Most people realize that they could face possible jail time for a DWI arrest, along with criminal fines. But a host of other problems await anyone arrested for DWI, so you should reach out to legal counsel as soon as possible. Please call DWI attorney Tad Nelson or a member of his team. We can go to your arraignment or initiate plea discussions with the prosecutor. There is so much at stake, and no one should go into court “blind.” Below, we highlight five consequences of a DWI arrest.
You Have a Criminal Record
Some people wrongly think a criminal record only includes convictions. But arrests are also part of your record, and this information is public. Once arrested, anyone performing a background check can find out that you were arrested for DWI.
Armed with this information, someone could reject you for a job or apartment or deny you a loan. There are all sorts of repercussions that come with getting arrested. The best thing to do is to get the charges dismissed or beat the charges and then have your arrest records sealed.
Your Driver’s License is Revoked
In Texas, license revocation is automatic if you are arrested for DWI with a BAC over 0.08. You can expect to lose your license for at least 90 days for the first failure, and a second failure can result in a one-year suspension.
If you refuse the breath test, then you lose your license for 180 days, while a second refusal will result in a two-year suspension.
This suspension occurs even before you are ever convicted of a crime. In some ways, these administrative suspensions are unfair, but they are certainly legal in Texas.
Helpfully, some people can get an essential needs license to help them drive to work or school—but don’t count on getting one. You can also request a hearing where you challenge whether the officer had probable cause to stop you. We highly recommend hiring a seasoned Houston DWI lawyer who can make a strong argument on your behalf to the administrative law judge.
You Can Experience Financial Stress
Losing your driver’s license, even for a few months, can cause intense financial stress. You might have to cut back your hours, or you might lose your job altogether. Some people must pay for an Uber or a taxi to get to work, and that can add up.
A conviction will only compound your financial difficulties. Many people are embarrassed to tell their boss about the arrest, but he or she will probably find out if you are convicted and must report to jail.
We wish it were easy to avoid the financial stress of a DWI. But the best thing you can do is meet with an attorney. A DWI charge is one thing, but financial problems will snowball if you are convicted and must purchase insurance, which is also expensive following a DWI.
Your Professional License Could Be Suspended
Those people with professional licenses, such as doctors and lawyers, need to report criminal violations to their licensing board. The board will investigate and, depending on the surrounding circumstances, censure you or even suspend your license. Although a DWI arrest is not as serious as committing fraud or lying under oath, the board could choose to discipline you, especially if this is not your first criminal offense or if there are egregious circumstances, such as a death or injury.
Please consult an attorney to review if you need to report a DWI arrest and how to handle any investigation opened into your crime.
You Can Lose Your Job
Texas is an at-will employment state. That means that employers can fire a worker without giving any reason, with only limited exceptions, such as the existence of an employment contract. Employers also can’t discriminate based on certain characteristics, like age or race.
But a DWI arrest isn’t protected. An employer who catches wind of your arrest could decide you are too big of a risk to keep employed. The best thing to do is to prove that the charges against you lack merit and that you are innocent. Our legal team can fight to prove that you were not driving while intoxicated.
Call an Experienced Houston DWI Lawyer Today
The days following an arrest are frightening. Many DWI defendants are convinced that they will be convicted and that fighting the charges is hopeless. Fortunately, our legal team has mounted successful defenses for many clients. You need someone in your corner who knows how to push back against allegations that you were driving drunk or high. Call Tad Nelson & Associates today to get the legal help you need.