You decided to get behind the wheel of your vehicle intoxicated and a McAllen, TX police officer caught you in the act. You were arrested and charged with DWI in TX and are now awaiting trial. Like most DWI offenders, you are probably wondering whether you will be required to serve a jail sentence in the event you are convicted of the crime. Well, the truth is, you may or may not have to. It all comes down to the degree of the charge.

Let’s say this is your first DWI charge and you were the only one in the vehicle. These are the penalties you may be faced with:

  • You will have to pay a fine up to $2,000.
  • You will have to spend three days to 180 days in jail.
  • You will lose your driver’s license for up to a year.
  • You will incur an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain your driver’s license.

Now, just because the Texas Department of Transportation states that these are the penalties a first time DWI offense carries with it, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will be the penalties that are given to you. You see, if you were to hire a DWI defense lawyer in McAllen, TX to represent you for the duration of your case, they can actually use certain laws in your favor to get these penalties reduced. They can also refer back to past cases similar to yours where fewer penalties were given so that you aren’t hit with those stipulated above.

Now, if you had a child in the vehicle with you at the time you were arrested for DWI and they were younger than 15 years of age, you risk also being charged with child endangerment and may be required to spend up to two years in a state jail. Again, this is the maximum penalty so it doesn’t mean you will be spending this length of time behind bars.

What if this is the second time I was charged with DWI in McAllen, TX?

In the event this is your second DWI offense, you may be looking at having to spend one month to a year in jail given no other crimes were being committed at the time of your arrest. You will also be faced with the following penalties:

  • A fine of up to $4,000.
  • You will lose your driving privileges for up to two years
  • Incur an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain your driver license.

Those who are convicted of DWI for the third time are looking at spending two to 10 years in prison.

Want to reduce your chances of being sentenced to jail or prison for DWI?

Like most DWI offenders, the last thing you want is to have to spend any amount of time in jail and away from your family. Therefore, if you want to increase your chances of getting your penalties reduced, contact McAllen, TX DWI defense lawyer Juan Tijerina. With over 12 years of legal experience, attorney Tijerina will know exactly what approach to take so that there it is less likely you will have to serve any time behind bars.


To find out how the Tijerina Law Firm, P.C. can help you, visit or call them at:

4016 N. 22ndStreet

McAllen, Texas 78504