I Got a DWI. Can I Avoid Jail?
Facing DWI charges can leave you reeling. What if you have huge fines you can’t afford – or worse, end up with a jail sentence? There are some states throughout the US that mandate jail time even for first offenses. But even in those cases, you might have a chance of avoiding jail time if you have an experienced DWI defense lawyer on your side.
The best way to prepare for the case and try to reduce or dismiss the sentence is to hire a practiced lawyer to help.
Will I Go to Jail for a DWI?
It is entirely possible that you could be facing jail time for a DWI, even if it’s your first offense. However, the chances significantly increase for repeat offenses. Whether or not you face jail time will likely depend on the scenario, the state in which you were arrested, and how your case moves in the system.
For example, in Texas, a first offense DWI is a misdemeanor. However, the penalties are listed as follows:
- Suspension of driver’s license for up to 1 year
- Fines up to $1,000
- Jail time up to 180 days
The same outline also states three mandatory days in jail. For a second offense, this could increase, and it increases even more for a third offense.
Potential Alternatives to Jail Time
In some cases, you may be able to plea bargain your case and receive a reduced sentence. With a skilled lawyer, you might even completely avoid jail time. There are several alternatives to jail time that a judge may choose to utilize. Here are a few:
- House arrest
- Community service
- Loss of license
Again, this will heavily depend on the judge, the situation that led to the arrest, and the evidence against you as well.
What to Do When Facing DWI Jail Time
What do you do if you’re facing a DWI and want to avoid jail time? The best thing you can do is hire an attorney to review and take your case.
Chances are, you won’t be able to fight this alone. Most law enforcement officers know what type of evidence is needed for the case. A lawyer can help you navigate the court case and negotiate a reduced sentence that could help you avoid going to jail to begin with.
Don’t enter a guilty plea; instead, use a not guilty plea to help strategize and request a reduced sentence.
Use an Experienced DWI Lawyer for the Best Results
If you hope to avoid jail time, it is essential to hire a DWI defense lawyer for the process. This is the best way to fight the charges and the sentencing to hopefully avoid going to jail.
An experienced DWI defense lawyer will be able to guide you throughout the entire process. While you might not be able to get the case dismissed completely, you might be able to reduce the charges and eliminate unwanted jail time in the process.