Texas DWI FAQs

If you were recently arrested for driving while intoxicated in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas, and this is your first run-in with the law, you probably have a lot of questions. In order to help you better understand what you’re up against, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions and answers about a Texas DWI. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact our firm directly.

1. Is DWI a misdemeanor? Most DWIs are misdemeanors in Texas; however, a DWI can be prosecuted as a felony if: 1) someone was seriously injured as a result of the intoxicated driving, 2) someone was killed, or 3) the defendant was previously convicted of DWI on two occasions. Unless it’s your third or subsequent DWI, or someone was seriously injured or killed, it should be a misdemeanor offense.

2. What are the penalties for a first DWI? The penalties for a simple, first DWI include up to a $2,000 fine, up to six months in jail, up to a one-year driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 to retain one’s driver license.

3. Can I get deported for DWI? Green Card holders are not typically deported for DWI, unless it was a drug-related DWI, a felony DWI, or the immigrant has a lengthy criminal history. Immigration judges examine a Green Card holder’s criminal record and the facts of the case before initiating removal proceedings. A DWI does not usually trigger removal proceedings, but it is possible.

4. Where is Texas’ DWI law? In Texas, the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, can be found under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code. You can also visit the Texas Department of Transportation’s website to read more about the penalties for DWI.

5. Can I get a DWI with a low BAC? Under Section 49.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code it says, “A person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place.” To be “intoxicated” means to not have “normal use of mental or physical faculties” because of alcohol, a drug, or a controlled substance. In other words, yes, you can get a DWI, even if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was below .08%. All that matters is that the police can prove that your ability to drive was impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Looking for a Dallas DWI lawyer? Contact our office to meet with Attorney Peter Barrett.