Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense, but one option, particularly after a first DWI offense, is DWI probation. DWI probation is an alternative to serving jail time after a DWI conviction. If you request and a court grants you probation, you must follow the specific guidelines of your probation that the court outlines for you.
With DWI probation, you may be required to be evaluated for alcohol and drug dependence by taking an assessment called the TRAS, Texas Risk Assessment System. If the assessment recommends treatment, you could be required to attend an alcohol rehabilitation education program. Additional requirements of probation include paying certain fines, court costs and submitting to alcohol testing. The nature of your DWI violation and previous convictions can impact probation requirements.
The Consequences of DWIs
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a misdemeanor in Texas, but the exact penalties will depend on previous offenses and the unique circumstances of the incident. For a first DWI offense, you could spend up to 180 days in jail and be fined up to $2,000. You may also have your driver’s license suspended for up to a year.
DWI is not only a crime but can also lead to severe accidents on the road, personal injury, and vehicle damage. Intoxicated drivers are unable to react quickly to road changes or drive safely. The courts, therefore, impose penalties to deter DWI.
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What is DWI Probation?
The courts acknowledge that it is often beneficial for people to be in the community. Under DWI probation, people can take steps to learn from their actions and improve their conduct so the same thing doesn’t happen again.
In some cases of a DWI conviction, you may be eligible for DWI probation. DWI probation involves abiding by specific terms for a period of time to attempt and rehabilitate the person as an alternative to serving more jail time.
Jail Time if You Get DWI Probation
Under Texas law, you could still have to serve time in jail even if you are sentenced to probation. This is usually if a person is convicted of a second or third offense. The specifics will depend on the laws you violated and whether this is your first DWI offense.
To avoid extensive jail time, you must comply with any requirements of your DWI probation.
Components of DWI Probation
The exact nature of your DWI probation will depend on your specific circumstances. However, your DWI probation may require you to do the following:
- Have a supervision officer evaluate your alcohol and drug dependence by requiring a TRAS assessment and determine the need for rehabilitation.
- Attend an alcohol education program or DWI intervention program: These sorts of programs help people to see the costs related to drinking alcohol and may also cover elements like stress reduction, exercise, anger management, functional alcoholism, and alcoholics anonymous programs.
- Perform community service: A DWI is typically classified as a class B misdemeanor. If this is true in your case, the judge cannot order more than 100 hours of community service. Alternatively, the judge may require you to donate to a charity or other non-profit organization.
- Pay any fines or court costs required
- Install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle: This device requires you to perform a breathalyzer test that measures the level of alcohol on your breath. If it is above a certain level, you can’t drive the vehicle.
- Attend alcohol abuse counseling sessions
- Follow up and check in with your probation officer.
- Submit to alcohol testing
Before starting your DWI probation, you should clarify anything you don’t understand and ask appropriate follow-up questions.
Should I Consult with an Attorney for my DWI Case?
Consulting with a DWI attorney can help you understand your options if you are charged with a DWI. For example, in some cases, your DWI attorney can work to get your charges dropped. In other instances, it will be in your best interests to plead guilty to a reduced charge, particularly when there is a higher possibility of getting DWI probation.
A DWI attorney will also be thoroughly familiar with the laws and regulations that will apply to your case. Once they have a chance to review your case, they can give you legal advice about how to proceed with your case.
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Begin Your Case with a Consultation Today
Our legal team at Blass Law is ready to help you with your DWI case. We understand that the legal process can be a challenge. We will fight for your rights and work to get you the best possible outcome for your case.
You can contact us today to get started with a consultation. We are ready to answer your questions to help you move forward.