Third-offense DWI charges in El Paso will be heard in one of the Bexar County district courts. Unlike the DWI firsts and seconds, which are misdemeanors and heard by the county courts at law, DWI thirds are felony charges heard by the district courts.
If you were charged with your third DWI, you could face a license suspension, heavy fines, jail time, and more. To improve your chances at a positive outcome, reach out to an El Paso third-offense DWI lawyer.
How Prosecutors Treat DWI Thirds
DWI trials are a different game at the felony level. If someone has two prior DWIs and no other convictions, the charge is a third-degree felony that could carry a two to 10 years at the Texas Department of Corrections and up to a $10,000 fine. If the defendant has prior felony convictions, there also may be enhanced punishments.
One of the reasons these cases are more vigorously prosecuted is because the state feels that the accused has a history of drunk driving. Judges and prosecutors are concerned that the individual could potentially hurt or kill someone in the future, so they take these charges seriously.
Notably, there are no diversion programs available in felony DWI cases. A client may be eligible for probation on a felony, but under Texas law, a DWI cannot be deferred. If a person pleads or is found guilty of a felony DWI, they will be convicted felon, and their criminal record could follow them for life.
Conditions of Bond for Third-Offense DWIs
Often, a person who is on a felony bond must comply with numerous conditions. For DWI thirds, someone may be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle or be prohibited from driving if they do not have a license. Bexar County district courts have ordered SCRAM devices as well, which are devices that measure alcohol consumption. Violation of bond conditions can mean the person is sent to jail on a revoked bond. Courts may also order the client to report to pretrial services, so it can feel as if the accused is on probation even before the trial starts.
Qualities to Look for in an El Paso Third-Offense DWI Attorney
A person charged with a third-degree DWI in El Paso should seek out an attorney who is very aggressive in their representation. To find a lawyer who meets their needs, the accused should take a look at any potential attorney’s qualifications. Because the stakes are so high, defendants should consider retaining an attorney who understands the intricacies of DWI cases, such as blood testing and field sobriety testing. A firm with extensive DWI experience could systematically and methodically go down every rabbit hole to evaluate possible defense for every case. DWI defense is not cookie-cutter law, and what will work for one person may not work for another.
If you were arrested for a third DWI, you need a powerful defense crafted by a qualified El Paso third-offense DWI attorney. To schedule a case review, call today.