Houston First Time DWI Attorney


Texas First Offense DWI Charges

The Texas Penal Code makes it unlawful for a person to Drive While Intoxicated (DWI). Intoxication is defined under Texas law as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties because of alcohol or drugs or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. A conviction for a first offense DWI can affect your driving privileges, your professional license, and your freedom.

While many people believe that a first offense DWI is a low-level misdemeanor, the Texas courts see it as a serious offense. Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated are only getting stricter. It is vital that you consult a knowledgeable Houston DWI defense lawyer immediately after your arrest. You have only 15 days to request a hearing to stop the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Contact a Houston DWI defense attorney at James Alston Law today at (713) 228-1400 to schedule a consultation.

Penalties For A First DWI Conviction

If you are over the age of 21 and are convicted of a Texas DWI, the court may require you to:

  • Complete a 12-hour DWI Intervention Program
  • Serve a license suspension of up to two (2) years
  • Pay a license reinstatement fee of $100
  • Obtain Proof of Financial Responsibility Insurance Certificate (SR-22)
  • Serve Probation
  • Install an Ignition Interlock Device
  • Serve a minimum of 72 hours in jail (up to 180 days)
  • Pay a fine not to exceed $2,000

For most first offense DWI cases in the State of Texas, a prosecutor will seek a conviction of a Class B Misdemeanor. As discussed below, several aggravating factors could lead to an increase in the penalties and severity of the charges.

Enhancements For A First Offense DWI In Texas

Circumstances that could increase the penalties for a first offense DWI charge include driving with a passenger under the age of 15, driving with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, causing great bodily injury or death. All of these factors could result in additional charges or sentencing enhancements.

Deferred Adjudication

Texas House Bill 3582 went into effect on September 1, 2019, allowing “eligibility for deferred adjudication community of defendants who committed certain intoxication offenses.” In order to be granted deferred adjudication, a person charged with an eligible offense must install an ignition interlock device. First time DWI offenders with an alcohol concentration of over 0.15 are ineligible for deferred adjudication. Additionally, those that hold a commercial driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit cannot apply for deferred adjudication.

If successful, a person may receive a discharge and dismissal of the charges. It is important to note that a dismissal under a deferred adjudication is not the same as a dismissal of the charges. There are limitations, and it can be used against you. It is important to consult an experienced DWI attorney before accepting a plea or entering deferred adjudication on your case.


James Alston is a skilled litigator, well-versed in the complex defense of drunk driving cases. He is well-respected throughout the Harris County Courts. As a former state and federal prosecutor, he understands how to build a strong defense in your case and get the charges reduced or even dismissed. Contact James Alston Law today at (713) 228-1400 to schedule a consultation.