Austin DWI Penalties
The consequences for a DWI charge in Austin are severe. First-time DWI offenders face up to 1 year in the Travis county jail, a $6,000.00 fine, court costs, a driver license suspension, and a permanent criminal conviction. Aggravating factors increase fine amounts and periods of incarceration. DWI offenders with multiple convictions face up to 10 years in prison.
- Can a DWI first be dismissed or reduced in Austin?Yes. DWI charges are dismissed and reduced every day in Travis county courts for a variety of reasons. Challenging evidence is the most effective way to dismiss a DWI charge in Austin. DWI arrests are warrantless arrests, therefore everything must be challenged. If evidence is suppressed, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office cannot use it to prosecute. Learn more.
- Is jail mandatory for a DWI first in Austin?No. However, some factors, like an open container, for example, can lead the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to enhance the charge. This can result in mandatory jail time. Learn more.
- What is the cost of a DWI in Austin?In the short term, thousands of dollars. However, the cost of a permanent criminal conviction is steep and impossible to calculate. That’s why it is critical to avoid a final conviction. Learn more.
- Is DWI a felony in Austin?In Austin, a first-time DWI charge is a Class B Misdemeanor, unless enhanced. Only DWI 3rd (or more) and DWI with Child Passenger are classified as felony offenses. Learn more.
DWI First Offense Consequences in Austin
All first-time DWI charges in Austin are Class B misdemeanors, though they can be enhanced by certain factors. DWI first-time offenders face jail time, permanent criminal convictions, thousands of dollars in fines, and driver license suspensions. Here is the full breakdown:
- DWI with a BAC below .15 is a Class B Misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $3,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 6 months. A conviction for this offense is permanent, and results in a driver license suspension. Learn more.
- DWI with a BAC of .15 or higher is a Class A Misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $6,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 12 months. A conviction for this offense is permanent, and results in a driver license suspension. Learn more.
- DWI with an Open Container is a Class A or B misdemeanor, depending on the BAC, falling into the same punishment ranges as set forth above. However, a person convicted of this offense faces a minimum of 6 days in jail because of the Open Container enhancement. Learn more.
- DWI with a Child Passenger is a State Jail Felony. The maximum fine is $10,000.00, and the maximum period of confinement is 24 months in a State Jail Facility. A conviction for this offense is permanent, and results in a driver license suspension as well other serious, collateral consequences associated with being a convicted felon. Learn more.
DWI 2nd Offense Consequences in Austin
A second DWI offense (DWI-Repeat Offender) is a Class A Misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $6,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 12 months. A conviction for this offense is permanent, requires a 3-day jail sentence (even if probation is granted), and results in a driver license suspension. Learn more.
There is no limit to how old a prior conviction may be to be used for enhancement purposes. Out of state convictions may be used as the basis for enhancement.
An ignition interlock device is a requirement of bond for all DWI 2nd charges. This means that as a condition of release from jail, a person must agree to install a deep lung device in all accessible vehicles.
DWI 3rd Offense Consequences in Austin
After two DWI convictions, a third DWI offense (habitual DWI) is a Third Degree Felony. The maximum fine is $10,000.00, and the maximum prison sentence is 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) penitentiary. A conviction for this offense is permanent, requires a 10-day jail sentence, even if probation is granted, and results in a driver license suspension, as well as other serious, collateral consequences that come with being a convicted felon.
An ignition interlock device is a requirement of bond for all DWI 3rd (or more) charges. This means that as a condition of release from jail, a person must agree to install a deep lung device in all vehicles accessible to them.
- Do DWI convictions over 10 years old count?Yes. All prior convictions, no matter how old, may be used as the basis for enhancement.
- Do DWI convictions from another state count for felony DWI in Austin?Yes. Out of state convictions may be used as the basis for enhancement.
Additional Austin DWI Consequences
In 2021, HB1927 made it legal for Texans 21 or over to carry a gun in a holster without a permit, both openly and concealed. DWI charges can negatively impact this and other 2nd Amendment rights. Learn more.
- Can Austin DWI affect your right to travel?DWI charges in Austin can inhibit travel outside of Travis County. DWI can also negatively impact a person’s ability to travel abroad. For example, Canada does not allow entry for any person convicted of DWI. Learn more.
- Does DWI suspend your driver’s license?Yes. Every person charged with DWI and DUI in Austin is subject to a driver license suspension. The driving suspension component hits especially hard for commercial drivers, as they are unable to obtain a temporary license for commercial purposes. Learn more about Occupational Licenses.
Austin DUI Consequences
Drivers under 21 years of age with any detectable alcohol in their system may be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI). At the discretion of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, a minor may be charged as an adult with DWI.
DUI is for minors only. Whereas both minors and adults can be charged with DWI. Learn more.
DUI is a Class C Misdemeanor in Austin. The maximum fine is $500.00. A conviction for this offense is permanent, results in a driver license suspension, and often includes court-ordered driving safety courses, alcohol, and drug awareness courses, as well as community service. Learn more.
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Trey is the man! I hired him because I had overheard a county court judge mentioning how awesome of an attorney he is, so if an endorsement from a judge won’t convince you then I’m not sure what will. I sure do hope I never find myself in a pickle ever again but if I do, I would hire Trey in a heartbeat. He’s honest, transparent, doesn’t beat around the bush, and will work tirelessly so that your clean record stays clean and unblemished. 5 stars, highly recommend!
I recently hired Trey Porter Law to help our teenage daughter with a drug charge. In the state of Texas she was being charged as an adult which carried a much stiffer penalty. Trey is very responsive, helpful, knowledgeable and is always available to answer any questions or concerns via phone, text or email. He was able to negotiate on her behalf so it was a pleasant experience. I would highly recommend Trey Porter Law.
Trey really helped me out. He was straight forward and professional, and really helped me in my case. I thought i was going to lose my job, but trey did everything in his power to help me keep my way of life, and still keeps up with me any details on my case.
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Trey Porter fought for me! I am a nurse and thought my career was over.
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Mr Porter is the real deal. You get what you pay for these days. I know that from my personal business dealings. Attorney Trey Porter was no different.
He was prompt, professional and poised. I was charged with DWI, and Mr Porter got the charge dismissed. I could not be more pleased or thankful. If you get a DWI, hire the best — hire Trey Porter.
WE FIGHT FOR DISMISSAL
WE FIGHT FOR DISMISSAL
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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