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All DWIs are vigorously prosecuted in Amarillo, especially for repeat offenders. If you were arrested for your third DWI, your future is on the line. Fortunately, with an experienced Amarillo third-offense DWI lawyer by your side, you could fight for a positive resolution to your charges.
Is a Third-Offense DWI a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Whether a third-offense DWI is a felony or a misdemeanor depends on the number of previous convictions, not just arrests. Someone could have many prior DWI arrests, but if they were never convicted, a future DWI would be considered a first offense. If the individual has two prior DWI convictions, however, a third-offense becomes a third-degree felony charge.
DWI thirds carry a range of punishment from two to 20 years in the Texas Depart of Corrections and a $10,000 fine. Additionally, someone could face up to ten years of probation with various terms. For example, a person may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for half the term of probation. At $100 per month for five years, someone could be looking at $6,000 of extra expenses just to have a deep lung device in their vehicle.
Finally, DWI probation has strict reporting requirements. In many cases, individuals must report to the probation officer once per week for the first year. Additionally, they often must take numerous classes, undergo alcohol and drug screenings, and attend counseling.
How do Prosecutors Treat DWI Thirds?
DWI thirds are often prosecuted much more vigorously because they indicate a history of intoxicated driving. The court’s job is to ensure the safety of the community, and authorities take it very seriously when someone continues to drive while intoxicated and put other people at risk. Additionally, judges and prosecutors are often more strict when handling felony offenses like third-offense DWIs.
The seriousness of a DWI third is reflected in the harsh potential penalties, listed above, as well as the pre-conviction restrictions. An individual on bond may be prohibited from consuming any alcohol, entering bars, and consuming illegal substances. These requirements are in place even before the individual is found guilty.
Typically, prosecutors are less willing to negotiate when handling a third-offense DWI cases. For example, there is no law prohibiting prosecutors from offering pre-trial diversion programs for felony DWIs. In practice, however, this is extraordinarily rare.
Let an Amarillo Third-Offense DWI Attorney Help With Your Case
If you were arrested for a third DWI, you may feel overwhelmed and concerned about your future. During this difficult time, it is important to keep in mind that you are innocent until proven guilty. Even if the police and prosecutors seem strict, there may be strong defenses available in your case.
An experienced Amarillo third-offense DWI lawyer could carefully review all of the evidence against you and look for holes in the case. They could analyze the traffic stop videos, chemical tests, and other evidence and raise compelling challenges in court. To learn what may be possible in your case, call today and schedule a consultation.