If you have been arrested in the past for DWI, you are already aware of what a life-altering experience it is, and have dealt with the administrative and financial burdens that accompany an arrest and conviction. In addition to the likely loss of your license for some amount of time, you face hefty fines and penalties, lost work time for days in court, classes, legal fees, and just an all-around heightened stressful state. However, if you are arrested for another DWI when you already have one or more convictions on your record, the inconvenience and hardship you have experienced as a result of your first offense pales in comparison to what you now face. You face very serious consequences in Texas for multiple DWI convictions.
Second or Subsequent DWI Offenses
The penalties imposed on second or subsequent DWI convictions are significantly steeper than those imposed for first time convictions. Any mandatory term of imprisonment will be longer the second time than the first, and any license revocation will also be longer if you have a prior conviction on your record. Because of the heightened stakes if you are arrested for DWI a second time, it is of the utmost important to hire an experienced and skillful DWI defense attorney as soon as you are arrested.
Penalties for a Second DWI Offense
A second DWI conviction in Dallas will be treated as a Class A misdemeanor, which carries up to 1 year in jail. There is no look back period in Texas, meaning even a DWI conviction from 30 years prior will count against you in a second charge.
If the Administrative Hearing Judge finds that the Department of Public Safety has proven their case, your license can be suspended from anywhere from 90 days to 1 year. You will then have to pay $125 to have your license reinstated, and you will be required to pay a $2,000 fine per year for the next three years to keep your license. Criminally, in addition to the mandatory month to one year in jail, you will face a fine of up to $4,000, and an imposition of required community service between 80 and 200 hours. The court may also require you to enter into a substance abuse program for your second DWI. Additionally, if arrested for a DWI 2nd, the Court will order as a condition of your bond that you have an ignition interlock installed on your vehicle in order to start it and it will be ordered to remain on your vehicle for a lengthy period of time thereafter if you are convicted.
Third or Subsequent DWI Arrest
Under Texas law, a person with two or more previous DWI convictions who is arrested again can be charged with felony DWI. Further, a condition of release will be a special bond provision, requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device. This is like a personal breathalyzer test, and your car will not start until you blow into the machine and have 0.0 BAC.
If you are charged with felony DWI, you can be fined up to $10,000 and face a minimum of two years (and up to ten) in prison. In addition to the required interlock ignition device, your license will be suspended anywhere from 1 to 2 years.
John M. Cook is Ready to Defend You
If you are facing DWI charges and have prior convictions in Dallas Texas or elsewhere, you need the best DWI criminal defense attorney you can get. It is vital to your freedom and your interests to do this as soon as possible. Attorney John M. Cook is ready to defend your freedom and protect your rights; call 214-521-6679 today, or email Mr. Cook for a free initial consultation.