Frequently Asked Questions

Punishment & Consequences

Will I have to go back to jail if this is my first DWI?
+
-

Usually no. In most cases for a first DWI, a person is not required or sentenced to any jail time if they plead or are found guilty.

Most often, if a person spends extra time in jail for a first DWI, it is because they did not follow the Court’s rules while out on bond, and their case is still pending. This can include being late to court, blowing a positive alcohol test in their guardian interlock device, or failing a drug test.

Are DWI convictions permanent?
+
-

The simple answer is yes. If you plead or are found guilty of DWI, you can never completely wipe it from your record.

However, depending on the facts of your case and the time surpassed, you MIGHT be eligible for a non-disclosure. If you are eligible, this will not completely erase the arrest or conviction. Government agencies and law enforcement are still able to access these records. This might potentially allow you to seal/ hide a past conviction from future employers and from public record.

What are the best and worst outcomes I can expect for my DWI case? What costs can I expect if I am convicted?
+
-

The best outcome for any DWI is a dismissal. A dismissal is always Cannon Law’s primary goal for any case. If there is no dismissal in a case, then going to trial and the jury finding you Not Guilty is the next best outcome. Both a dismissal and a not guilty verdict will allow you to expunge the case from your record. Once your case is expunged, you can legally deny it ever happened.

The worst outcome for a DWI would obviously be a conviction- and the punishment a person receives as a result.

Punishment levels can vary greatly depending upon the level of DWI you are charged with.

DWI 1st Offense– Class B Misdemeanor

  • Up to a $2,000 fine.

  • 3 – 180 days in jail (This time is usually served through probation)

  • License suspension for up to 2 years.

  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.

DWI 1st Offense with a BAC at or above a .15 – Class A Misdemeanor

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.

  • 3 Days – 1 Year in Jail (This time is usually served through probation)

  • License suspension for up to 2 years.

  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.

DWI Second Offense– Class A Misdemeanor

  • Up to a $4,000 fine.

  • 30 days - 1 year in jail (Majority of jail time is usually probated)

    • Requires at least 3-5 days in jail depending upon when the prior DWI took place

  • License suspension for up to 2 years.

  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.

DWI Third Offense-

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.

  • State prison time between 2 years and 10 years.

  • License suspension from 6 months - 2 years.

  • Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep your license.

DWI with a Child Passenger Under 15-

  • Up to a $10,000 fine.

  • Jail time up to 2 years.

  • License suspension for 180 days.

Can a DWI affect my ability to work or travel out of the state or internationally?
+
-

Yes, it can affect your ability to travel while you are on bond and your case is pending, while on probation, and sometimes even after you served your sentence.

Some courts will set travel restrictions while your case is pending or while on probation. However, if your attorney knows about upcoming travel dates, they can often get permission from the judge for you to travel.

Also, a DWI conviction (even a misdemeanor), can affect your ability to travel internationally. This is commonly a problem for those wishing to travel to Canada.

Allow Cannon Law to help you with any travel issues you may be facing because of your DWI conviction.

Request Free Consultation
Scroll to Top on DWI Law Firm's Website