What Are The Penalties For A DWI Second Offense In Texas?

Penalties for a DWI second offense in Texas can be quite serious. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a person charged with this offense faces the possibility of paying a fine up to $4,000. Your personal freedom is also at stake. A second DWI requires a mandatory 30 days jail time, and you could end up spending as much as 12 months behind bars.

Furthermore, you will lose your driver’s license for anywhere between six months and two years. The courts will hit you in your wallet, too, requiring you to pay an annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 for three years to keep your driver’s license.

Additional Baggage That Comes with a Second Offense DWI in Texas

A second DWI offense in Texas is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, which is why convicted offenders will serve a mandatory 30 days behind bars. If you have a previous conviction of intoxication manslaughter or a comparable conviction from another state, you will be charged with a third-degree felony in accordance with Texas Code § 49.08.

The penalties for this conviction include:

  • Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for anywhere from two to 10 years
  • Fine of up to $10,000

Apart from these specified consequences, keep in mind that a second DWI offense gets you one step closer to an automatic felony, which is the charge you will face on a third DWI. Also, judges do not respond mercifully to a defendant who has already been convicted of a previous DWI, and as such, your chance to receive maximum sentencing spikes dramatically with your second DWI.

If your second DWI conviction happens within a five-year timeframe of your first DWI conviction, you also will also have to install a special ignition switch that keeps your vehicle from operating if you have been drinking.

Navigating the Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Process

When the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) suspends your license after your second DWI offense, it does so as part of a civil action separate from your criminal DWI charge. When you are arrested, your driver’s license will be taken away from you. From this point, you have 15 days to request an ALR hearing.

During this hearing, your DWI attorney gets a sneak preview of the prosecution’s evidence against you, which will later surface in your criminal trial.

Our legal team sees the advantage of gaining such valuable insight from the ALR hearing, and we will use the opportunity to question the arresting officer and scope out the case against you. We will later take it apart, bit by bit, in search of any holes that we can point out in your trial to have your case either dismissed or have your charges seriously reduced.

What to Do if You Are Arrested for a Second DWI

Once you have been pulled over for a suspected DWI, things happen fast, and saying or doing the wrong thing early in the process can seriously impact your case in a very negative way. For this reason, you should consider consulting with a DWI lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Until your lawyer is by your side, make no incriminating statements, especially with regard to how much you had to drink.

Proving intoxication is not a black-and-white process. In other words, there are many shades of gray as far as a jury is concerned when it comes to determining whether you were, in fact, driving while intoxicated at the time of your arrest.

Randy Isenberg, managing partner and owner of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, has 30 years of experience working all sides of criminal law as a former prosecutor, a state district judge, and now a criminal defense attorney. He knows exactly how the process of handling a DWI, presenting the results of any tests, and interpreting those results happens.

Isenberg and his team will call into question various aspects of the procedure as they were executed on the day of your DWI arrest, including the breathalyzer, blood, and field sobriety tests—among others—to raise doubt about the validity of the charges against you. 

We Can Help You with Your DWI Second Offense

The manner in which your second DWI offense is handled can change the course of your life, for better or worse. This is no small matter, and you would greatly benefit from having a lawyer on your side who understands criminal law from every perspective, like Randy Isenberg.

Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214)800-5859 for a free and confidential consultation of your DWI charge. We understand the penalties for a DWI second offense in Texas and want to help you fight unfair charges.

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