Education

A DWI will make your employment and education plans more difficult. Just being charged with the crime can cause severe issues with getting or keeping a job and going to school. Also, if your job requires you to drive, having driving restrictions can make it hard to stay employed.

Also, a DWI conviction will damage your professional reputation. You must disclose a DWI conviction when applying for a job. This also may be necessary when applying to colleges and for scholarships.

Auto Insurance

Your car insurance can be canceled if you get a DWI charge. Also, your rates will definitely skyrocket. Getting a replacement policy can also be challenging if your insurance is canceled.

DWI School

You may be required to attend DWI classes due to a DWI conviction. This is expensive but may be a condition of staying out of jail.

Missing Work

If you get a DWI, you must go to court several times. This usually means missing work so you can get to court on time. In addition, if you are convicted of the crime, you could need to go to jail and go to a rehab program. These things mean you will not be able to get to work when you need to do so.

Professional Licenses

Many professional licenses can be suspended or canceled if you are convicted of DWI. For example, a commercial driver’s license can be revoked when you are convicted. It also may be hard to keep your real estate license with a criminal conviction. This is why fighting the DWI charge with a Galveston lawyer is always a good idea.

What Should You Know About A DWI Charge In Galveston?

A DWI charge in Texas is a serious matter. If you plead guilty and are convicted, you will have significant problems. Every case is different, but you should know the following about Texas DWI charges:

You Can Get Charged For Sitting In Your Car

Imagine you just had a few beers at a bar near Moody Gardens or near the Bishop’s Palace in Galveston You climb into your car and sit with the keys in the ignition but you do not drive anywhere. So, you figure you can rest for a few hours, sober up, and drive home. However, did you know the Galveston police can show up and arrest you even if you are not driving?

Texas law states that the police can charge you with a DWI if you are ‘in control of a motor vehicle.’ So for just sitting in the car, you can be charged with and possibly lose your license.

Also, you can be charged with DWI for sleeping in the passenger seat when parked on the side of the road. If the police officer thinks you had too much to drink, they can charge you when the keys are in the ignition. So, never get in a car after you have been drinking. Just sitting there can lead to an arrest. Call a cab or Uber instead.

Your BAC Can Be Below .08% For A DWI Charge

Many people know the legal limit in Texas is a .08% blood alcohol content (BAC). However, in some cases, the police can arrest you if you do not fully control your physical and mental capacities because you drank too much.

If you do not take a blood or breath test, they can also suspend your driver’s license for six months. Remember the police can charge you with DWI even if you are technically below the legal limit.

You Can Fight An Intoxicated Driving Charge

Many Galveston residents think they have no legal options when charged with DWI. They may plead guilty to the charge because they think it is impossible to beat it. A Galveston DWI lawyer can often help you beat or reduce charges.

The best way to beat a DWI charge is to not say anything to the police that damages your case. Then, call your lawyer. Always remember you have the right to remain silent; it is almost always best to do so. No question that a DWI charge is scary, but you can overcome it with a good attorney.

A Felony DUI Is A Possibility

A first-time DWI is usually a misdemeanor in Texas. But if you were convicted of drunk driving before, it could lead to a felony DUI charge. If that happens, the case is handled in District Court and you can get years in prison and thousands in fines.

There Are Two Possible Sentences For A Texas DWI Conviction

If you get convicted for a first-time DWI, you should know there are two kinds of sentences. First, the law allows you to receive a conviction without probation and a conviction with deferred adjudication.

Conviction without probation means you will be jailed and receive other penalties, such as a license suspension and fines. The minimum jail time for a first-time DDI is three days, but 180 days is possible. This can even be enhanced with prior convictions.

Conviction with deferred adjudication is a way to be punished without jail time. You can receive fines, probation, and a suspended license instead of jail time. If you obey your probation terms. You will not need to go to jail.

Remember that whether you receive jail time depends on the factors of your case, including whether you have a criminal record. Usually, the more serious the DWI offense, the more likely you will go to jail.

Talk To A Galveston DWI Lawyer Now

Have you been charged with a DWI in Galveston? Even a first-time offense can turn your life upside down. You should hire a Galveston DWI lawyer from Mark Diaz & Associates today. Our attorneys will fight for your rights in Galveston, League CityTexas City, Tiki Island, Alvin, Algoa, Santa Fe, Hitchcock, La Marque, Bayou Vista, San Leon, Dickinson, Kemah, Clear Lake Shores, and Friendswood. Contact us today at (409) 515-6170 for legal assistance.

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