DWI charges always are serious, but a second-time conviction can result in even more severe consequences. A second DWI can lead to mandatory jail time, a license suspension, fines, and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device, in some cases. Individuals facing these charges may wish to get the advice of a Dallas second-offense DWI lawyer before attempting to handle the matter on their own.
Various defenses may be available in your DWI case. Let a skilled criminal defense attorney analyze the facts of your case and advise you about your options.
Second-Offense DWI Charges in Dallas
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.09, individuals with a previous DWI conviction will face Class A misdemeanor charges for a second offense. Conviction on a Class A misdemeanor carries the potential for up to one year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine. Additionally, a second DWI conviction requires a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 3 or 5 days, depending on how much time has passed since the previous conviction.
Even if the first DWI conviction is decades old, a second offense is a Class A misdemeanor under Texas law. In other words, individuals who commit a DWI in their twenties will still face a Class A misdemeanor charge if they are arrested for DWI at any point for the rest of their lives. As a second-offense DWI lawyer in Dallas may advise, the same enhanced charge will apply if the individuals have a prior conviction for boating while intoxicated, flying while intoxicated, and operating or assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated.
Collateral Consequences of a Second DWI Offense
Aside from potential jail time and fines, a second DWI conviction has other negative repercussions. Individuals will face a license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years, depending on the situation. Those with a second DWI conviction will also be subject to thousands in annual surcharges for three years following the conviction.
Additionally, a second DWI conviction requires that individuals install an ignition interlock device on all vehicles that they drive for at least one year following the period of their license suspension. An ignition interlock device detects the presence of alcohol in the breath, and if the device registers alcohol, the vehicle will not start. Individuals also may be subject to random alcohol and drug testing throughout the mandatory ignition interlock installation period.
Individuals with a second DWI conviction may be subject to other penalties, as well, including:
- Completion of community service
- Attendance at least one DWI Victim Impact Panel
- Completion of a drug and alcohol assessment and any recommended follow-up treatment
- Attendance at an approved DWI education course
Furthermore, individuals may be placed on probation, which can require them to comply with various other terms and conditions, such as abstaining from alcohol and drug use and maintaining employment. A second-offense DWI attorney in Dallas may be able to explore the potential penalties for a second DWI conviction with those who are facing charges.
Consult a Dallas Second-Offense DWI Attorney Today
Every second-offense DWI charge involves different circumstances that can lead to varying outcomes. Courts also differ to some degree in the type and extent of sanctions that they impose for a second or subsequent DWI, beyond those mandated by statute. As a result, you may find it helpful to get the advice of a Dallas second-offense DWI lawyer when facing charges.
A second DWI conviction can be damaging to your future by creating a criminal record showing a pattern of substance abuse. This record can be a hindrance when applying for jobs, schooling, or housing. Therefore, getting legal counsel and advice may be highly beneficial. Call today for a consultation.