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What Are The Penalties Of A DWI In Texas?

While some might think that a DWI is a relatively harmless misdemeanor, this type of charge actually carries significant penalties. The consequences of a DWI can vary slightly depending on the type of charge, the circumstances and other factors.

In Texas, you can be charged with a DWI if you are found with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. At minimum, for these charges, you can face jail time, fines and license suspension of varying amounts.

In any case or any charge, it’s crucial for people to hire an experienced San Antonio criminal defense attorney after being arrested for a DWI. Only an experienced attorney can truly protect you from the penalties and consequences of these charges. Some of the common consequences of a DWI are as follows.

Jail Time

A DWI can often carry jail time as part of the penalties. How much and what type of imprisonment can vary based on whether it’s a first-time offense, or a more serious type of charge. Jail time for a DWI can range from 180 days to three years. In some cases, people can even face two to 10 years in prison.


One of the most common consequences of a DWI is paying a fine. Similar to jail time, the amount of the fine can vary based on the severity of the charge. A felony-level DWI charge carries the most severe fine, capping out at $10,000. A first-time DWI charge usually has a fine of about $2,000.

Driver’s License Suspension And Revocation

In Texas, all DWI charges come with license suspension consequences. A first charge can result in license suspension between 90 days and one year. A subsequent charge can result in suspension for at least one year and a third charge can result in license suspension of one or two years.
Texas also requires an annual payment to keep your license after a DWI charge. People are subject to an annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years to retain their driver’s license if charged with a DWI.
Although refusing to take a breath test is not illegal, there is a possibility that your license can be suspended for 180 days up to two years.

Professional Licensure Fallout

For a professional with certain licenses, a DWI can have even more serious consequences. Particularly when a felony-level DWI is committed, professionals could risk losing their license.

Medical licenses in particular are often subject to revocation. Medical professionals must report DWI arrests to the Texas Medical Board. In most cases, the board will then conduct an independent investigation into your charges and may suspend or revoke your license.

Other licenses that may be at risk after a DWI arrest or conviction include registered nurses, athletic trainers, driver education instructors, real estate licenses, esthetician licenses, EMS and EMT, and more.

Other Penalties

There are a few other penalties that can come with a DWI charge. Two of the most prominent include mandatory alcohol education and ignition interlock device installation. Attending an alcohol education course can accompany any type of DWI charge, even a first offense. An ignition interlock device can be installed on your vehicle after two or more DWI convictions within a five year period.

Get Help Combating The Consequences

There are countless severe consequences to a DWI. But being subject to them is not set in stone. A highly experienced criminal defense attorney can help you reduce or even avoid some to all of these penalties. At Ramos & Del Cueto, our team of attorneys has decades of combined experience with DWI cases. Our attorneys understand how they’re prosecuted and can ensure you get a fair trial. They know how to evaluate your case and help you find positive results.

Give us a call at 210-761-6004 or use our online contact form to schedule a consultation to learn more about how we can help.