Houston DWI Attorney Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm


Houston DWI Attorney Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm

Whether You’ve Been Convicted Of DWI For The First Time Or You’ve Had Multiple Convictions, The Being Convicted Of DWI Affects Everything Throughout Your Life From Your Reputation And Career To Insurance Rates And Our Ability To Own A Firearm. 

In Texas, Each Time You Are Convicted Of DWI, The Punishment Becomes More And More Severe Legally, Socially And Professionally.

DWI – The Legal Punishment

To See How The Punishment For DWI Convictions Breaks Out, Read This Page:

You’ll Also Find These Articles Helpful:

Jail Time Versus Prison Time For DWI

If You Are Convicted Of A DWI, You May Have To Serve Either Jail Time Or Prison Time. 

Jail Is Time Spent In The County Institution And Prison Time Is In A State Institution. 

In Both Instances, The Judge Or Jury Can Probate Jail Time. 

This Is Where It Suspends The Incarceration Provided That The Individual Performs Certain Rehabilitation Terms And Conditions Over Time During A Probation Term.

Collateral Consequences Of DWI 

As Harsh As The Above Penalties Are, The Collateral Consequences Of A DWI Conviction Are Even Worse. 

If You Are Convicted You Can Expect:

  • To Pay A Lot Of Money: The Texas Department Of Transportation Estimates That The Out Of Pocket Loss For A 1st time DWI Defender, After Paying Fines, Bonds, Probation Fees, Supervision Fees, Ignition Interlock Fees, Etc., To Be About $17,000!
  • To Have Higher Insurance Rates: Your Insurance Company May Terminate Your Policy Or Substantially Increase Your Insurance Rates. Read More
  • To Jeopardize Your Job: Your Employer May Not Be Permitted By Their Insurance Carrier To Allow A Driver To Use Or Access A Needed Company Vehicle If They’ve Been Convicted Of DWI. For Example, If You Drive For UPS, You Are No Longer Allowed To Use Their Delivery Truck. The Same Would Be True If You And Delivery Driver Whether It’s Pizza, Flowers, Uber Eats, Etc. In Short, You’ll Most Likely Be Terminated.

How DWI Affects Pilots

People Involved In Aviation Are Particularly Open For Over-The-Top Punishment If They Get A DWI. 

If You Are A Licensed Commercial Or Private Pilot, You May Be Declined Accident Insurance Coverage Which Means Your Company Will Terminate You.

Indeed, The Federal Aviation Administration Often Sanctions Pilots Even Where A DWI Is Dismissed, But There Has Been Some Type Of Driver’s License Suspension Because Of It.  

In The FAA World, It Doesn’t Matter That The Pilot Has Spent Millions Of Dollars In Training, It Presumes Guilt—Not Innocence—When It Comes To DWI And Pilots.

How DWI Affects Military Service And Future Employment

The Same Political Punishments That Occur In Aviation Also Carry Over To Drivers Who Work As Air Traffic Controllers Or Those Who Work For The Railroads And With Vessel Operations In The Maritime Industry.  

Sadly, For Our Military Personnel Who Are Actively Involved In Protecting Our Freedoms, A DWI May Mean A Career Obstacle To Advancement And Discharge From Service.

Young Drivers Need To Be Very Careful About Not Getting A DWI Or DUI Conviction Because It Could Impact Their Ability To Obtain Future Employment With A Company Of Their Choice. 

Unfortunately, A DWI Conviction Under Texas Law Is Forever! 

It Does Not Go Away And Will Always Be Visible To Law Enforcement And To The General Public.

How DWI Affects Education And Licensing

Besides Future Employment, A DWI Conviction Will Be An Obstacle For Professional Licensing Or Admission Into Professional Schools. 

A DWI Conviction Might Prevent You From Being Admitted To Medical Or Law School, Or If You Are Already In An Educational Institution, It Might Preclude A License From Issuing After Graduation.

How DWI Affects Travel

If You Are Convicted Of DWI, Can No Longer Travel To Some Countries. For Instance:

  • Canada Views DUI As A Felony And, If You Stay Crime-Free, You Can Enter The Country After 10 Years When Your Conviction Is Expunged From Your Record.
  • In China, Japan, And Malaysia, They Expect You To Be Honest About Your Misdemeanor Charges When Applying For A Travel Visa Because They May Run A Background Check On You. Getting Caught Lying About Your Criminal Record Can Get You Banned From These Countries For Several Years.
  • Mexico May Refuse You Entry Into The Country If You’ve Had A Drunk Driving Conviction Within The Past 10 Years. So Much For That Trip To Cabo.

