What Is Worse DUI or DWI Offenses? Here Is What Clients Should Know
Many people don't know what DUI refers to, even though this offense could lead to a license suspension and many other consequences. This guide offers what people should know about this matter, as well as why the attorney-client relationship is essential when handling these cases.
Comparing a DUI and DWI According to the Texas Penal Code
A DUI or DWI offense might be different in Texas due to the state's Penal Code. If a person wants to understand laws, they must first know the basics, such as each term's definition.
What Is a DUI?
Under the Penal Code, DUI charges occur when someone is driving with any detectable level of alcohol and drugs.
DUIs are serious offenses, and they can lead the person to get a license suspension. After the police officer conducts a field sobriety test and proves that the individual was over the legal limit, the driver might be charged with drunk driving.
What Is a DWI?
A DWI, on the other hand, means that the person had high blood alcohol content while operating machinery or a vehicle in public.
DWI charges are usually severe, and they can not only lead to license suspension but also require the person to do community service, take financial responsibility for their actions, etc. Texas law states several guidelines for these cases, and the judge is the one who has to decide what the individual will do.
Differences Between a DUI and a DWI
A DUI or DWI conviction might mean that the person must take a breathalyzer test and be sentenced for their perilous actions.
Additionally, it could end in the license suspension of his or her driver's license, community service, and even going to counseling sessions or getting an ignition interlock device.
Although the legal definition of each term might sound similar to most people, a DUI offense and a DWI charge are not the same.
A DUI charge means 'driving under the influence.' Alternatively, DWI stands for 'driving while intoxicated.'
In Texas, DUI and DWI laws cover people who operate vehicles in public while having a certain amount of blood alcohol concentration, which does not grant them the mental or physical faculties to drive said machinery.
The legal use of 'DUI' and 'DWI' in Texas is slightly different from other places. In this case, individuals who are over the age of 21 might be charged with a DWI if the alcohol levels in their blood surpass 0.08 percent. This also applies if they are impaired by drugs.
Even though people use the terms interchangeably, only an individual under the age of 21 can be charged with a DUI, and this occurs if the authorities catch them driving a motor vehicle with any alcohol in their system.
Penalties in Texas
Given the fact that Texas has felony DUI laws, it is no surprise that the Texas Traffic Code heavily punishes reckless driving. DWI penalties can go from mandatory alcohol awareness classes, jail time, a suspended license, revoking or suspension of driving privileges, financial consequences, and so on.
On many occasions, people don't understand the impact of losing their driver's license or suffering from other consequences. They should keep in mind that both a DWI and a DUI might hinder them when they want to find cheap car insurance. These issues can also impact them in other ways, especially because their offense goes into their driving record.
When a person under the age of 21 gets a DUI, they might have to pay a fine of up to $500, engage in up to 40 hours of community service, attend a mandatory alcohol awareness class, and go through a 60-day license suspension.
With a DWI, on the other hand, the person might have to face a jail sentence of up to six months, a fine that can cost up to $2,000, they must attend an alcohol addiction program, and might lose their driving license for up to a year.
How Long Offenses Stay on Record
Unfortunately, a DWI penalty stays on record for life. This can affect a person's daily activities in many different ways.
Firstly, getting a DWI might hinder the individual's ability to get affordable coverage when they contact an insurance agency to get their car insurance policy.
Furthermore, it also impacts the client's ability to get a student loan, carry a gun, buy a car, a house, and even vote. A person who goes through this often gets labeled as a high-risk driver, which is why they have so many limitations. This is why those who were convicted of this offense typically undergo a DUI evaluation.
Factors that Contribute to Expungement
Since the person might suffer so many consequences, expungement is an alternative that many people explore. Minors who get a DUI, for example, might be able to expunge their offense from their record if they complete the terms of the sentence.
If the minor is unable to expunge the offense from their record, they are able to contact an attorney and expunge it once they are 21.
When someone has a DWI, they can also contact a law firm, especially if they are worried about their offense staying on their record.
The individual might be able to expunge the offense from their record if they prove that they were innocent, if the judge dismisses the case, and if they manage to overturn the conviction after asking for an appeal.
Getting Cheap Car Insurance Rates After a DUI or a DWI
The car insurance industry is challenging, which is why getting DUI or DWI is so negative if the person wants to do certain things.
When someone needs to negotiate with a car insurance company after having a DUI or a DWI on their record, they should contact a Tarrant County DWI lawyer to help them.
Professional Help Is Essential
Getting a DWI or a DUI is very common. If it was the person's first offense, handling the case might be easier, but they should still get expert help to make sure that the consequences of their actions are not severe. This is especially the case if you want to know what to expect at a DUI arraignment.
When the person engages in subsequent offenses, the case might be more challenging, but it doesn't mean that expert lawyers can't help the individual. Attorneys at Sparks Law Firm are prepared to guide clients through the process and defend them.