Does it matter which county you’re in when arrested for DWI?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | DWI

The laws around driving while under the influence (DWI) in Texas are the same throughout the state. A lot of people who live and/or work in Longview and surrounding areas are regularly traveling back and forth between Gregg County and Harrison County, so it’s important to know that. 

The legal limits for the amount of alcohol you can have in your system (.08% if you’re at least 21 and any detectable amount if you’re younger) and the potential penalties if you’re convicted of DWI are the same whether you’re driving in one of these two counties or any other.

Even a first offense carries a mandatory 3-day stay in jail (and potentially up to six months, plus state and local fines totaling thousands of dollars and the loss of driving privileges for up to one year. The penalties only increase if it’s not your first DWI or if there’s a child in the vehicle.

Which judge will you be dealing with?

Under Texas law, a person who is arrested may go before a judge in the county where they were arrested or potentially in another county (like the county where they live). While, as we noted, the laws are the same in every county, the judges who handle the cases are not.

Judges have some leeway in how they deal with a defendant and, if they are convicted, what kind of sentence they hand down. This can make the difference between spending time behind bars or wearing an electronic ankle monitor, for example. 

This is where having legal guidance from someone who knows the courts and the judges in a county can make all the difference to your case. The potential impacts of a DWI on your job, your family, your finances and just about every aspect of your life are extensive. You need every advantage you can get if you’re facing a DWI charge.

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