Social drinking is a fundamental part of the adult culture in the United States. Whether you’re meeting friends for drinks or conducting a business dinner, you will likely encounter alcohol. In some cases, you may not realize your level of intoxication and decide to get behind the wheel. Drinking and driving is a serious offense in Texas and may force you to suffer severe legal consequences.
If a police officer arrests you for driving while under the influence of alcohol in San Antonio, contact Sophia C. Martinez as soon as possible. You may question whether a lawyer is necessary if this is your first DWI offense. However, without a reliable attorney on your side, you risk suffering legal, financial, and long-term effects of a DWI conviction.
What Factors Can Affect a Person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)?
Your blood alcohol concentration is the amount of alcohol in your blood. For you to be considered too intoxicated to drive properly, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) must be 0.08% or higher. However, a person may feel perfectly functional while having a high BAC level. Many elements impact a person’s BAC level, including:
- Previous food consumption
- Amount of Alcohol consumed
- Medical conditions
- Anxiety and stress
Your BAC level may significantly impact your DWI case. The higher your BAC percentage, the more likely you will suffer severe consequences like high fines and possible jail time. Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your best options.
What Are the Possible Consequences of a First-Offense DWI in Texas?
There are many elements that determine your consequences, including any previous criminal offenses, your level of BAC, whether you caused an accident, and if you were committing other crimes. For a first offense DWI, you may suffer the following consequences:
- Possible license suspension of up to 2 years
- Up to $2,000 in fines
- From 72 hours up to 180 days of jail time if BAC level is <.15
- For BAC.15 or higher—from 0-1 year in County jail and up to a $4000.00 fine
- Ignition interlock device
- DWI education programs
A DWI case has various complicated steps and elements that may confuse those unfamiliar with the process. First-offense DWIs can seek lesser penalties due to the lack of previous convictions. In order to protect your rights, speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
How a San Antonio DWI Conviction May Affect Your Life
The long-term effects of a DWI can turn your life upside down and limit your future goals. A few examples of how a DWI may impact your life include:
Employment and Education
Having a DWI on your record may significantly reduce your chances of acceptance in certain schools and jobs. Most organizations will conduct a background check or look at your record before hiring or accepting you into their school. They may even ask that you divulge any criminal background in their application, making it a challenge to meet those goals you once had for yourself.
Renting an apartment, buying a house, or applying for loans can become difficult after a DWI conviction. Similar to school and job applications, loan companies and landlords will look at your background to determine whether they can trust you to make payments on time. A DWI conviction may cause the individual to decline your application based on the fact that you may not be able to find a lot of job opportunities.
Your social life may also suffer harm after a DWI conviction. Some people you once considered friends might judge your behavior, and you may find it challenging to connect with them. Romantic relationships may also suffer due to the added stress of finding a job, having a hard time finding a place to live, and completing your sentence.
While the legal punishments of a DWI conviction may be harsh, the long-term effects might cause more of an impact than most may realize. In order to protect yourself and limit your penalties, speak with a hard-working attorney as soon as possible.
Why Contact a San Antonio DWI Lawyer?
Representing yourself for a first-offense DWI is dangerous and may jeopardize your rights. Those unfamiliar with legal defense strategies, terminology, and processes will unknowingly place themselves at risk. A San Antonio DWI lawyer has the ability to provide you with the following:
- Guiding you through the legal processes
- Reviewing legal documents
- Negotiating possible consequences
- Analyzing information for potential legal issues
- Answering case-related questions
- Conducting a detailed investigation
With a reliable DWI attorney on your side, you will be able to feel confident in your legal representation’s ability to protect your rights. The sooner you speak with your lawyer, the more time they have to investigate and create defense strategies for your case.
Speak With a Dependable San Antonio DWI Lawyer at Sophia Martinez Law
The complex processes, terminology, and strategies used in a DWI case will be frustrating and stressful for anyone unfamiliar with the process. While everyone makes mistakes, a DWI may cause you to suffer severe legal consequences and future challenges. You will want the best possible chances of receiving reduced penalties, which is why hiring an attorney is essential.
Former Assistant District Attorney Sophia C. Martinez has over 25 years of experience protecting clients’ rights across Texas. She understands that every person and case is unique and requires thorough and tailored legal services. Fluent in English and Spanish, Sophia C. Martinez dedicates her practice to providing her clients with the highly-qualified legal representation they can trust.
Contact Sophia Martinez Law by calling (210) 226-3000 or filling out our contact form today.