Worst-Case Scenario Of A DWI Conviction in Texas

By | December 2, 2016

worst case scenario tx dwi

What is my worst-case scenario?

Now, when I hear “worst-case scenario,” I think of a legal catastrophe, a kind of judicial thermonuclear holocaust, or the sun exploding and incinerating Earth. Possible? Well … yes, but it’s really more of a theoretical possibility than something anyone would realistically worry about.

But often when folks visit me, they put the question in exactly those words. And I have an ethical duty to give an honest answer to the question they actually ask, not the one I think they mean to ask.

So buckle up. This might sound pretty bad. But once you get to the next question, we’ll dial your anxiety back down a bit.

  • If you are charged with a Class B Misdemeanor DWI, your worst-case scenario is to serve 180 days in jail and pay a $2,000 fine, or to serve both the jail time and pay the fine.
  • If you are charged with a Class A Misdemeanor DWI, your worst-case scenario is to serve one year in jail and pay a $4,000 fine, or do both the jail time and pay the fine.
  • If you are charged with a State Jail Felony DWI (because you were charged with DWI and you had a passenger who was younger than 15 years of age), then your worst-case scenario is to serve 2 years in the State Jail Facility and pay a $10,000 fine.
  • If you are charged with a 3rd Degree Felony DWI (because you have two prior convictions for DWI), then your worst-case scenario is to serve 10 years in prison and pay a fine of $10,000.

There are additional enhanced penalty ranges for defendants who have already served time in prison (for any type of felony) and then get charged with a felony DWI, but I’m sure you have the drift.  It only gets worse from here.

What is my most probable worst-case scenario?

Ah, now here’s the question I think folks are really trying to ask. First I’m going to assume you don’t want to go to jail.

I am only going to explain this for first worst case scenario because every case is different but it should give you an idea of what’s probable. If your convicted of a Class B Misdemeanor DWI your most probable worst-case scenario is that you’ll serve a probation that will last approximately 18 months, perform 60 hours of community service restitution, pay a fine of somewhere between $200 – $500, pay court costs (which are usually around $475), and complete any classes recommended by the Travis County Counseling and Education Services (“TCCES,” which rhymes with “abcess”).  These classes usually include the DWI Education Class, which lasts 12 hours and costs about $70.00. Sometimes TCCES will recommend that you also take the Alcohol or Drug Education Class, which also lasts 12 hours and costs about $70.00.

If you’re concerned about the conviction consequences of your DWI contact my office for a free consultation by either filling out the form on this page or placing a phone call. During your consultation we can review your case and evaluate your probable worst-case scenario.