The National TOP 100 Trial Lawyers
America's Top 100 - Criminal Defense Attorneys
Avvo Reviews
Avvo Ratting 10.0 Top Attorney
Avvo Clients' Choice Award 2018
The University of Texas at Austin School of Law

How DWI Charges in Texas Can Last a Lifetime

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

If you asked a dozen Texans “what is a DWI?” you’d likely get a different answer from each one. Most of those answers, however, would have one thing in common. They would completely fail to acknowledge the breadth and depth of the potential consequences of being hit by DWI charges.

In reality, getting a DWI in Texas is a mistake that can have life-long ramifications. Keep reading now to discover what every Texan should know about DWI and the impact it can have on your life.

DWI Charges and Your Ability to Drive

Often, motorists assume that a first DWI offense is unlikely to have serious consequences of any kind. In Texas, however, authorities can suspend a driver’s license for as long as a year for a first offense.

Drivers don’t automatically get their licenses back when the year is up, either. Instead, they have to pay a $2,000 fee every year for as many as three years to have it reinstated and keep it valid. Additional reinstatement fees and requirements can also apply.

Motorists on their second and third offenses can expect license suspensions of as long as two years with the same hefty reinstatement costs. By their fourth offense, motorists will have to wait two years to restore their licenses and then pay $2,000 per year to keep it for as long as they hold their licenses.

In addition, Texans with DWI convictions may have their licenses wholly revoked if they:

  • Fail to comply with court or DPS requirements to complete driver education classes as part of the reinstatement
  • Fail to pay court-ordered fines, fees, or restitution
  • Are deemed unfit or unable to drive safely

Losing one’s license, temporarily or permanently, can compound the financial, professional, and personal costs of a conviction.

Financial Repercussions

Simply regaining one’s license after a DWI conviction can cost more than $6,000 over the course of a few years. This is only one of the many expenses motorists can expect to face after a DWI conviction, however. Others include:

  • Up to $10,000 in fines per incident
  • Court-ordered restitution for property damage or injuries caused by intoxicated driving
  • Other applicable DPS- or court-related fines and fees

Given that around 60 percent of Americans don’t have enough savings to cover a $1,000 emergency, these costs can be crippling. When convicted motorists also lose income because of impacts on their job, these financial costs can become even more difficult to bear.

Professional Costs

Few motorists realize that they can lose their jobs over DWI charges. Many employers will fire workers just for being arrested on DWI charges, regardless of whether the court finds them guilty or not. This is particularly true for:

  • Workers in the health care field
  • Anyone who drives as part of their work duties
  • Texans in civil service or law enforcement jobs
  • Workers employed in the real estate or insurance industries

Finding a new job can be also be challenging with the arrest on one’s record. Background checks are common and unless the arrest or conviction is expunged it will continue to show up each time workers apply for a job.

To further complicate matters, individuals with professional certifications can find themselves at risk of losing their licenses or permission to practice in their fields. They may face disciplinary boards, suspensions, and other penalties that:

  • Limit their options and income
  • Suspend them from practice for a set period of time
  • Cost them their right to practice in their chosen fields

Losing one’s job can heap additional stress on an already difficult situation and further fray personal and home situations.

Personal Losses

It’s hard to overstate just how thoroughly DWI charges can impact a motorist’s personal life. For instance, DWI charges and convictions can affect motorists’:

  • Ability to remain in or secure housing
  • Eligibility for federal and state support programs ranging from HUD housing supports to food stamps
  • Right to receive or retain custody of children
  • Rights to vote, possess firearms, and travel freely

While these things are difficult enough, they can all become much worse when combined with transportation struggles when motorists have lost their driving privileges. Similarly, financial struggles brought on by the steep costs of a DWI conviction can both make these situations worse and be worsened by them.

Furthermore, DWI charges and convictions can negatively affect motorists’ closest interpersonal relationships. This can cause their living situations and quality of life to deteriorate to levels far below anything most drivers imagine possible before they experience it.

Can DWI Attorneys Near Me Help?

When motorists do begin to grasp the extent of the trouble a DWI can cause, they often become alarmed. “Is this inevitable?” they wonder. “Or can DWI lawyers near me help?”

The good news, of course, is that many of the awful consequences of a DWI can be avoided. Working with an experienced DWI attorney can help motorists:

  • Evade unfair or inaccurate charges made against them
  • Negotiate for reduced charges or lower penalties
  • Keep their jobs, families, and homes

To get the most benefit from working with an attorney, motorists accused of DWI should seek help as early in the process as possible. This involves contacting an attorney promptly. It also includes working with an attorney on their first DWI arrests.

Too often, Texas motorists underestimate the gravity and opportunities associated with first offenses. Even if the charges themselves seem mild, having one DWI charge on your record means that any future incidents will be penalized much more severely. At the same time, first offenses can be the easiest for attorneys to negotiate better terms or plea deals for.

By getting the help of an attorney right away, whether it is their first offense or their fifth, motorists give themselves the best shot at minimizing the short- and long-term effects of a DWI charge.

Speak With an Attorney

DWI charges in Texas can be devastating and the havoc they wreak can last a lifetime. If you or a loved one is facing DWI charges, don’t wait. Reach out to an attorney today and get the expertise and support you need to come through this challenge as cleanly and positively as possible.

Visit Us

By Appointment Only - Contact Us

The Woodlands Office
8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

Get in Touch

Free Consultation 832-381-3430

What Our Customers Say

"Andrea is a fantastic attorney versed in many fields. I've retained her services for criminal defense, nondisclosure orders, and family law. She has always provided a...

Steven Street Texas

"Andrea and her staff are definitely one of the greatest of all time. Their professionalism and knowledge of the law and how the system works is unparalleled. I have her...

Dwight Osteen Texas

“Andrea is the most amazing attorney I have ever had in my corner.” — Vincent, client facing 2nd DWI charge, CASE DISMISSED