The penalties for DWIs increase with each conviction. In Texas, unlike in other states, a DWI remains on your record. A DWI doesn't “fall off” in five to ten years like it might in other states. With a first DWI conviction, you'll face penalties of up to 180 days in jail, up to $2,000 in fines, $3,000 in administrative penalties, and a license suspension of up to a year. But Texas legislators take repeat DWI offenses seriously, and the penalties reflect that. A third DWI is a third-degree felony in Texas. You can face at least two years and up to ten years in prison, as well as substantial fines and penalties. Even if you can receive probation as part of a plea bargain, you must spend at least ten days in jail.
RECOMMENDATION: Hire a lawyer with experience handling both first offense and multiple offense DWIs. While a first time DWI charge may be slightly easier for less experienced attorneys, you need an attorney who can handle more difficult cases. An attorney experienced in complex DWI cases will give you the confidence that your lawyer can handle any curves that pop up at trial or during negotiations with the prosecutor.