What Can a DWI Be Reduced to in Texas?
A DWI or driving while impaired is a severe offense that can cause many problems, including jail time. It can drastically change someone's life, but fortunately, there is a way to reduce the sentence.
While a DWI is a serious felony in the United States (find out how many points is a DWI in Texas), each state has its own set of penalties for drunk drivers. But, what can a DWI be reduced to in Texas? Drivers who are dealing with DWI cases need to understand the process and circumstances which can lead to a possible sentence reduction.
Why Should Someone Pursue DWI Reduction?
Facing a DWI charge can be a terrifying experience. People who find themselves in this situation face expensive fines, a driver's license suspension, and even jail time. None of the above sounds good, and the defendants should look to avoid them if possible.
If it is an individual's first DWI offense, the maximum fine they can receive is $2,000, and the court can suspend their license for up to two years. Additionally, first-time offenders might even face jail time. The amount of time they could spend in a correctional facility depends on many factors, and BAC is one of them.
BAC stands for blood alcohol concentration, and the legal limit in all US states is 0.08%. That means that if someone exceeds this limit, they can be charged with a DWI.
However, the biggest reason offenders should seek DWI sentence reduction is the nature of this charge. It is an offense that goes into the individual's permanent criminal record, which leads to many additional obstacles. Namely, people with a criminal record can have trouble finding jobs or getting car insurance, and in some cases, they can't rent an apartment.
What Are the Plea Deal Options for a DWI in Texas?
Reaching a plea deal in a DWI case is possible, especially if the offender has good legal representation. Since driving while impaired is considered a felony in Texas (unless it's a first-time offense), the top DWI lawyers in Fort Worth will focus on reducing the charge to a misdemeanor. In this case, the court can reduce the sentence to that of:
● Public intoxication
● Obstruction of a highway or other passageway and
● Reckless driving
What Are the Benefits of Misdemeanor Charges over DWI?
All the above charges may still involve certain fines and penalties, but none go into a permanent criminal record. On top of that, the fines and penalties are much lower than DWI ones.
When it comes to public intoxication, the maximum an offender has to pay is $500. However, it's important to note that after the third public intoxication charge, the defendants face the same fines and required jail time as with a DWI.
On the other hand, if the court charges someone with reckless driving, the maximum they have to pay is $200, and they can only spend up to 30 days in prison.
Finally, obstructing a highway or other passageway involves similar consequences as a DWI. However, there is one significant difference between the two. Texas authorities can remove the misdemeanor charge from a criminal record, while that is not the case with a DWI.
What Factors Help Someone's DWI Reduction Case?
Many factors can help defendants reduce their DWI sentence.
First of all, Texas is a state with very strict laws regarding driving under the influence. This sometimes can result in authorities making wrongful arrests and charging people with DWIs in an attempt to combat drunk driving. And this approach can leave several options that attorneys can exploit in the offender's defense.
One of the first things a lawyer will consider is whether the police made some mistakes during the arrest. The authorities might have conducted the chemical or the field sobriety test improperly, which can be a strong argument against the DWI lawsuit. What can help even more is if the police didn't have probable cause to make a traffic stop.
Additionally, individuals can contribute to their case by respecting the officers and following their instructions. By doing so, they can show their wish to cooperate with the authorities and present themselves in a good light. The judge will also consider reducing the sentence if a person doesn't have a previous criminal record.
What's more, blood alcohol concentration is another significant factor. The prosecution might consider a plea deal if the defendant's BAC results were below the legal limit of 0.08% or just at that mark.
Finally, the defendants can improve their chances of reducing the DWI charge if they didn't hurt anyone while driving in an intoxicated state. The court is perhaps more likely to show leniency in such cases.
For other concerns, such as facing what happens when you get 2 DWI in Texas, seek the aid of an experienced DWI lawyer.