Texas imposes severe consequences on all DWI offenders, but a second offense can result in much harsher penalties than a first offense. You could face substantial fines, a lengthy jail sentence, and the long-term loss of your driver’s license. Even after you have paid these penalties, you may not be able to obtain affordable car insurance, and you might also encounter difficulties getting a job or passing a background check with two DWIs on your record.
If you have been arrested for a second-offense DWI, it is essential to govern yourself carefully in the days and weeks to come. The last thing you want is a conviction. A second-offense DWI lawyer in Frisco, TX can review your case, explain your legal options, and put together a defense strategy that can lead to a favorable outcome.
The Definition of Driving While Intoxicated in Texas
A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher constitutes legal intoxication in Texas. But the police have leeway to arrest you for DWI with a lower BAC if you exhibit obvious signs of impairment, such as trouble walking or keeping your balance.
If the officer believes you have drugs in your system, such as marijuana, and that they are impairing your driving, they can arrest you for DWI.
The Penalties for a Second-Offense DWI in Texas
A first-offense DWI in Texas in a Class B misdemeanor, but aggravating factors can bump it up to a Class A misdemeanor or even a felony charge. Having prior DWI convictions is one such aggravating factor. A second-offense DWI in Texas is thus a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties upon conviction may include:
- A jail sentence of up to 1 year
- A fine of up to $4,000, plus court costs
- Loss of your driver’s license for up to 2 years
- Community service
- Mandatory attendance at a DWI or substance abuse class
A couple factors may increase these penalties. If you were carrying a passenger under 15 years old in your car at the time of your arrest, the charge automatically gets upgraded to a felony, which can result in much more severe long-term consequences than a misdemeanor conviction.
Also, if the officer had probable cause to request that you take a BAC test, and you refused, you are in violation of the implied consent law in Texas. Violating the implied consent law can result in the loss of your driver’s license — even if you ultimately do not get convicted of DWI.
No matter how complex your situation or how many of these factors it includes, a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can straighten it out and steer your case to a positive outcome. For a free consultation, call 214-696-9253 today.
Getting Your License Back After a Second-Offense DWI in Frisco, TX
A conviction of second-offense DWI in Texas can leave you without a driver’s license for a long time. Our team fights to keep you from meeting that fate by avoiding a conviction in the first place.
That said, the state can order your license confiscated as soon as you get arrested, leaving you without transportation during your case proceedings. To avoid this happening, you must request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing, and you must do so within 15 days of your request. At the hearing, you and your lawyer can set forth the reasons you should be allowed to keep your license.
A second-offense DWI lawyer in Frisco, TX can prepare you for and represent you at your ALR hearing. Our team has helped many clients avoid losing their licenses.
Pleading Guilty vs. Fighting a Second-Offense DWI Charge in Frisco, TX
Many Texans believe the best way to handle a second-offense DWI charge is to plead guilty and hope for leniency. Unfortunately, many people are wrong. When you plead guilty, you leave your fate in the hands of the judge, who has the power to impose any or all the consequences listed above.
You have several better options than pleading guilty, such as:
Fighting for Case Dismissal
If we can convince the judge that your DWI charges lack merit, they might dismiss the case, which is the best possible outcome for your charges.
Why would the judge believe your charges are without merit? If the police officer lacked reasonable suspicion to pull you over or probable cause to request a BAC test or did not follow proper protocol when testing your BAC and arresting you, then any evidence they have against you is not admissible in court.
Build a Strong Case for a Jury Trial
Even if we cannot convince the prosecutor or judge to drop the charges, we may be able to prevail in a jury trial and get an acquittal. Remember, the prosecutor has the burden of proof. They have to prove you are guilty to win the case, but we do not have to prove you are innocent in order to prevail. We simply must create reasonable doubt as to your guilt.
Even if the prosecution has compelling evidence against you, making your case seemingly unwinnable, we still have better options than pleading guilty. It is much better to offer a plea bargain and have you admit to a lesser offense, one carrying substantially lower penalties such as reckless driving.
Attorney Randall Isenberg worked for many years as a prosecutor and judge in the Texas court system. He understands plea bargains and negotiations. He can work with the other side because he has spent much time in their shoes. Call 214-696-9253 to get started.
Call 214-696-9253 Today to Receive a Free DWI Case Evaluation from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg
If you are facing a second-offense DWI charge in Texas, a second-offense DWI lawyer in Frisco, TX is eager to fight for you and help you avoid the serious consequences that come with a conviction. Our team has a strong track record of beating DWI charges for our clients, and we want to put our resources to work for you. For a free consultation with a team member, call 214-696-9253 today.