Felonies and Misdemeanors

A Tough Lesson about Texas DWI Laws

I had enrolled for an accounting degree at Texas A & M University. To afford the tuition, I’d taken up a job in a local diner, but after three months, I was laid off in the restaurant’s efforts to keep the overheads low. For three weeks I had no luck finding a job and my friends, John and Pete decided I needed to take life easy. We headed for the bar where I drowned my frustration in several bottles till I couldn’t take any more. My friends were in no better condition, but in my impaired reasoning, I thought I could drive myself back to the hostel.

Getting arrested in Houston for DWI

A few miles down the road, I was pulled over. I had been speeding, and on stepping out of the vehicle my breath and stagger betrayed me. Well, the officer arrested me for my first-offense DWI, and upon consent to a chemical test, the blood alcohol content was .17%. I found out that according to Texas law, my DWI would have fallen under class B misdemeanor being that it was my first offense. However, since it was over .15%, my offense was classified as a class A misdemeanor.

Notice of TDL Suspension

Since I failed the test, they confiscated my license immediately but issued me with a “Notice of Suspension” to serve as my temporary driving license. I could have been eligible for an occupational license in my suspension if only I could prove that I was financially responsible, and install an ignition interlock device on my car. Woe unto me since I was financially unstable and therefore had to wait for my final hearing.

Probated Sentence

Well, I was found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail, $4,000 fine and a one-year suspension of my driver’s license. My life couldn’t get any worse! There I was; a jobless student heading to jail for 12 months. The heavens must have pitied me because the next thing the judge said made me nearly run to hug him. He probated my jail time for one year, as well as $ 2000 and the driver’s license. I would not go to jail, I would retain my driver’s license, and I would only pay $2,000 of the fine. In exchange of this incredible deal, I had to follow court requirements such as reporting monthly to a probation officer, abstaining from alcohol during my probation period, remain within my county unless the court permitted me to leave and so many more. If figure I did okay, but it might have been better had I hired a Board Certified Texas DWI Lawyer.

Third-degree Felony DWI Cases

The judge was kind enough to remind me that if I got to my third DWI, he would gladly charge me with a third-degree felony. That would mean spending 2-10 years in state prison, a fine reaching $10,000 and my driver’s license revoked for at most two years. However, if I got arrested for my second DWI, I could still be charged with a felony if I became violent and assaulted someone, or caused an accident that resulted in death.

Final thoughts

With such a stern warning, I was more than happy to serve my probated sentence and vowed never to stand in court for a DWI charge. It was a life lesson learnt the hard way but certainly appreciated.