If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of engaging in an illegal activity such as driving while intoxicated, this may be your first experience with the criminal justice system.
A conviction comes with harsh penalties and will have a detrimental effect on your future in many ways. However, a successful defense can result in the reduction of penalties or even in the dismissal of the charges against you.
Understanding a first offense
For most people, an arrest for the first time is a frightening experience. For example, if you are facing a DWI conviction, you are looking at the loss of your driving privileges for up to a year, a fine of up to $2,000 and even three to 180 days behind bars. If law enforcement stops you on suspicion of DWI with a passenger under the age of 15 in your vehicle, you face as much as two years in a state jail and pay a fine of up to $10,000.
The state of Texas wants to keep first offenders from becoming repeat offenders. Depending on the situation, available remedies might include rehabilitative counseling, drug or alcohol education programs or community service in place of jail time. Intervention with the prosecution or even a plea bargain could lower the penalties you face.
Building a successful defense strategy includes a thorough examination of the circumstances surrounding your arrest. Errors could have been made in testing, for example, or in administrative decisions. Options are therefore available that could reduce the charges against you or even lead to the dismissal of your case.