Repeat DWI Offenses

As you might expect, the court system gives an accused person charged with a repeat DWI much more attention. By statute, the Judge must order a breath test devise installed on a defendant’s car as a condition of bail if the defendant is charged with a subsequent DWI. In the old days, some judges would let this requirement slide. No more. Nothing worries Judges more than bad publicity and there’s no worse publicity for a County Court Judge than a defendant getting into an intoxication-related accident while on bail for his second DWI.

However, an accused on his third or greater DWI probably won’t have to worry about the requirement that he install a breath test devise on his car. Our experience as drunk driving defense attorneys has been that most Judges aren’t permitting defendant’s with a felony charge to drive while on bail.

Repeat DWI Charges Penalties

Penalties for Multiple DWI Offenses

DWI in Houston, Texas is very serious offense and carries harsh penalties. If you have been charged with a second or repeat DWI, the penalties become even more severe. The fines are generally greater, you could be jailed for longer periods of time, your license could be suspended for a number of years, and you may be required to perform many hours of community service. A Houston DWI lawyer may be able to help you receive a lesser penalty for your repeat DWI offense.

A 2nd DWI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties are:

  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years
  • A fine of up to $4000
  • Imprisonment from 30 days to 1 year
  • 80 – 200 hours of community service

A 3rd (or subsequent) DWI is classified as a Third Degree Felony. The penalties include:

  • Driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Imprisonment from 2 to 10 years
  • 160 – 600 hours of community service

Why You Should Retain a Lawyer

If you have been charged with repeat DWI, it is crucial that you contact an attorney for representation. Your future is at risk if you neglect to consult a qualified lawyer. The consequences of not doing so could be that you receive the maximum penalties under the law. Statistics provided by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) said that one third of all drivers arrested or convicted of DWI are repeat offenders. However, more recent statistics state that the percentage of repeat offenders in the state of Texas is actually around 74%. Regardless of whether this is your second or third DWI, our firm is here to protect your rights and help you avoid the penalties at stake.

At Chernoff Law, our criminal law attorneys include former chief prosecutors in County Court, Harris County, and former assistant district attorneys. We are fully familiar with all of the matters concerning defending a repeat DWI charge, and we know defense strategies that have proven to be effective in courtrooms throughout Harris County. Call us today to learn more.

Punishment for a Second DWI

A conviction for a second DWI carries with it more punishment. The top end of the range of punishment is increased to a maximum of one year in jail. Probation is still available, but there is a minimum of three days in jail required.

Felony DWI Consequences

A DWI charge after two prior convictions for Driving While Intoxicated is a third degree felony. Punishment is ratcheted up, with a range of 2 to 10 years in prison. Probation is still available, but felony probation is onerous and minimum jail time is ten days.

Are you eligible for an occupational license?

Currently, no matter how many prior DWI’s you have received you are still potentially eligible for an occupational license. However, you should be aware of two problems that DWI/DUI repeat offenders will likely face in obtaining this license.

If this is your second DWI offense and your second driver’s license suspension, your occupational license might not take effect immediately. If your license was previously suspended upon conviction of an intoxication offense in the last five years, the law does not allow for your occupational license to become effective until one year after the effective date of the new suspension.

If you had your license suspended because of a breath test refusal in the previous five years, your occupational license might not take effect until 90 days after the effective date of the new suspension. This is true irrespective of whether you were actually convicted of any prior intoxication offense.