Have you been convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas once before? While the average person understands that we are all capable of lapses in judgment that turn into serious mistakes, do not expect the same compassion from the Texas criminal justice system, especially if you get accused of a second DWI. Texas No Longer uses a 10-year lookback period when determining if someone has committed a subsequent DWI or not. For example, if you were convicted of a DWI in 1980, any subsequent DWI arrest can be charged as a second offense, regardless of when the first one occurred.
In an effort to deter reckless driving behavior, the sentencing penalties upon a second-time DWI conviction will be noticeably harsher than before.
Second DWI offense conviction penalties in Texas are likely to include:
- Fine paid to the state up to $4,000
- 30 days to 12 months in jail
- Driver’s license suspension or revocation for 2 years
- Annual surcharge up to $2,000 for 3 years to keep license
- DWI intervention course completion (32 hours)
- Ignition interlock device installation (highly likely)
Overall, the penalties for a second-time DWI are effectively double that of a first-time DWI, which were already quite steep. When facing such heavy consequences, it is more important than ever than to know how to protect your rights, reputation, and driving privileges.
Defending Yourself from Second-Time DWI Charges
Possible defenses that may be useful in your second-time DWI case may include:
- Unlawful stop: Evidence can be deemed inadmissible if it is found that the highway patrol officer that pulled you over never had a valid reason for doing so. This can leave the prosecution with nothing to stand upon in your case.
- Inaccurate BAC reading: Breath testing devices are notorious for being inaccurate. Was one used to calculate your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level? If so, it could present a good starting point for your defense.
- No danger: Drivers who are so drunk that they pose a danger to other motorists are the true targets of DWI laws. If you did not actually create a hazard on the road, regardless of your alleged BAC level, then you might be able to argue for a reduction of the charges.
Determining what defense is right for your case requires an intricate understanding of Texas DWI laws and the criminal justice system. If you are not well-versed in legalities and legislation yourself, then it is highly recommended, even by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, that you find a reliable lawyer to do the legwork on your behalf.
Call (713) 224-5529 to connect with Tyler Flood & Associates today. Our Houston DWI defense attorney is known throughout the state for providing unwavering and tenacious defense for our clients, all backed by an unparalleled knowledge of the law and prosecutorial procedures. Contact our firm as soon as you can to schedule a free initial consultation – your time to defend your license from automatic suspension is limited.