Many people may brush off the idea of a DWI as a serious legal issue, but nothing could be further from the truth. The facts are that first and subsequent DWI convictions put the person convicted in serious legal trouble. This principle was proved true in a recent sentence handed down to a many convicted of DWI in Texas.
Recently in Montgomery County, Texas a man was convicted of his ninth DWI over a period of many decades behind the wheel. According to court documents and news reports, the man was driving erratically when he missed a turn signal and ran into a vehicle, barely avoiding a head-on-collision. After the accident, he reportedly ran away from the scene into a nearby gas station where he begged the clerk to hide him from authorities.
Following this, the man was booked and charged with DWI. Of course this was not a new thing for this man, as he had previously been convicted of DWI on eight separate occasions. Instead of taking his case to trial, the man pled guilty, but that did not win him any leniency with the judge. In fact, he was sentenced to life in prison for DWI.
DWI a Serious Charge
While this case is rare, it does underscore an important point regarding DWI charges: All DWI charges are serious. In the state of Texas, a first-time conviction of DWI could result in jail time, steep fines, and a long license suspension. But beyond this, being convicted of DWI will remain on the person’s record, and affect him or her in many facets of life going forward.
Even if a person convicted of DWI pays his or her dues and makes it right, that arrest and conviction will a matter of public record affecting employment applications, housing opportunities, and other areas. In fact, studies show that nearly a third of people will be arrested by age 23, and that just a record of arrest will adversely affect employment opportunities.
In regards to DWI, every new charge just gets more serious. With each charge and conviction of DWI, the penalties increase including higher fines, more jail time, and longer license suspensions. This means that every legal effort should be made from the very first charge.
Rights Under the Law
Those charged with DWI have rights. While national and local information campaigns seek to make every person charged with DWI guilty before a trial or even a hearing, that is just not the case. Every person charged with DWI has the right to be considered innocent until proved guilty. Additionally, those charged with DWI have a right to a trial, to call witnesses at trial, and to examine and compare the state’s evidence against their own case.
How can you defend and enact those rights? At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm our business is defending those charged with DWI. If you are charged with DWI, contact us. We will go through your case with you, help you understand your rights, and defend them aggressively.
(photo courtesy of Larry Farr)