Can you go to jail for a DWI?

If you have landed on this page, you or someone you know likely was recently arrested and accused of DWI. You may feel lost, confused, hopeless, and not be sure where to turn. Make no mistake about it; you can go to jail for a DWI charge in the state of Texas – even if it’s your first offense.

Can you go to jail for a DWI?

Having a dedicated DWI attorney in San Antonio on your side could help reduce your charges and consequences, including avoiding jail time. The sooner you hire your own attorney, the better the outcome could be. By securing the services of your own lawyer, you may be able to reduce the consequences you are facing, including reducing the cost of your DWI and avoiding jail time.

What to Expect After a DWI Arrest

After you failed a field sobriety or a breathalyzer test, you were likely arrested and booked into the local jail. If you were able to post a bond, you are now likely out of jail, awaiting a trial. The court-appointed attorney is hard at work on your case, or are they? Common questions for people at this stage include:

Should I hire my own lawyer?

Our justice system is such that those accused of a crime who cannot afford their own attorney will be able to receive one through the court. While this seems just, a court-appointed attorney often simply does not have the time it takes to provide the strongest possible defense in every case. DWI defendants are generally more successful when they hire a San Antonio DWI lawyer to assist them instead of relying on the court-appointed attorney or doing nothing at all.  In the end, you are less likely to see the walls of a jail cell or face other severe consequences when your case is handled by your own private lawyer.

How Much Will a DWI Cost Me?

A single first-time DWI offense can come with a price tag of an upwards of $10,000 once everything is said and done. This includes fines, fees, and attorney fees.  It may seem like it is best not to spend money to hire your own attorney; however, this is very much a myth. An experienced lawyer could get your DWI charges dropped or reduced, which usually equates to lower fines and fees for you to pay. In the long run, the representation of an experienced DWI attorney in San Antonio could mean that you pay less for your entire DWI ordeal.

A DWI 1st with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a .14 or lower carries up to six months in jail, up to a $2000 fine, as well as a driver’s license suspension, other fines, court costs, fees, and a lifelong criminal conviction.

A DWI with a blood alcohol concentration of a .15 or higher carries up to one year in jail, up to a $4000 fine, as well as a driver’s license suspension, other fines, court costs, fees, and a lifelong criminal conviction.

The minimum is zero jail time. Most people use the “up to” language because frankly, it is scarier.  There is a mandatory DL suspension (as is noted in the current response). Duration is dependant on a number of factors.

Will I go to Jail for my DWI?

Jail time is one of the consequences laid out for convicted DWI defendants. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not always cut and dry. Many DWI offenders do spend time in jail. Under Texas Penal Code §49.04, a first time offender could spend between 90 days and one year in jail. A second offender will face between 30 and 365 days in jail while a third time-offender between two and ten years. DWI defendants who hire an experienced DWI attorney in San Antonio to work on their case are usually the ones that receive the least jail time, if any, at all.

Who will Find out about my DWI?

A DWI conviction will become a permanent part of your public and legal record. Searching for, obtaining, and studying these public records is a public right under Texas’s Public Information Act. If you have a DWI on your record, you will have to list it on job applications and may be turned down for a position due to your conviction. Your best bet for keeping your DWI arrest as quiet as possible is to hire an attorney who could help get your charges dismissed or reduced.

Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a DWI Attorney in San Antonio

An experienced DWI lawyer in your area will be familiar with local and state laws, as well as any cases similar to yours that may impact the outcome of your case. Even if the law enforcement officers who arrested you told you that you had failed the breathalyzer or blood test, you do not have to accept the services of a public defender or plead guilty. Instead, consult with a private attorney whose job is to represent DWI defendants and resolve their cases as favorably as possible. You can speak to Trey Porter directly by calling or texting 210-920-1281 or complete our online contact form. If you want to change the course of your DWI, reach out today.

Resources & information

Frequently asked questions

Glowing Client Reviews

Trey is the man! I hired him because I had overheard a county court judge mentioning how awesome of an attorney he is, so if an endorsement from a judge won’t convince you then I’m not sure what will. I sure do hope I never find myself in a pickle ever again but if I do, I would hire Trey in a heartbeat. He’s honest, transparent, doesn’t beat around the bush, and will work tirelessly so that your clean record stays clean and unblemished. 5 stars, highly recommend!


I recently hired Trey Porter Law to help our teenage daughter with a drug charge. In the state of Texas she was being charged as an adult which carried a much stiffer penalty. Trey is very responsive, helpful, knowledgeable and is always available to answer any questions or concerns via phone, text or email. He was able to negotiate on her behalf so it was a pleasant experience. I would highly recommend Trey Porter Law.


Trey really helped me out. He was straight forward and professional, and really helped me in my case. I thought i was going to lose my job, but trey did everything in his power to help me keep my way of life, and still keeps up with me any details on my case.

I really appreciated all he did for me.


Trey is a phenomenal attorney that gets the job done right! He is dedicated to help his clients.

He made himself available and answered all my concerns immediately! I had faith in him and he continued to prove his expertise by helping me. I highly recommend Trey Porter!!


Trey Porter fought for me! I am a nurse and thought my career was over.

Very thankful I got Trey Porter involved. He responds to messages regularly and was very thorough.

He saved my career. Forever grateful!


Mr Porter is the real deal. You get what you pay for these days. I know that from my personal business dealings. Attorney Trey Porter was no different.

He was prompt, professional and poised. I was charged with DWI, and Mr Porter got the charge dismissed. I could not be more pleased or thankful. If you get a DWI, hire the best — hire Trey Porter.


Read More Reviews

San Antonio DUI Lawyer

Successful Cases



Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.



Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.



Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.


DWI 2nd

Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.



Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.



Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

Contact Trey Porter Today

Request a free consultation

The stakes are high. Criminal charges can have devastating, lifelong consequences. During the free, confidential consultation, Mr. Porter will answer questions surrounding your legal matter, and discuss and identify potential defenses.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, the State is working on your conviction. It’s time to start building your defense.

Google Rating Avvo Rating