Being charged with DWI – driving while intoxicated – in Texas is a serious matter. A conviction costs thousands of dollars and ensures you spend some time in jail and lose your driver’s license for a year.
Second DWI convictions in Dallas, Texas roughly doubles the fine and license suspension and increases jail time by a factor of 10. A third DWI conviction in Texas carries a lengthy period of incarceration and potentially more than $10,000 in fines.
If you’re stopped for suspicion of DWI, be ready to show your license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. If you refuse to take a blood or breath test, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 180 days. Cooperate with the police, but ask to be allowed to contact a lawyer and decline to answer police questions until your lawyer is present.
It is always in your best interests to fight hard against a DWI charge in Texas. Kraft & Associates, P.C., can help you. Our knowledgeable DWI defense lawyers can aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
If you face a 2nd or 3rd DWI charge in Texas, contact Kraft & Associates in Dallas as soon as possible for a free consultation. We can discuss the strong criminal defense representation that you need.
Repeat DWI Offender Penalties in Texas
In Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 percent BAC. However, a person is also legally intoxicated, regardless of BAC, if he or she is impaired due to alcohol or other drugs.
Texas doesn’t care how many years have passed between a first and second DWI conviction. Once you have been convicted of DWI in Texas, an arrest ¬– 20, 30, 40 years later – will be treated as a second DWI. A first DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, and a second is a Class A misdemeanor, with harsher penalties. A third or subsequent DWI in Texas is a felony.
When facing trial for other crimes, the defendant’s previous convictions history may be excluded from evidence. But a jury at a second-offense DWI trial would get to hear about your prior drunk driving convictions. Prosecutors will try to portray you as a repeat DWI offender or habitual drunk driver. You will need an effective Dallas drunk driving lawyer to stand up for you.
Here are Texas DWI penalties:
• First DWI Offense:
o A fine of up to $2,000
o Three days to 180 days in jail
o Loss of driver license up to a year
o Annual fee of $1,000 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
• Second DWI Offense:
o A fine of up to $4,000
o 30 days to a year in jail
o Loss of driver license up to two years
o Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500 or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
• Third and Subsequent DWI Offenses:
o A $10,000 fine
o Two to 10 years in prison
o Loss of driver license up to two years
o Annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to retain driver license
After two or more DWI convictions in five years, you must install a special ignition switch that prevents your vehicle from being operated if you’ve been drinking.
Whether you’re the driver or a passenger, you can be fined up to $500 for having an open alcohol container in a vehicle.
You can be charged with child endangerment in addition to DWI if a passenger younger than 15 years old was in the vehicle with you when you were arrested. DWI with a child passenger is punishable by:
• A fine of up to $10,000
• Up to two years in a state jail
• Loss of your driver’s license for 180 days.
Keep in mind that repeat DWI offenders face consequences beyond just fines and jail time. Just about anyone who might hire you or enter into a contract with you, such as a landlord, bank loan officer or school financial aid office, will run a background check. Repeated DWIs can be held against you.
Are You Headed for a Second or Third DWI?
A DWI dismissal/reduction lawyer at Kraft & Associates will do everything legally possible to defend you and help you avoid a conviction after a DWI arrest in Dallas.
As fellow Texans, we’d like to point out that the best way to avoid a DWI charge is to not drive after drinking. Here are some resources for safe and sober rides home in the Dallas – Fort Worth Metroplex.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers the free SaferRide app, which allows users to call a taxi or friend to pick them up. You may already have Uber, Lyft or another rideshare app on your phone.
Impairment begins with the first alcoholic drink. Your gender, body weight, the number of drinks you’ve consumed and the amount of food you’ve eaten affect how your body absorbs, processes and reacts to alcohol. Two or three beers in an hour can make some people legally intoxicated. Women, younger people, and smaller people generally become impaired with less alcohol.
Virtually anyone who gets on the road after having a drink could end up facing a DWI charge in Dallas, Fort Worth or anywhere in Texas. If you have been charged with a second offense DWI under Texas law, you need help from an experienced 2nd offense DWI attorney. The Dallas drunk driving defense at Kraft & Associates are ready to stand up for you and help you seek the best possible resolution of the charges you are facing.