Once a court declares you guilty of driving under the influence, or you plead no contest or guilty to the charge, you have legally committed a first offense. You may think you understand the process if you went through it before, but laws, procedures, and potential punishments can change when you are facing a second allegation of DWI.
An Allen second-offense DWI lawyer may be able to help you learn about the charges you are facing and how best to fight them. With an experienced DWI attorney on your side, you may stand a better chance of achieving a positive resolution to your case.
First Versus Second Offenses
A first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas and may be punished by a minimum of 72 hours of confinement, as described in Texas Penal Code §49.04. If the police discover an open container of alcohol in the car during the traffic stop, the court must confine the driver at least six days.
The court may find a person guilty of DWI if the driver’s body or mind were affected by drugs or alcohol or the driver had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more. In situations where the police state the driver’s BAC is over 0.15, the classification increases to a Class A misdemeanor.
Enhanced Penalties for a Second DWI
If the trial court finds that a driver had previously been found of driving under the influence within five years of the current action, T.P.C. §49.09 allows for the offense to be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor. As an Allen second-offense DWI attorney could affirm, the court might enhance the punishment under this law if the previous decision had placed the driver on deferred adjudication community supervision, since this alternative punishment is still considered a conviction in this context.
Along with the increased penalties, the court may order the following punishments:
- Minimum confinement of 30 days
- Installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for at least one year
- Proof of installation of an IID before allowing the driver to request a driver’s license
- Up to one year in jail
- Up to $4,000 in fines
- Up to two years suspended license
Furthermore, a third conviction for DWI is automatically a felony, which could significantly affect a driver’s personal life and their civil rights. Because of the increased potential penalties for a second-offense DWI in Allen, it may be particularly important to seek help from a qualified lawyer.
Let an Allen Second-Offense DWI Lawyer Help
Typically, an attorney could help the most when you enlist their help from the very beginning of a legal matter since each stage of a case affects the final result. An Allen second-offense DWI lawyer could work with you every step of the way to fight against your charges and ensure that you take full advantage of all your legal rights.
Having a legal representative on your side may tip the scales in your favor. Call today to learn how one could help you.