Quick Texas DWI Overview

Attorney Tad Nelson is a highly accomplished Houston DWI lawyer who holds a Board Certification in criminal law as well as a current membership with the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD). Tad Nelson is also an ACS/CHAL lawyer-scientist which qualifies him to serve as an expert witness on alcohol as a chemical in combination with human chemistry, a distinction that can come in handy when defending you in court.

Arrested in Houston for a DWI related criminal charge? Contact Us.

Criminal charges of driving while intoxicated, often referred to as “DWI” and “DUI” in Houston, are usually misdemeanor cases for first time offenders. However, there are advanced DWI criminal classifications in which a felony charge may apply.

A defendant charged with certain felony DWI offenses can face prison terms of up to 20 years. When seen cases where poorly represented defendants have received life sentences for DWI. Situations like this make having the right lawyer in your corner crucial.

Misdemeanor DWI

1st Offense

In most instances, the first time a person is arrested for DWI the crime is classified as a Class B Misdemeanor. A Class B Misdemeanor in the State of Texas carries a possible jail sentence ranging from 3 days to 6 months (180 days) county jail time.

There are also fines associated with Class B Misdemeanor drunk driving charges that may be assessed at an amount not to exceed $2,000.00. Although in most cases, when a person is charged with DWI for the first time, misdemeanor charges result. There are some instances in which felony charges are warranted for first time DWI offenses as noted below.

Felony DWI

DWI With a Child Passenger

Fighting the epidemic of drunk driving on Texas roadways means saving lives in the eyes of legislators in Austin. For the criminally accused this stance translates to stiff sentencing if found guilty. If you’re accused of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol with a person under the age of 15 years old in the vehicle, you’ll face an automatic felony offense regardless of whether it’s a first-offense DWI or not.

The maximum penalty for such an offense is a fine of up to $10,000.00, Texas Drivers’ License suspension, and from 6 months to 2 years in prison. Houston DWI lawyer Tad Nelson can help you if you’ve been charged and facing an upcoming court-date for a DWI offense.

DWI Accident – Assault

Tough penalties are imposed if an automobile accident or injury is caused as a result of driving while intoxicated in the state of Texas.

A drunk driving accident is not your run-of-the-mill car accident. Even a slight collision can result in felony criminal charges if bodily injury is caused to another person. This a serious matter requiring guidance from a tested defense lawyer who knows how to fight DWI charges resulting in injury.

Intoxicated Manslaughter

When it comes to dealing with criminal charges related to a homicide caused as a result of driving while intoxicated, you should talk with a Board Certified® Houston DWI lawyer as soon as possible. If you’re found guilty of intoxicated manslaughter, a second degree felony offense, you’re looking at up to 20 years in a Texas penitentiary, a drivers license suspension of up to two years (which will be the least of your concerns unless you’re out on bond pending trial), and a fine of up to $10,000.00.

DWI 2nd Offense

If you’re found guilty of DWI for a second time, a potential fine of up to $4,000.00, 30 days to one year in jail, and a Texas drivers license suspension from 180days to 2 years are among the possibilities. If found guilty of a 2nd offense DWI you’ll have to serve some jail time, however, you may be able to get probation instead of serving a full jail sentence.

In some cases, a mechanical device intended to prevent driving while intoxicated may be installed on your vehicle as terms of your community supervision (probation). Although preventing jail time may not be possible, we may be able to negotiate weekend jail-time depending on the details of your case.

DWI 3rd Offense

If you’re found guilty at trial, or plead out on a 3rd DWI offense, the consequences will include a fine of up to $10,000.00, a prison sentence of anywhere from 2 – 10 years, and a driver license suspension from 180 days to 2 years. Even if you are allowed probation you’ll have to serve some jail time.

Talk with Houston DWI Lawyer Tad Nelson

Contact attorney Tad Nelson if you’re facing prosecution for a DWI related criminal offense and are looking for experienced legal representation to fight the charge. Even if you intend to admit guilt we may be able to negotiate a lower fine or minimal jail time.

Call us at 713-489-7373 to schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your arrest, evidence collection, and other aspects of the case.

Quick Texas DWI Overview