Driving while intoxicated in Odessa is usually a misdemeanor offense, but for individuals with two or more prior convictions, it can be elevated to a felony. The penalties for a third DWI conviction are significantly harsher, which makes it crucial that you obtain legal representation rather than fighting the charges on your own. Local prosecutors are cracking down on repeat offenders, and unrepresented individuals may be at a serious disadvantage. An Odessa third-offense DWI lawyer could raise a powerful defense on your behalf while fighting to protect your legal rights.
Third-Offense DWI Laws
Laws regarding DWI offenses in Odessa can be found in Texas Penal Code, Title 10, Chapter 49. First and second DWI offenses are categorized as misdemeanors. When there are at least two prior DWI convictions, a third or subsequent offense is elevated to a felony of the third degree.
The law does not place a time limit on prior DWI convictions for a third offense to be charged as a felony. Regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed since the last conviction, a third offense can always be charged as a felony under the law. An Odessa third-offense DWI attorney could explain DWI laws in more detail and answer pertinent questions.
Potential Penalties for a DWI Third
The penalties for a third-offense DWI conviction in Odessa and throughout Texas are substantially more severe than those associated with a first or second DWI conviction. DWI thirds are felonies of the third degree punishable by incarceration for two to ten years and a fine as high as $10,000. An Odessa third DWI offense lawyer could explain the additional consequences associated with an offense, such as suspension or revocation of the driver’s license and mandatory participation in a DWI education course.
Ignition Interlock Devices in Odessa
The law stipulates that individuals convicted of a subsequent DWI within five years of the most recent prior DWI are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on all motor vehicles they own or operate. An ignition interlock device prevents drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they do not pass a breathalyzer test. The device must remain on the vehicle for at least one year or for as long as specified by the court.
Installation of IIDs must be done at the individual’s expense, although the court might permit a payment schedule if an individual is unable to pay for the device. A third-offense DWI attorney in Odessa could explain in greater detail all the requirements associated with court-mandated installation of ignition interlock devices.
Contact an Odessa Third-Offense DWI Attorney
Fighting a DWI charge is difficult enough for a first offense, but can be even more challenging when there are two prior convictions. Due to the severity of the potential sanctions, raising a strong defense can be crucial. A knowledgeable DWI lawyer could develop a powerful defense strategy tailored to the unique facts of your case. An Odessa third-offense DWI lawyer could also protect your rights and fight for your interests at every step. Call today to get started.