The Difference Between DUI and DWI in Texas Law
In the area of law, there is much focus on DUI and DWI convictions. With the staggering statistics for both in Texas, it is extremely important to be knowledgeable of the distinct differences between the two. Understanding the distinctions between them can be a complicated process, one a reputable and reliable defense lawyer can clear up for you. The two terms are not interchangeable, and should not be used as such.
The Fundamentals of DUI Law
In Texas, the key difference in DUI law and DWI law is the age of the defendant. Only individuals under 21 years of age (under the legal drinking age) can be charged with a DUI in Texas. What a DUI essentially entails is driving under the influence – a minor operating a motor vehicle in a public place while having a detectable amount of alcohol in his or her system. In Texas law, a DUI is a Class C misdemeanor. This type of misdemeanor comes with fines up to $500, as well as a driver’s license suspension and community service sentence. The offender would also possibly be enrolled in an alcohol awareness course. An experienced defense attorney in the area can better explain the possible outcomes under DUI law.
The Basics of DWI Law
DWI, or driving while intoxicated, often carries a heavier penalty in Texas than driving under the influence. As the age of the perpetrator is over 21, DWI offenses are taken very seriously in Texas. The state has some of the most stringent penalties for repeat DWI offenses as well. DWI is measured by the BAC or BAC score of the defendant, which stands for blood alcohol content. This is usually measured by a breathalyzer test or a blood test, and having an alcohol concentration of.08 or more is an offense. Under the eyes of Texas law, DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, and comes with it a minimum punishment of 72 hour confinement. Under Texas law as well, you can be arrested for a DWI offensive if the police feel your driving ability is affected, regardless of whether your BAC score is above the legal limit. The first DWI conviction in Dallas comes with it a $2,000 maximum fine, up to six months behind bars, a driver’s license suspension, and $1,000 fine for three years to keep your driver’s license. The penalties grow larger with each passing offense.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony drug offense involving possession of firearms, contact Britt Redden, of Redden Law PLLC for a free legal consultation. Choose an experienced criminal defense Attorney in Dallas, who fights for dismissal of charges by preparing a powerful legal defense strategy.
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