Sealing Your DWI Record

On The Flip Side, You Can Make An Effort To Have Your Records Sealed Under A Recent Texas Law If You Meet Certain Conditions. 

However, Even Though A Sealed DWI Is Hidden From The General Public, It’s Never Hidden From Anyone In Law Enforcement And Prosecutors Can Still Use It To Increase Your Punishment.


If You Get A DWI—Whether It’s Your First Or Subsequent—You Need To Hire The Very Best Lawyer And Fight It On Every Front. 

Under No Circumstances Should You Ever Surrender Your Right To A Jury Trial.

The Collateral Consequences Of A DWI Are Both Far-Reaching And Unknown For Your Future. 

A DWI Prosecution Can Be Both Defended AND Defeated, But Only To Those Who Are Willing To Look Into The Future And See The Critical Need To Protect It.

Lastly, The Best Defense Against A DWI Conviction Is Simply Not To Drink & Drive And That Is My Final Advice Here.


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What is DWI and its potential punishment?

Trichter & LeGrand DWI Lawyers

DWI Punishment & Penalties

DWI-Punishments - Trichter & LeGrand Law Firm

DWI is a criminal offense which prohibits you from operating a motor vehicle in a public place.

 while “intoxicated” is defined as having lost the normal use of either mental or physical faculties, or having a .08 alcohol level in either your breath, your blood, or your urine.

The DWI statute does not require you to be “drunk,” rather, it only requires that you to be “intoxicated” to be charged with DWI. 

When considering DWI punishment, we have to discuss the loss of normal mental/physical faculties must be caused by alcohol, drugs, a controlled substance, some other impairing substance, or a combination thereof in order to violate the DWI statute. 

Breakdown Of DWI Punishment By Offense:


DWI Punishment In Texas

Most DWI punishment as a consequence of convictions result in probation, which means your jail sentence is suspended, you’ll be fined, or your driver’s license will be suspended by the court. 

Said another way, upon conviction, the judge pronounces a jail sentence punishment, a fine sentence, and a driver’s license suspension, but suspends that jail sentence and places the person on “community supervision” (also known as probation) instead.


Judge Justice says, “Mr. Defendant, your sentence is 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine, and a year’s suspension of your driver’s license.”

DWI Defendant replies, “Holy cow, I can’t believe it, I’m going to jail!”

But all of the sudden the judge says, “However, I’m going to probate this sentence. Your jail is probated for 1 year, $1,500 of your fine is probated, and your driver’s license suspension is also probated.”


In layman’s terms, this means that if the defendant behaves for 1 year, he will:

  • NOT have to do the 180 days in jail.
  • Pay only $500 of the fine.
  • NOT have his driver’s license taken from him.

“Wait,” you say, “what does ‘behave’ mean?”

It means that the judge has offered the defendant a “deal” he can’t refuse. 

This deal is a contract between the defendant (you) and the court, and the contractual terms are simple: 

The judge promises not to put you in jail, not to make you pay the entire fine, and not to take away your driver’s license.

In exchange, if you agree to the probation as a result of your DWI punishment, you are agreeing generally to do the following:

  • >Report once a month to a probation officer.
  • >Not commit any further crimes during the term of probation.
  • >Pay a monthly supervisory fee to the probation office (approximately $40).
  • >Perform a specified number of hours (approximately 24 to 48) of community service (volunteer work to benefit the community) during the term of your probation.
  • >Attend DWI education classes dealing with the effects of alcohol or featuring victims of DWI-related tragedies (VIP Program).
  • >Abstain from consuming alcohol for the term of your probation.
  • >Pay your non-probated fines and court costs.
  • >Submit to a breath test by law enforcement or court personnel upon request.
  • >Install an alcohol ignition interlock device on your car, and only drive a car equipped with such as device (not always required).
  • >Make a small donation to MADD and/or Crime Stoppers.
  • >Remain within the county of your residence unless given permission by the court to leave it.
  • >Fulfill any other requirements the court sets for you.


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.