What You Need to Know
About a 2nd DWI in Texas

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2nd DWI in Texas

Have you been arrested for a 2nd DWI in Texas? If so, this can mean loss of your license, fines — even jail time. You don’t have much time. Your license will be automatically suspended in 15 days. You need to act fast.

If you encounter a potential 2nd DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) charge, you are probably familiar with what a DWI is. However, each consecutive DWI conviction results in more severe penalties and increased consequences. A 2nd DWI in Texas is even more significant than the first conviction. It is dangerous to drive while intoxicated. Impaired drivers are at a high risk for traffic accidents, which means impaired drivers are a danger to themselves and others.

It’s essential to know the law, know your rights, and seek legal defense. It is possible to win the fight against a 2nd DWI charge if you have a knowledgeable DWI defense attorney on your side.

What is the Long Term Impact of a 2nd DWI Conviction?

A 2nd DWI in Texas is considered a misdemeanor and will go on your criminal record. This charge will likely show up on future background checks and may hinder your future employment opportunities. You may also encounter increased auto insurance rates. A 2nd DWI conviction means you are a repeat offender, and you may have a more challenging time fighting off additional charges in the future. It is essential to try to get the charge dropped or downgraded to reduce its long-term impact.

What are the Penalties for a 2nd DWI?

It doesn’t matter when you were charged with your first DWI, even if it happened several years ago. In Texas, if you had a DWI charge many years ago and once again face a DWI charge, it will be considered a 2nd DWI charge.

A 2nd DWI conviction carries more weight than a 1st offense conviction; as such, it also has more severe penalties. If you are convicted, then you will spend at least some time in jail. Texas law states that a 2nd DWI conviction is punishable by a maximum of one year behind bars or up to two years probation. If a judge sentences you to probation, then you will be required to spend a minimum of four days or up to a maximum of 60 days in jail as part of the probationary requirements. In addition to incarceration, a 2nd DWI charge will also result in a financial burden of $4,000 in fines.

A 2nd DWI charge will also result in the suspension of your driver’s license. Driver’s license reinstatement will include a fine as well as an annual surcharge that will be required each year for three years to maintain a valid driver’s license. It may be necessary to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle. An IID is a special type of ignition control unit which includes a breathalyzer. You will need to breathe in before your car turns on. If the IID detects alcohol in your breath, then your vehicle will not turn on. In Texas, IIDs are often required to have a license reinstated after a 2nd DWI conviction.

In addition to the above penalties, you may also be required to participate in community service. The judge could require you to complete courses about alcohol and substance abuse education. Utilizing IIDs and alcohol/substance abuse education courses are an excellent way to protect yourself and other motorists from accidents caused by impaired driving. IIDs are a simple and practical measure to reduce your chances of future DWIs.

What Do You Need to Know About a 2nd DWI?

While the above information pertains to a typical 2nd DWI, it’s important to mention that additional fines and penalties may apply depending on the specific circumstances of the DWI incident. If any children under the age of 15 are passengers in the vehicle, there will be additional charges. There will also be additional charges if the DWI incident results in property damage, bodily injury, or death. Each additional charge will include its own set of associated penalties. In Texas, a second offense DWI charge typically includes:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to two years probationary period including 4-60 days in jail
  • A fine up to $4,000
  • Class A Misdemeanor
  • Initial and annual fees associated with driver’s license reinstatement
  • Loss of employment and potential difficulty securing employment in the future
  • Increased auto insurance premiums
  • Additional charges and penalties possible

Dealing with a potential 2nd DWI conviction can be daunting and overwhelming. Don’t despair, an experienced DWI defense attorney can help you know all your options and help you fight against the charges. It is possible to get a DWI charge acquitted if you have a defense attorney on your side who can help prove your innocence. Even though a 2nd DWI charge is significant, it’s important to remember that law enforcement officers are still required to offer you a fair trial and must be able to provide probable cause and evidence to prove you are guilty. In Texas, an experienced DWI attorney is your best defense against a potential 2nd DWI conviction.

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