DWI Charges Explained

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Have you been pulled over and arrested for suspicion of drinking and driving? Don’t assume that means you’ll automatically be stuck with a DWI on your record. There are options and alternatives if you are facing this situation. The first step in navigating through these legal hurdles is to call the Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Firm, where we can guide you and work to get the best possible outcome for your case. Not taking action can result in license loss, criminal conviction, and a record your employer can see.


Receiving your first DWI is a 4th Degree DWI charge which could result in a loss of license for 90 days. Generally speaking, an offer will be rendered where there is probation and a fine anywhere up to $1000 and the possibly of jail depending on the circumstances of your case. A DWI is an enhanceable offense, meaning the more you receive in a ten-year period, the harsher the penalties.


If you have received a DWI along with a prior DWI in the last ten years, have an aggravating factor, or refused to submit to a blood or breath test, then you’ll face a 3rd Degree DWI charge. You could also face this charge if you take a breath test and blow above a .16, or twice the legal limit. The severity level of this charge is a gross misdemeanor, which could result in a $3000 fine and/or 364 days as a maximum penalty.  Each situation is unique, and the facts in your case could lead to different results, but having a plan in place and a lawyer you can trust can help you achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.


If you have two prior DWI’s within the last ten years and then face another one, you’ll be required to serve 90 days with at least 30 days in jail and 60 days on electronic home monitoring with alcohol supervision. A 2nd Degree DWI is a Gross Misdemeanor offense. You can also receive a 2nd Degree DWI by having a prior DWI and blowing above a .16 or refusing a test. You could also face this charge if your blood alcohol concentration is at or above .16 and you had a child in the vehicle.


If you have three prior DWIs within the past 10 years, a previous felony DWI conviction, or a certain prior criminal vehicular operation felony conviction, then you will be facing a 1st Degree DWI. The consequences of a 1st Degree DWI will most likely involve serving time in jail or the potential of prison. The collateral consequence of a 1st Degree DWI will be a loss of license for 4 years. The maximum penalty a court can impose is seven years in jail and/or a $14,000 fine.


Receiving a DWI can be costly and time consuming when considering litigation. Going in with the right plan and strategy will contribute to the best possible outcome when facing a DWI. When considering your options with your DWI case, you want the right legal help to assist in your legal needs.

Luis Moreno is a criminal defense attorney with Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd. His aim is to make sure his clients stay informed about the development of their cases and that they receive quality advice on which strategies are in their best interests.

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