If you have been arrested for a Texas DUI one of your greatest fears is probably going to jail or spending time in prison. Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “If this is my first Texas DUI will they send me to jail?”
The good news is if this is your first Texas DUI, assuming there are no other aggravating factors such as a serious injury to another person or death, you most likely will not go to jail but will instead receive a probated sentence. This does not mean, however, that you absolutely will not be sent to jail and suffer other very serious penalties. For instance, if you have been convicted of a Texas DUI you could face the following:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Three days to 180 days in jail
- Loss of driver license up to a year
- Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
What are the chances of getting your Texas DUI dismissed?
Most DUI lawyers in Texas will tell you that getting a dismissal for a DUI is tough. DWI is a very serious charge, especially in Texas. The most common reason your Texas DUI may be dismissed is if the officer is killed, resigns, is indicted for committing a crime, gets fired or is transferred.
Another option if a dismissal is not available is getting the Texas DUI charge reduced to a reckless driving charge. Although this does happen, each county prosecution is run by an elected District or County Attorney who has the option to reduce the charge for specific defendants and the reasons they will do this will differ. The best way to know if this is possible is to talk to a DUI lawyer who is familiar with the prosecutor in your county.
What else can I expect after my first Texas DUI?
Other consequences of a Texas DUI are often not discussed. Not only can your arrest record be accessed by family and friends, your employer may also find out about it. DWI convictions are also very hard if not impossible to expunge so anyone who ever reviews your criminal record will have access to your arrest and conviction information.
The best thing you can do if you are arrested for a Texas DUI is to contact a good DUI lawyer and discuss your case. They can review the evidence for your DUI in Texas and decide if there is a way to challenge the arrest in court.
What happens if I am arrested for a DUI a second time?
Drivers in Texas arrested a second time for DUI can expect more severe penalties. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, if you are arrested a second time you can expect the following:
- A fine of up to $4,000
- One month to a year in jail
- Loss of driver license up to two years
- Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
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