How a DWI and drug conviction affect your privileges of owning a gun, driving a car, holding a professional license and keeping a clean record.
Most people do not realize how a drug conviction like marijuana possession and a DWI affects gun ownership, your driver’s license and your professional licenses. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend your driver’s license for 180 days if you are convicted of possessing marijuana.
Also, you will be required to complete a Drug Education Program (DEP) through the Texas Department of State Health Services. DPS says on its website that failure to complete this program will result in the revocation of your driver’s license. This license suspension applies to any drug conviction, even if a car was never used during the commission of the offense. Further, Department of Public Safety will also require you to pay a $125.00 reinstatement fee and proof of SR-22 insurance for a two year period after the conviction.
Any DWI conviction can hold harsh consequences, whether it’s due to alcohol, marijuana, or some other substance. If you are convicted of driving while intoxicated due to marijuana in your body, DPS can suspend your driver’s license for 90 to 180 days. In some situations, these consequences can affect your day-to-day life more drastically than the criminal conviction. Regardless, you need a lawyer on your side who is aggressively capable of protecting your license privileges and your good name.
DWI Affects Gun Ownership
A DWI affects gun ownership too. A conviction related to the marijuana use may also affect your ability to legally purchase a new firearm from a gun dealer. One of the questions asked on the security questionnaire mandated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for all firearms dealer sales asks:
“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”
If you are convicted of DWI because of marijuana or another drug, then you MUST answer “yes” on this form. If you lie on this form, you can be prosecuted federally and at the state level for committing a felony. You could even go to prison.
DWI Affects Medical Licenses
In addition to losing your driver’s license, a DWI, Possession of Marijuana, or Possession of a Controlled Substance conviction also may also affect your ability to enter into certain higher education professions. For example, it can potentially affect anyone who wants to go to medical school as it may negatively impact your ability to write prescriptions or obtain medications.
DWI is Permanently on Your Record
Many criminal offenses in Texas can be resolved through deferred adjudication probation where the court does not find you guilty of an offense, but still places you on a short supervision period. Typically the probation period lasts 6-24 months, but this type of probation is not available in a DWI case. The fact that marijuana or alcohol caused the intoxication does not matter. After a DWI arrest, you may have the records destroyed only through expunction, a process that carries with it the precondition of a “dismissal” or “not guilty” finding.
You can see that besides a criminal conviction, a DWI, especially one caused by the use of marijuana, can have a much greater impact on your life than simply the penal code punishment of possible jail and fine.