If you have already been convicted of a DWI in Texas, the penalties become significantly tougher on the second and third offenses. This includes a brief yet mandatory jail term, an even longer driver’s license suspension than for the first arrest, and fees and fines that can be upwards of $10,000.
A second DWI offense in Texas will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable with a prison sentence between 30 days and one year in a county jail, as well as a fine of up to $4,000. If you face a third DWI, you will be charged with a third-degree felony. This carries a jail term of two to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Enhanced Punishment for Second or Subsequent Offenses
Probation can still be given for a second or third drunk driving conviction, but the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires that you serve a minimum of five days in jail for a second offense and a minimum of ten days in jail for a third offense.
There are other probation conditions that, while similar to those for a simple first DWI, are more stringent. For example, if you are convicted of a second or third DWI, you will be required to undergo rehab evaluation, which is an evaluation from a drug and alcohol counselor approved by the state of Texas to determine whether or not you have an addiction, and what treatment should be considered to help you deal with it. You might be required to go to rehab.
You will also be required to attend the DWI repeat offenders program which is a 32-hour course that covers driving impairment, alcohol abuse, and alcoholics anonymous. You will not be able to get your license back until you complete this program.
You may also be required to add an ignition interlock device. This fits onto your car and acts as a breathalyzer test; if you have alcohol on your breath, your car will not start. You will have to have an ignition interlock device for at least one year once your license is reinstated.
Enhanced Civil Penalties for Second and Subsequent Offenses
If you are arrested for drunk driving within ten years of another drunk driving arrest, you will lose your license for one year automatically. You can request a hearing on this within 40 days of receiving notice. However, once convicted of a second or subsequent DWI, your license will be suspended from a period of six months to two years, and then it will cost $125 to have your license reinstated. In addition to this, there are expensive surcharges added to the criminal fines. The Texas Driver Responsibility Program requires those convicted to pay $2000 for three years if you want to keep your drivers’ license.
Have You Been Arrested on a Second or Subsequent DWI?
A second or subsequent DWI carries serious ramifications, so if you are in the Dallas, Forth Worth, or Plano area you might want to consider contacting an experienced Texas DUI attorney to help you with this. We understand that anyone can make a mistake, and we are ready to help you negotiate a settlement or take your case to trial.