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So, You’ve Gotten a Second DWI in Texas. Now What?

The Law Firm of Andrea M. Kolski

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), 30 people die daily due to drunk driving accidents. Scary as it is, people across Texas and the United States continue to drive under the influence.

It’s too easy to do. You might have one beer too many, feel sober, and drive. Or you know you’re drunk, but it’s only a 10-minute drive home. What’s the big deal?

One DWI is too many and carries severe punishment. A second DWI in Texas is worse. So what happens next? Here’s everything you need to know.

How Is DWI Defined in Texas?

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of over .08% or more or while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs.

Operating is the important word in that definition. Operation is a broad term meant to include more than driving. You can face arrest for DWI without driving. If you’re behind the wheel with the keys in the ignition, or even in your pocket, you can be charged.

For your safety and the safety of others, you should always assume that you’re too intoxicated to drive after your first drink.

The Sentence for a Second DWI in Texas

If you have one DWI, you know the punishment is severe enough. Your first DWI can result in a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to 12 months with a fine ranging from $2,000 to $4,000.

In addition to the fine, you face an annual license renewal fee of $1,000 to $2,000 per year for three years. If you’re caught operating a vehicle with a BAC of .15% or over, you could face jail time for your first offense.

If you’re caught DWI again, even 20 years after your first offense, this is considered your 2nd DWI in Texas. The punishment for a second DWI is far more severe.

If you fail your BAC test, you face automatic license suspension for a year. As a Class A misdemeanor, you face a fine of up to $4,000. The total cost you’ll pay balloons thanks administration fees you’ll have to pay.

A DWI second time offense can result in a two-year probation period, 80 to 200 hours of community service, and the completion of a DWI education course.

Aside from fines, administration fees, and probation, a second DWI can lead to 30 days to one year in prison.

While you can still receive an occupational license with your second DWI, your car will be equipped with an ignition breathalyzer. You’re required to blow it to start your vehicle, and it will monitor your BAC while you drive.

What Happens if You Get a Second DWI?

Unfortunately, rideshare companies are not as prevalent in rural areas. Texas is a big state full of wide-open places where it’s not so easy to get a ride if you’ve had too much to drink.

That’s not an excuse. According to the NHTSA, Texas ranks fifth in the United States for alcohol-impaired driving deaths. A mistake is a mistake, but driving impaired can have serious consequences.

Now that you know what you could face, you’ll need to hire an expert DWI lawyer. No matter what the offense, it’s always important to retain professional help concerning legal matters.

Before you hire a DWI lawyer, make sure to ask them a few questions. It’s best if you hire an attorney who specializes in DWI law. You’ll want to know how many cases they’ve tried in the last year and the case success rate.

While you may find an inexperienced attorney who works on the cheap, it’s better to go with one who has extensive DWI knowledge.

Why Do You Need a DWI Lawyer?

You need a great DWI lawyer to help get your sentence reduced. A second DWI carries harsh penalties that can ruin your life. You need to have someone on your side to guide you through your case.

Though the law is not as lenient with a second conviction as it is the first, there are still ways you can get your sentence reduced.

If you decide to plead guilty, your lawyer can negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor. Prosecutors sometimes offer sentence reduction for guilty pleas to avoid trial.

What Can a Plea Deal Do?

These plea deals are more common for first offenses. Prosecutors are not as interested in cutting a deal with a repeat offender. There are some factors of your case a lawyer can use to make a deal.

While Texas doesn’t have an expiration for DWI convictions, your lawyer stands a chance for a deal if your previous offense occurred decades prior.

If your lawyer can show your personal character you also have a chance at sentence reduction. If you have a clean record, and display remorse a good lawyer can better demonstrate you’re a good person who made a mistake.

Part of this demonstration of moral character may mean your willingness to undertake substance abuse treatment.

A good lawyer can also use circumstance to get your sentence reduced. A good lawyer can also review the actions of the arresting officer. If your arresting officer didn’t follow the laws, you have a chance at sentence reduction.

Hire the Best for Your Second DWI in Texas

The best way to avoid penalties for your second DWI in Texas is to not drive drunk. You did, though, and now you need to know what comes next.

A second DWI arrest carries harsh fines and possible jail time. The first thing you need to do is hire a great lawyer so you have a better chance of making what comes next a little easier.

Arrested on your second DWI in the Woodlands, TX area? You’ll need expert legal services. Contact us today for a consultation.

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8505 Technology Forest Pl #104

The Woodlands, TX 77381

Phone: 832-381-3430

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