For many people facing DWI charges, the arrest happened out of the blue. An uncharacteristic lapse in judgment or simple mistake might have landed you in jail. Perhaps more than any other criminal charge, DWIs affect people from all walks of life.
Below are three important things everyone should know about DWIs.
1. A DWI can cost you a lot of money.
The fees and expenses that result from a DWI arrest can quickly add up. Depending on your driving record, you could be facing fines of up to $10,000. The fees associated with reinstating your driver's license could range up to $2,000 per year for several years. You may also have to pay for installation of an ignition interlock device. These expenses are on top of standard court fees.
A good defense lawyer can help you minimize some of these expenses. However, some are unavoidable.
2. It could come back to haunt you later.
DWIs are common enough that you might be tempted to think it won't matter in the long run. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even a first-time offense could drastically limit your opportunities down the road. With the ease of internet background searches, a DWI will show up on applications for education, housing, jobs and more. A conviction can also cause your insurance premiums to skyrocket.
For these reasons, it's important to take any DWI charges seriously. Your investment in a solid legal defense now can pay off immensely, both now and in the future.
3. You might still be able to drive with a restricted license.
Now for some good news. Although a DWI can strip you of your driving privileges, you might still qualify for a restricted license - called an occupational license or special need license in Texas. This license will allow you to drive for work and certain other activities, making your life much easier.
There are mandatory waiting periods for getting one of these licenses after a DWI suspension. A lawyer can help you determine whether you qualify, and in what time frame.