Being charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) can be frightening and embarrassing. For some people, it can even impact their ability to earn a living. If you're facing a DWI charge, you're likely worried about what the future could mean for you. But, if it's your second, third, or more offense, it's not a maybe anymore. You're likely very worried about the genuine consequences you know that you're facing.
Multiple Offenses in Texas
Under Texas law, a driver who has a previous conviction for DWI faces even stiffer penalties than a first time offender, and those penalties continue to increase in severity with each subsequent offense. Texas prosecutors are not likely to show leniency to someone who has received a DWI conviction before. It's more important than ever that a multiple offender hires an aggressive attorney who knows this area of the law backward and forward.
In Texas, a second DWI is typically charged as a Class A misdemeanor. This means the penalties can include a fine of up to $4,000, a minimum of 30 days in jail, and having your driver's license suspended for up to two years. You could also face an annual Texas Department of Public Safety surcharge of $1,000-$2,000 to be paid every year for three years, and be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
The penalties continue to increase with additional DWI offenses. If it is your third offense, you could be charged with a third-degree felony. A felony is a serious criminal charge that could lead to two or more years in prison. The punishment for a third DWI is 24 times worse than for a second DWI. A third DWI can also carry a $10,000 fine; two-to-10 years in prison; driver's license suspension for up to two years; and keeping a felony conviction on your record.
Four or More DWIs
For a fourth offense, the possible punishments only continue to increase, something that this former Texas prosecutor certainly knew before he was arrested and charged with a fourth DWI. Because he had been convicted three times prior, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In Texas, a fourth offense of DWI with a prior incarceration on your criminal record means you are now facing a second-degree felony charge, a fine up to $10,000, along with possible sentencing of two to ten years in TDCJ. Four or more DWI offenses with two prior incarcerations will have you sentenced with an enhanced felony, up to $10,000 in fines, along with 25 years to life imprisonment in prison.
What to Do if You've Been Charged, Again
If you have been charged with a second, third, or more DWI, you're likely already aware that you are in a spiral of life choices that are not helping you live the life you want to be living. If you haven't already, let this be the wake-up call you need to get help and get your life back on track.
With penalties this serious in front of you, it's imperative that you hire an attorney right away, and that you hire one who knows how to help someone facing a second, third or fourth DWI charge.
Doug Murphy is a board-certified expert in DWI law and has defended many people in Houston on DWI charges and knows how to help his clients get their lives back. Doug Murphy has a history of obtaining outstanding results with clients with multiple DWIs. He recently had an 8th DWI arrest dismissed after he fully investigated and worked up the case. See what a Board Certified DWI Specialist can do for you with your multiple DWI arrest by contacting Doug Murphy today.
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