DWI Attorney Mark D. Kelly
What are the legal and financial consequences of getting a DWI conviction?
THE FIRST DWI OFFENSE
If your blood alcohol reading on your first DWI offense was less than .20%, it is usually a Misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and jail time of a maximum of ninety days, or both. You will likely lose your license to drive for at least 90 days and the court may order you to attend an alcohol treatment program or at a minimum, a seminar or class on how alcohol affects your body and your ability to drive.
The first offense may become a Gross Misdemeanor (punishable by a maximum fine of $3,000 and a maximum jail time of a year, or both) under certain circumstances, which include having a child in the car and having a blood alcohol content of over .20 percent.
THE SECOND OFFENSE
The second offense in ten years is a Gross Misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $3,000 and a year in jail, or both. At a minimum, you will have to spend 30 days in jail or eight hours community work service for each day less than 30 days that you are ordered to serve in jail. The police will probably take your plates and perhaps even your car.
THE THIRD OFFENSE
If you have been driving while impaired within ten years of two prior DWI offenses, you will either have: 1) a minimum of 90 days in jail, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility or 2) a program of intensive probation which will include serving at least six days consecutively in a local jail. The police will likely take your car and you will need a lawyer’s help to deal with the financial consequences of the seizure.
THE FOURTH OFFENSE
If you have been driving while impaired within ten years of three prior
offenses, you are guilty of a Felony. Current laws require that you are
sentenced to prison for at least three years and given a fine of not less
than $14,000.00. If the judge decides to reduce the three-year term,
there is still a mandatory minimum sentence of 180 days of incarceration,
at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively.