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First, Second and Third DWI Offense in Texas: Everything You Need to Know

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

You were caught driving while intoxicated (DWI). Now you’re wondering what is going to happen and what it means for your future.

In Texas, any DWI conviction will stay on your record. And it is important to note that Texas does not consider the time between offenses.

Because of this, getting a second or third DWI offense can have steeper consequences. Even if it had been a decade or more between convictions.

Whether this is your first, second, or third offense, read on to learn what will happen and stay informed.

First DWI

Your first DWI will most likely be considered a Class B misdemeanor. This means that there will be a fine, maybe some jail time, and a record.

The fine is $2,000, and the jail time could be as much as 180 days. That’s as much as six months in jail. But with the right defense, it is possible to only serve some of that time and then serve probation.

But that won’t be all. You may be asked to give over your license or have it suspended for up to two years. You could be ordered to take an alcohol education program.

And you could even be ordered to install a device in your car.

This device a vehicle ignition interlock device (IID). It prevents your vehicle from starting. You have to blow into it, and if there is any trace of alcohol in your breath, it won’t start.

All of this could happen with your first DWI in Texas. But if you’re arrested under “aggravating circumstances,” it could get worse.

A DWI offense with aggravating circumstances could get you convicted for a felony. This could mean up to two years in jail, a fine as high as $10,000, and a felony record.

But what would an aggravating circumstance look like?

An example would be if you had a child passenger, had gotten into an accident, or had a BAC of .15 or higher. A ‘BAC’ is a blood alcohol concentration. The higher that number, the drunker you are.

These things could knock your previous Class B misdemeanor to a Class A or a felony. And then, at the end of this, you may also be responsible for the court costs and other fees.

Just because this is your first offense does not mean the court will go light on you. Be prepared with a DWI attorney.

Second DWI

As mentioned above, Texas law doesn’t see the time between offenses. What does this mean?

Let’s say your first offense could have been when you were a teen. Now you’re in your forties. The court will not look at the twenty-year gap.

Instead, they will look at the second offense as a theme of a problem.

Because of this, the consequences are greater. This is a great reason to get the correct representation to fight your first DWI offense, just in case.

The fine for a second offense goes up to between $4,500 to $6,000. The jail time can range from 180 days, six months, to two years.

Some jail time will be mandatory, usually three days. And jail-alternatives can be worked out like with your first offense.

Next, you will be required to install the vehicle IID. If your license is not suspended, you will have to pay an annual surcharge fee every year to keep it.

This fee can be from $1,500 to $2,000.’Like the first time, this will be if it is ruled a misdemeanor. If your DWI is ruled a felony, you will have higher fines and more jail time. And don’t forget your court costs and legal fees.

Most likely, you will also be ordered by the court to abstain from future alcohol or drug use. This brings random drug testing into your life that you will pay for.

So, if you’re looking at a second offense, be prepared to pay a lot more.

Third DWI

Because of how seriously Texas takes DWI offenses, your third will be a felony offense.

So, what doesn’t that mean?

First, you may be ordered to go to prison rather than jail. And your sentence can be from two years to a whopping ten years.

Two years is the minimum requirement. But with the right representation, you might get that sentence to be probated in court. This will likely come with some kind of supervised release program.

The fine for a third DWI can be as high as $10,000. This will again be on top of your legal fees and court costs.

Your license will likely be suspended for two years as well. Once you’ve gotten that back, there will be more annual fees to keep it. And another IID.

These consequences can last for years after.

And now you officially have a felony on your record. There will be other consequences you’ll face.

You will likely lose your employment. This will make housing and professional licenses harder to get and keep.

You will also lose the right to vote and the right to own a firearm. And you will lose the right to certain government benefits as well.

At the end of the day, a large portion of your reputation will be lost. This can drastically decrease your quality of life.

Because of this, you might want to consider seeking help before it gets to this point. But if you are facing a third DWI offense, be prepared for a lot in your life to change.

This Is What Happens if You Have a DWI Offense in Texas

Driving under the influence at any time threatens your quality of life. Not to mention, it puts your actual life at risk as well as everyone else on the road.

This is why states like Texas take a DWI offense so seriously. And the more DWI offenses you have, the less lenient the court will be.

But we are only human, after all. Reach out and contact the Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolshi to help you face your DWI charge!

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The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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