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When you are arrested and charged with allegedly driving under the influence, you must have a thorough legal defense. Texas law refers to DWI charges as driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even a first-time conviction for a DWI could cause you to lose your driving privileges and lead to significant fines or jail time.

A Fort Worth DWI lawyer could help you protect and preserve your legal rights. Skilled, bilingual attorney Edwardo Meza can explain your legal options and potential defenses, while fighting for the most favorable outcome in your case.

Elements of DWI Charges

Even a first-time DWI could have serious consequences that may haunt you long after conviction, which makes it vital to work with a Fort Worth attorney from the start. An attorney can step in at any time during the legal process—even before a DWI case is filed—and may be able to minimize the charges or have them dismissed.

In other situations, he might be able to negotiate down a charge or potential sentence. A lawyer could advise a defendant of all their options for seeking the best possible outcome to a DWI charge, as well as provide aggressive representation in court.

You could receive a DWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above 0.08 percent. Even if your BAC is below this level but you have drugs or alcohol in your system, you could still face DWI charges.

The BAC threshold of 0.08 percent only applies to adults. Anyone under the age of 21 who gets stopped while operating a vehicle with any level of alcohol in their system runs the risk of being charged with a DWI.

Legal Penalties for a DWI

A Fort Worth lawyer could explain the possible penalties that may apply for a specific DWI case. For a first-time DWI offense, which is typically a misdemeanor, the legal penalties can include up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. They could also have their license suspended for up to 12 months and be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car. Even for a first-time offender, if their BAC was 0.15 percent or above, their term of imprisonment could be extended to up to 12 months, while the financial penalty could increase up to $4,000.

Factors that could worsen the potential sentence in a DWI conviction include

  • If the accused had an excessive BAC
  • If they have a prior record of DWI arrests
  • If they were carrying a minor passenger when they were stopped by police
  • If they caused an accident that resulted in serious injuries to one or more other people

A person may face felony charges when they have two or more DWIs on their record over a decade; or if they injure someone or transport a minor passenger while intoxicated. For example, a DWI that results in physical harm to someone else can be charged as a third-degree felony, which carries legal penalties of up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine of up to $10,000.

Contact a DWI Attorney in Fort Worth for Help

A DWI charge is not something you should take lightly: Not only could a conviction mean you face severe legal penalties, you could see consequences spread to other areas of your life—from your inability to attend some educational institutions to obtaining employment or a place to live.

Fort Worth DWI lawyer Edwardo Meza could identify the most effective defense while actively working to mitigate the charges against you or even have them dismissed. Call him today to schedule a consultation—¡Llámelo hoy para programar una consulta!