DWI With a Minor: What You Need to Know

DWI With a Child in Houston, TX

If you’re Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), and have a minor below the age of 15 in the vehicle, you could be fined as much as $10,000 and be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison if you’re found guilty in the court of law for such an offense.

A friend of mine, lets call him “Samuel”, had to undergo a similar experience when he tried to pick up his child from school, all while being drunk. He is currently sentenced to around a year in prison. Also, he was asked to go up for a 12-hour course on alcohol and drunk driving, which he had to complete within 180 days of probation.

Additionally, even if you do get away with the minimum jail term, which is around 18 days, a felony DWI charge can affect your livelihood.

In just August last year, a drunk student caused an accident that killed a man and injured his pregnant wife.

The student was charged with third-degree felony. Regardless of whether or not he graduates, potential employers may decide against hiring this young man.

A DWI Conviction Will Affect Driving Records

And Appear as a Criminal Record

Driving Records include records of all information related to driving, for example, information about the driving license, its expiry date, any tickets against you, violations charged to your vehicle etc. It may be necessary to access driving records in two situations – one, when you want to access your own driving record, and two, when you want to access someone else’s driving record.

You might want to access your own driving record to confirm the expiry of your license, list of your tickets and violations. It is wise to keep a check as a simple thing as a suspended license could lead you to jail, but if you are reminded of it, you can address the suspension.

You might similarly want to check the driving records of another person if you are hiring them. For example, while hiring drivers for taxis, it is important to review that their licenses are current and that they don’t have any pending tickets.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI felony, chances are any future employer would know about it when carrying out a background check, and it is important that

What’s Implied Consent?

Implied Consent basically means that your consent to take part in blood and breathe testing is implied by virtue of you being a Texas Driver License holder. In other words, by lawfully driving in Texas you’ve consented to chemical testing like roadside Blood, Breath, and Blood Testing. Under this legal standard, refusing to participate in the sobriety testing process will result in the suspension of your TDL, and criminal charges for DWI which will land you in jail.

Penalties for refusing consent will lead to an ALR hearing and are separate from any penalties related to the originating offense.

What is an SR-22?

An SR-22 is a form of auto insurance that’s usually requested by a judge or required by law after an incident of some kind. The purpose of SR-22 insurance is to guarantee that a motorist is insured as it certifies financial responsibility.

Basically, an SR-22 is liability insurance which, if cancelled, will prompt the insurance company to notify the State of Texas. To obtain SR-22 Insurance you’ll need to contact your insurance carrier.

What Does the SR in SR-22 Mean?

This is a great unknown. While the “SR” in SR-22 doesn’t signify any particular nomenclature (it’s just a document name), it’s fair to take the “SR” to mean “state required” because it is required by the State of Texas in every circumstance that it’s needed. In some of the other states the document is referred to as an FR-22 with the “FR” serving as an acronym for “Financial Responsibility”. We have not investigated the significance of the 22.

What Is The Cost of Fighting DWI Charges in Houston?

Costs vary from case to case, but are determined largely by the outcome of the case in the court of law. The good news is that you don’t have to concern yourself with the cost of court fees, court costs, or fines until after the case is finalized.

If convicted of DWI by a guilty finding of the court, or by entering a guilty plea, you’ll then be informed of what must be paid, why, and the cost. The court will require you to pay all fees associated with probation, any required DWI classes, and the cost of any chemical testing associated with your case.

Due to the TxDPS Driver Responsibility Program, you’ll also be forced by the State of Texas to pay surcharge fees if you ever intend to lawfully drive in Texas again. Whether the DWI occurred in or outside of Texas, you’ll have to pay either a $1,000.00 (1st DWI offense) or $1,500.00 (Subsequent DWI) surcharge every year for 3 years. If your Blood Alcohol Concentration was 0.16 or over, your surcharge will cost $2,500.00 per year for 3 years.

When taken together, surpassing $10,000.00 in costs is easily possible. If your drunk driving incident caused a car accident, you’ll be responsible for those costs as well.

Then there’s the matter of having to file for an SR-22. An SR-22 insurance policy could easily add a few thousand dollars to your yearly insurance costs, and that’s in addition to the regular premium increase which will occur if you’re convicted of the offense.

When considering the costs of legal defense fees, costs associated with posting bond, lost income when missing work for court, and vehicle storage lot & release fees, a Houston DWI can end up costing you thousands.

Fighting a Houston DWI charge is well worth the effort.