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Messina Madson & Kendall Castello, MC Criminal Law April 21, 2017

The DWI charge plays no favorites. Many people facing a DWI are in the depths of addiction. Other people made a really bad decision one night, and they are completely taken aback by how COSTLY it is. Why? Because it’s meant to be.

You can read Messina Madson’s comments on DWIs in this Dallas Morning News column.

Your first DWI offense is meant to shock you and drain your pocketbook. You face multiple fines from the courts and the Texas Department of Safety, which now considers you a risk to the roads. The difficulties of paying these expensive fines, reinstating your driver’s license, and being required to use devices that monitor your intoxication level are put in place for one reason alone – to make sure you never again drive while intoxicated.

In our experience, those charged with more than one DWI are often dealing with addiction and should immediately seek rehabilitative help.

The goal of a criminal sentence is usually one of three things:

1) deterrence 2) punishment 3) rehabilitation

For many criminal offenses, you’ll find a wide range of opinions on which goal of punishment should be focal. However, for drugs and alcohol, public opinion largely leans toward deterrence rather than rehabilitation.

Knowing that the jury often views a DWI as a mistake (instead of a crime), the state wants you to walk away determined never to make that mistake again. A person who is convicted and placed on probation for a DWI offense often will have more conditions placed upon them than someone would for a violent offense.

If you’ve been charged with a DWI, prepare yourself for a long, complex journey. Be proactive and hire an attorney. The consequences only get worse if you try to navigate the criminal justice system on your own.

To avoid a DWI, plan ahead – leave your car at home, and call an Uber. Risking a DWI is just not worth it.


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