Offenders Face Stiff Penalties for Repeat DWI in Texas
While the justice system may be set up for some forgiveness for a first mistake, if you are facing your second driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Texas, you are definitely at risk for some serious consequences. The penalties are harsher, the sentencing less forgiving, and you are staring down the possibility of a felony charge if you are arrested a third time.
Unfortunately, a repeat DWI charge suggests to the court and prosecutors that you failed to learn your lesson the first time. With this in mind, it is essential that you work with an aggressive, experienced Texas DWI defense attorney who can provide the representation you need.
Second Texas DWI Punishments
A second DWI is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, with increased penalties from a first DWI. The punishments that you are facing with a second DWI conviction include:
- The maximum fine increases from $2,000 to $4,000 over a first DWI. Additional state fines also increase from $3,000 to $4,500.
- Like the first DWI, there is a mandatory three-day jail sentence at a minimum, but the maximum doubles from 180 days up to one year in jail. Probation is possible but can last for up to two years.
- Additionally, punishments may include mandatory alcohol education courses, having an ignition interlock device installed on your car, and facing a license suspension of up to two years. These potential punishments are the same as for a first DWI, but you are much more likely to receive the maximum after a second DWI conviction.
An interlock device requires you to blow into it before you start your car. If it detects the presence of alcohol above a (very low) set limit, you will not be able to start your car.
Unlike your first DWI, you will not be able to have your record sealed or have a DWI deferred. Your conviction would be part of your permanent record. While the consequences can be harsh, another mistake could have lifelong impacts, since a third DWI would be charged as a felony. The fines and prison time are both substantially higher, plus being a felon could impact your future employment, housing, and other prospects. It is best to aggressively fight the charges and keep your life moving forward.
Contact a San Antonio DWI Defense Lawyer
If you are facing DWI charges for a second time, the San Antonio drunk driving defense attorney at Law Offices of Sam H. Lock can help you build a defense. With the increased stakes, you do not want to face these charges alone. To fight to keep your license and your livelihood, call us today at 210-226-0965 to set up your free initial consultation.