There are many issues to consider if you have been charged with DWI in Texas, and your Houston DWI Lawyers can ensure you understand Texas DWI Laws and help you avoid DWI in Texas convictions. You may be eligible for Houston DWI Classes or the Harris County DWI DIVERT Program, however you may end up paying Texas DPS surcharges. Whether you are eligible for the DWI DIVERT program, whether you will be required to take Houston DWI Classes, and whether you will pay Texas DPS Surcharges will all be dependent on the circumstances surrounding your DWI in Texas.
Is a DWI a Felony in Texas? For DWI in Texas First Offense, you will probably be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. While this is serious, it is not as serious as a felony charge. If you drove with a minor under the age of 15 in your vehicle while you were impaired, you could face state jail felony charges. If your impaired driving resulted in a car accident in which another person suffered serious injury, you could face a 3rd degree felony charge.
If you have two prior DWI offenses on your record, then you could face a 3rd degree felony charge, and if you committed Intoxication Manslaughter—meaning a person died as a result of an accident caused by your impairment—you could face a 2nd degree felony. Whether you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor DWI in Texas, it is extremely important that you contact knowledgeable Houston DWI Attorneys as quickly as possible to minimize the outcome of your charges. Having Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers by your side from the very beginning, can minimize your chances of Harris County Criminal Records and Harris County Jail.
Texas DPS Surcharges - Texas DPS Surcharges can be frustrating and complex, requiring Houston DWI Attorneys to help you understand these charges. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) manages the Texas Driver Responsibility Program, which will add a surcharge to your driver’s license once you have accumulated too many points on your driver’s license—or if you have convictions for specific traffic violations. Moving violations typically add 2 points to your driver’s license, while those involving a motor vehicle accident typically add 3 points to your driver’s license.
Once you have accumulated six points on your Texas driver’s license, you will be required to pay a $100 surcharge to DPS. Some other violations automatically trigger a surcharge, and these charges can be quite hefty. As an example, your first Texas DWI offense will trigger a surcharge of $1,000 for three years. A second or subsequent Texas DWI offense will trigger a surcharge of $1,500 per year for three years. If you are convicted of a DWI and your blood alcohol level was 0.16 or higher, you could pay a surcharge of $2,000 per year for three years. Other violations, such as no insurance or driving with an invalid license will result in a surcharge of $250.
Harris County DWI DIVERT Program - You may qualify for the Harris County DWI DIVERT program which is specially designed for first-time DWI offenders. The Harris County DWI DIVERT program can help you avoid serious penalties such as jail time. Once you have successfully completed the program, your DWI charges will be dropped. This can be the very best solution for those facing a DWI in Texas First Offense. DIVERT probation will last for 1-2 years, then your case will be dismissed, and you may be able to have your case expunged in two years—which means all documents associated with your DWI in Texas would be destroyed. If you accept a Harris County DWI DIVERT Program, you must enter a guilty plea until you have completed the program and the charges are dropped.
Houston DWI Classes - One of the potential penalties for a DWI in Texas is that you must attend a DWI education or intervention program. You must complete one of these educational programs prior to having your driver’s license reinstated—first time offenders are eligible for an occupational license. Houston DWI Classes—the DWI education program—are for first-time offenders who are on probation, concentrating on preventing future impaired driving behaviors, and providing information regarding Texas DWI Laws.
The DWI intervention program is for repeat offenders who are receiving probation as a result of their DWI in Texas. Lifestyle changes and in-depth information regarding substance abuse will be detailed in the DWI intervention program. The DWI intervention program is a 32-hour course, dealing with problems which go beyond the education program. Whether you are attending the DWI education program or the DWI intervention program, if you fail to complete your course, your driver’s license will be revoked until you do complete the course. If you are facing a DWI in Texas, Houston Criminal Defense Attorneys can help you avoid Harris County Criminal Records and Harris County Jail whenever possible.
Getting the Help You Need Following Your DWI in Texas - It can be extremely stressful to be charged with a DWI in Texas. The Texas DWI laws can be harsh, and you may find them difficult to understand. Experienced Houston DWI Lawyers can work hard to get you into the Harris County DWI DIVERT program, which can result in your DWI record being dropped so that you have no DWI on your Harris County Criminal Records in the future. Having a DWI on your Harris County Criminal Records can make it very difficult for you to remain employed, find employment in the future, rent a home, or, if a felony DWI, you could even find it difficult to vote or own a firearm. At Sullo & Sullo, we are Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers with payment plans. We also offer Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers Free Consultations. Our goal is to prevent you from being sentenced to Harris County Jail, and we will work aggressively on your behalf to that end. Do not wait, hoping your charges will somehow go away—contact our Houston DWI Attorneys today.