Drunk driving convictions in Texas can have a wide variety of harmful and life-changing consequences, from the penalties associated with a criminal conviction for a misdemeanor or felony offense to consequences that continue to affect you once you have served your sentence. Your job and your livelihood can be affected even if this is a first offense, and even if you do not have to serve any significant amount of time in jail. To be clear, DWI consequences are extremely serious in Texas. As such, it is extremely important to work with one of our experienced Houston DWI defense lawyers to avoid a conviction. The following are some of the key consequences that can result from a drunk driving conviction in Texas.
Criminal Penalties After a DWI Conviction
Criminal penalties associated with a DWI conviction in Texas are serious. The Texas Penal Code allows a judge to sentence a person to up to 180 days in jail for a DWI first offense, and the penalties become increasingly severe with subsequent offenses or enhancements.
You Might Lose Your Job
As an at-will employment state, Texas employers are permitted to fire an employee who is an at-will employee for any reason as long as it does not violate state or federal laws protecting against discrimination. Accordingly, it is possible that you could be terminated from your job as a result of a DWI conviction. In particular, people with jobs in which operating a motor vehicle is part of the requirements of the position may be at particular risk of being fired.
You Might Have Difficulty Getting Another Job
With a DWI conviction on your record, even if it is a misdemeanor and a first offense, you may not be eligible to get hired in certain types of positions. Like we mentioned above, jobs in which you are required to drive as part of the job duties, or to engage in any transportation duties, you may not be hired with a DWI conviction on your record. Moreover, certain healthcare positions or childcare jobs may not be viable options for you if you have a DWI conviction. Although the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has guidance that employers should not refuse to hire a job applicant solely because of a DWI conviction, that guidance assumes that the conviction is not relevant to the requirements of the job.
You Might Be Ineligible for Federal Student Loans
If you have a felony DWI conviction on your record, which can include a third offense DWI, a conviction for intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, or a DWI-related conviction with aggravating factors or enhancements under Texas law, you will likely be ineligible for federal student loans. The federal student loan program generally does not award loans to anyone with a felony conviction on their record. You may also be ineligible for other forms of credit.
Contact a Houston DWI Defense Attorney Today
Are you facing DWI charges in Texas? One of our Houston DWI defense attorneys can help you to fight the charges. Contact Tad A. Nelson, Houston DWI Lawyer today for more information about our services.