When you are arrested for driving under the influence (“DWI”), it is imperative that you take the charges seriously. Depending on the circumstances, you could face a stiff jail sentence, large fines and high court costs. After you are arrested for a DWI, and released, there are certain things that you should avoid doing.
The worst thing you can do is fail to understand the gravity of the situation, as the effects of DWI charges may follow you throughout the remainder of your life. According to Texas law and the Texas Department of Transportation, a first time DWI offense carries a fine up to $2,000, 3 to 180 days in jail and an annual fee of $1,000 to $2,000 for up to 3 years to retain your driver’s license. If there are certain aggravating circumstances, such as receiving a DWI with a child in the car, the penalties could be higher. Below you will find five mistakes you should avoid.
Five Things to Avoid
Avoiding the following when out on DWI jail release will allow you a fighting chance to challenge the charges you are facing:
- First, you should avoid missing any court dates. You must appear at every court date the court assigns to you. Failing to appear at a court date guarantees that you will end up back in jail. The court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest and once you are arrested again, the court could place you back in jail for an unspecified amount of time.
- Second, if you refuse to blow for a breathalyzer test, your license will automatically be suspended for 180 days; however, if you fail the breathalyzer test, your license will be automatically suspended for 90 days. Under no circumstances should you drive with a suspended license. You could be arrested and face more fines. It could also negatively affect your DWI case or administrative hearing to keep your license.
- Third, to avoid driving with a suspended license, you should immediately request a hearing with the Texas Department of Public Safety once you are released from jail. You have 15 days from the date you receive the Notice of Suspension to file a request for an administrative hearing to contest the suspension. The hearing will be held within 120 days of receiving your request. However, any requests sent after 15 days will be denied.
- Fourth, avoid drinking. Drinking may be a violation of your release and you might be subject to alcohol testing, which could land you back in jail.
- Fifth, avoid posting any information related to your DWI on social media. Ultimately, anything you post can be used against you during your case.
Consult an Attorney
As you can see, there are many things that you can do wrong that could negatively impact your case. This also includes attempting to handle this on your own without an attorney. You should contact the experienced and knowledgeable Austin criminal defense attorneys at Buford & Gonzalez who will protect your rights and aggressively advocate on your behalf.