If you’re arrested for drunk driving for a second time, you have a more acute understanding of the charges you may be facing. Repeat DWI offenses carry heavier penalties. Your future and freedom will be at stake depending on the severity of the charges. This blog will offer a closer look at the penalties for second DWI offenses in Texas and what your next moves should be.
1. The Penalties
If you commit a second DWI offense, it will be classified as a Class A misdemeanor. You will face a maximum fine of $4,500 (but $6,000 if you are convicted with a BAC over 0.15) and possibly spend up to 12 months in prison. If you are convicted, it will be part of your criminal record forever, available to potential employers to discover. Even if you’re granted probation, you will spend at least three days in jail. Moreover, your driver’s license will be suspended.
For all second DWI offenses in Texas, once you’re released from jail, you will be mandated to install and use an ignition interlock device—a device that detects traces of alcohol in your body—on all the vehicles you use for personal use or work. If you tamper with the device in any way or have someone else blow into it, you could risk going back to jail.
Second DWI charges increase based on certain factors. If a person was injured or lost their life during the accident, you will face much harsher penalties such as longer prison time, a heavier fine, and the loss of your basic constitutional rights.
If you’re charged with a second DWI offense, you cannot have your record sealed or the charges deferred. It’s permanent, which means that it will ultimately affect your employment opportunities, loan applications, and many other pivotal processes and stages of life.
3. Can I Get My Charges Reduced or Dismissed?
There are no guarantees, but hiring a great lawyer is an excellent way to fight your charges. Based on the nature of your case, your attorney will work toward either getting your charges dismissed or, if your case goes to trial, getting you acquitted.
The road will be frustrating, costly, and long. Do your research, take your time, and select the right lawyer—one who has experience with defending those charged with second DWI offenses and can provide relentless representation in court.
Were you recently arrested for a second DWI? Consult a tenacious criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney JL Carpenter builds strong, aggressive, and well-researched cases for her clients in the Greater Houston area.
Whether you were arrested for a first, second, or third DWI in Texas, call JL today. She promises not to judge and will help you get the help you need to face whatever factors are causing you to get into this predicament more than once.
Her practice areas also include BWI, drug possession, family violence, and domestic violence, among others. JL serves clients in Friendswood, Clear Lake, Galveston, Webster, League City, and the surrounding areas.