Texas Among States with Steepest DWI Fines

Texas’ fines for first-offender DWI incidents are among the nation’s highest, according to an analysis by the Houston Chronicle.

The fine for a first-time driving under the influence charge in the state of Texas can cost the offender up to $2,000.00 in fines. Florida, Pennsylvania, and Oregon all have state minimums for DUI fines at $2,000, according to the analysis. Kentucky, Alabama, Illinois, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Washington all have higher fines for first-time DUI offenders, ranging from $2,100 up to $5,000, according to the report.

Where is the lowest fine for DUI in the country? In North Carolina, a first-time DUI only leads to a fine of $200. Virginia ($250) and Wisconsin ($300) round out the top three states for lowest DUI fines in the country. See the whole list here.

DWI Penalties & Fines in Texas

Driving while under the influence, sometimes called DUI, but is referred to as DWI in Texas, can bring serious criminal penalties in Texas.

For a first-time offense in the state of Texas, the defendant faces criminal classification under Class B misdemeanor guidelines which carries a $2,000 fine, a jail sentence of anywhere from three days to six months, and suspension of his or her driver’s license for 90 days up to one year.

Second or third offenses bring much steeper penalties and can spell disaster for anyone convicted.

In most cases, first-time DWI offenders don’t get jail time. Most of the time, the court hands down a probationary sentence, wherein the defendant must adhere to a certain number of strict rules. If the probationary agreement is broken, the defendant can be put in jail. In Harris County, Texas, a probationary period is referred to as Community Supervision. Probationary periods can range anywhere from six months to two years.

DWI & Probation in Houston

The terms of probation can be changed by the judge at any time. If the community supervision terms are not followed, the judge can put the defendant in jail.

Common probationary terms in first-time DWI cases ask the following:

  • Do not violate the law;
  • Follow the rules set forth by the probation officer and report to meetings with the probation officer when required;
  • Meet all financial penalties imposed by the court;
  • Perform community service hours — many times it’s set at 80 hours in total;
  • Don’t drink alcoholic beverages or use illegal drugs or non-prescription medication;
  • Complete drug and alcohol education classes; and
  • Undergo an evaluation to determine whether you need rehabilitative treatment for drug or alcohol use.

If you were charged with a first-time DWI offense, contact a lawyer today!

If you’re facing your first DWI offense, you should contact a legal professional immediately. The associated lawyers of our DWI defense team here, at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, have over 100 years of combined experience defending clients facing drunk driving-related criminal charges.

We can help you mount the best defense possible.

We have hundreds of victories with these types of cases under our belts.

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A. Nelson, founder of our law firm, has more than 27 years of experience defending people accused of drunk driving-related offenses in southeast Texas. Tad A. Nelson, a certified ACS-CHAL Lawyer/Scientist and is an active member of the National College for DUI Defense. In short, he has the legal, scientific and experiential background you need to give you the makings of a solid defense. Contact our Houston based DWI defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today.

Texas Among States with Steepest DWI Fines

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad. A. Nelson