R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
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What are the penalties for a DWI conviction?

Everyone makes mistakes. When you are out enjoying your time with friends, it can be easy to lose track of time. It is also easy to miscalculate how much you have had to drink or how other intoxicants may be affecting your ability to drive.

You may have somewhere important to get to, or you may just be heading home for the night. However, even one intoxicated driving mistake can be very costly.

Not all DWI charges are alcohol-related

A driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge usually occurs after law enforcement catches someone driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater. However, this is not always the case. Law enforcement may try to charge someone with a DWI regardless of the driver’s BAC if officers believe the driver was impaired by drugs when driving.

The penalties for one mistake are bad enough

If you receive one DWI conviction, you may face a fine up to $2,000. You may need to spend between three days and 180 days in jail. Also, you may lose your driving license for up to a year and be required to pay an annual fee to retain your driver’s license for the next three years. This fee can range between $1,000 and $2,000.

Penalties can get increasingly severe

The penalty for even one DWI conviction is severe, but it can get increasingly more severe with every subsequent offense. A second offense could mean a $4,000 fine, up to a year in jail, loss of driving privileges for two years and annual fees to retain your driver’s license. A third offense could mean a $10,000 fine, up to 10 years in prison, two years without driving privileges and annual fees to retain your driver’s license.

An appropriate defense can help achieve better outcomes in court

Because the penalties can be so severe, it is usually not worth the risk of driving while intoxicated. However, if you made a mistake that resulted in DWI charges, it can be prudent to do everything you can to pursue the best possible outcome in court. Every situation is different, but an appropriate defense strategy can minimize or avoid the penalties associated with a DWI conviction.

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