Law Offices Of Richard C. McConathy

Driving While Intoxicated

First DWI

First DWI3

In a great number of criminal cases in Texas, people facing first-time driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges have never before been charged with any kind of crime. The result is that frequently alleged offenders in these cases have a multitude of concerns about how their cases will turn out and there is considerable stress while waiting for court dates.

People need to understand that an arrest for DWI is not the same as a conviction and a prosecutor still has to prove a person’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure a conviction. Experienced criminal defense lawyers are going to know how to identify every single flaw in a prosecutor’s case and identify possible openings for creating reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors, which is why it is so important for a person facing first-time DWI charges to quickly retain legal counsel.

Any one of a number of possible errors by law enforcement during a DWI arrest could impact how a case is prosecuted, and you could be more likely to get a favorable deal in plea bargaining if there were any errors committed in your case. Most people are completely unaware of the kinds of mistakes that could significantly impact their criminal cases, which is why it is so important to have an attorney review the DWI case right away.

First DWI3

Weatherford First DWI Attorney

If you were arrested for your first DWI offense anywhere in Parker County, you are going to want to make sure that you take quick and decisive action right away. Make sure your first phone call is to The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Our firm will be able to conduct our own independent investigation into your arrest and will work to find all evidence that you could be able to use in your defense in court. We will review your case and answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (817) 458-3226 or contact our firm online to schedule a free consultation.

First DWI Charges in Texas

Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04(a), a person commits a DWI offense if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) defines intoxicated as not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

A first-time DWI arrest is typically a Class B misdemeanor. Texas Penal Code § 49.04(d) establishes that a DWI can be classified as a Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender has an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more.

When a person refuses to submit to chemical testing or fails chemical tests, their driver’s license may be confiscated on the spot by law enforcement. They will typically be given a notice of suspension that allows them to drive for up to 15 days after the arrest before the suspension takes effect.


While first-time DWI offenses are typically classified as misdemeanors, it is possible for some people to face felony charges for a first-time arrest. Felony charges can result in a couple of different scenarios.

Some first-time DWI offenses could trigger enhanced charges. For example, an alleged offender accused of being intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place and having a vehicle occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age can be charged with DWI with child passenger, which is a state jail felony.

If a first-time drunk driver is involved in an automobile accident, a person could be charged with intoxication assault if they cause serious bodily injury to another person, and this crime is a third-degree felony. When a drunk driver allegedly causes the death of another person, they may be charged with intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony.

Many first-time DWI offenses are simply the result of routine traffic stops and do not lead to any enhanced charges. People should still be aware of the potential of aggravated charges for these related crimes though.

First DWI Penalties in Parker County

Possible consequences of a conviction for a DWI offense depend on how the crime was classified. Maximum sentences that may be imposed are as follows:

Class B Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000; or
Class A Misdemeanor — Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

The state jail felony charges for DWI with child passenger are punishable by up to two years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000. Third-degree felony charges for intoxication assault are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000 while intoxication manslaughter convictions can lead to up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

If a first-time drunk driver is involved in an automobile accident, a person could be charged with intoxication assault if they cause serious bodily injury to another person, and this crime is a third-degree felony. When a drunk driver allegedly causes the death of another person, they may be charged with intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony.

A first DWI charge typically involves a minimum term of confinement of 72 hours, but the minimum term of confinement is six days under Texas Penal Code § 49.04(c) when an alleged offender has an open container of alcohol in his or her immediate possession while operating a motor vehicle. Additional punishments could include driver’s licenses being suspended for a minimum of 90 days and/or requirements to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in all automobiles owned or driven by the alleged offender.

When alleged DWI offenders avoid jail time, they are usually given community supervision or community service. These programs need to be completed in a timely manner or the court could end up sentencing the person back to jail.

Some alleged offenders could also be ordered to complete attendance at a state-approved rehabilitation facility. Others may have to attend a DWI school, which is often a 12-hour course that needs to be completed within 180 days of receiving probation.

DWI test refusal cases can also result in an additional 180-day license suspension. Some alleged offenders could be eligible for occupational licenses that allow for limited driving, but obtaining an occupational license could also involve having an IID installed.

Individuals who are in dire need of driver’s licenses will benefit from having the help of a skilled lawyer who knows how to get driving privileges restored in these kinds of cases. There are usually driving options available to alleged offenders provided they know the best ways to seek those privileges.

Many people will be interested in possibly expunging or sealing their criminal records after a DWI conviction, but such efforts are typically not applicable to most DWI cases. People who are convicted of DWI in Texas often cannot do anything about the records of their arrests.

Juveniles convicted of DWI may have their juvenile records eligible for expunction if they complete their punishment and do not have any other alcohol-related charges on their records. Everybody else can only expunge a DWI arrest and charge from their record if they were not convicted, typically cases involving charges never being filed, courts dismissing cases, courts finding alleged offenders not guilty of the charges, or convictions being overturned on appeal.

The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy understands the concerns that people have about how a DWI record will impact their employment, housing, or other concerns involving possible background checks. We can advise you the best practices to help you minimize the damage of a DWI conviction if we are unable to get the DWI charges thrown out in court.

Weatherford First DWI Resources

Texas Drunk Driving Laws, Penalties, and Consequences — View a NOLO article discussing DWI laws and penalties in Texas. The article covers getting a DWI without actually driving, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits, and DWI penalties. You can also learn more about implied consent and plea bargaining.

Driving Under the Influence – Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) — Visit this state website to learn more about the definition of legally intoxicated and the penalties for DWI. There is also information about DWI with child passenger and open container crimes. You can also view drunk driving safety campaigns.

Contact a First DWI Lawyer in Parker County Today

If you were arrested for your first DWI in the greater Weatherford area, you cannot afford to wait to seek legal assistance. You will want to be sure you speak to The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy right away.

Our firm will be committed to helping you achieve the most favorable possible outcome to your case. You can have us discuss your case with you when you call (817) 458-3226 or contact us online to set up a fee consultation.

Practice Area

DWI Defense

BWI Defense

First DWI

Flying While Intoxicated

Second DWI

Third or Subsequent DWI

Felony DWI

DWI with BAC over 0.15

Controlled Substances and DWI

Open Container

Intoxication Assault

Intoxication Manslaughter

DWI Test Refusal and Implied Consent

License Suspension Hearings

DWI with Child Passenger

DWI Expunction

Contesting Blood Alcohol Tests

Ignition Interlock Device

DWI with Property Damage

Underage DWI

Commercial DWI

SR-22 / DWI Insurance

Theft Crimes

Enhanced Offenses

Criminal Defense

Case Results

DISMISSED
DWI Blood Test Case + Prescription Meds
(Cr200606211)
 
DISMISSED
DWI Breath Test Case, Result Of .224
(Mb0453171)
 
DISMISSED
DWI Breath Test Refusal
(005-84171-05, Ccl6)
 
DISMISSED
DWI, Open Container
(Mb0534487)
 
DISMISSED
2nd DWI, Breath Test Refusal
(Mb-0262214-G Ccc6)
Parker Criminal Lawyer Richard & Brian

“A law is valuable, not because it is a law, but because there is right in it.”

henry ward beecher