3rd DWI in Texas
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is the unlawful operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of excess alcohol or another controlled or illegal substance. A 3rd DWI in Texas will create a significant problem. Each state has unique laws regarding DWI’s, how long it stays on a person’s record, and the severity of penalties. A 3rd DWI in Texas, if convicted, is considered is a third-degree felony.
What is the Long Term Impact of a 2nd DWI Conviction?
In Texas, a 2nd DWI conviction is 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 is DWI?
A DWI is a serious conviction that means a driver was caught driving while intoxicated. Drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while intoxicated often have impaired decision-making skills and slower reaction times. Impaired motorists are a danger to themselves and others. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels, breathalyzers, and field sobriety tests are the methods that law enforcement officers use to determine if a motorist is impaired. A refusal to participate in a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test may result in the suspension of your driver’s license.
Do Previous DWI’s Count Against You if it Occurred Many Years Ago?
Typically, any previous DWI charges can count against you in a court case regarding a 3rd DWI in Texas. Some states look back at the past 10 to 30 years to determine how many DWI you have. However, Texas’s judicial system doesn’t place any time constraints on the look back period, which means that each DWI counts, no matter how old the charge is. The jury will be made aware of any prior DWI convictions that occurred in the past. If you have a history of multiple DWI’s, the jury may think that you have a habit of driving while intoxicated; this may cause the jury to be biased against you. However, a DWI charge incurred before January 1, 1984, which resulted in probation, will not be considered.
What are the Penalties for a 3rd DWI in Texas?
The severity of penalties increases with each DWI conviction. You may be responsible for a fine up to the maximum amount of $10,000. Your driver’s license may be suspended for 180 days, up to 2 years. If charged with a 3rd DWI in Texas, you may be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in your vehicle before you can have your license reinstated. You may also be subject to pay up to $2,000 annually (for three years) to keep your driver’s license. A felony conviction will result in the loss of voting privileges and the inability to own a firearm. A 3rd DWI conviction can result in two to ten years of incarceration in a Texas prison. It’s important to note that even though the minimum jail time for a 3rd DWI in Texas is set at two years, a judge may honor a plea deal, which may enable you to be eligible for probation. If you are offered a plea bargain, then the judge may reduce the mandatory jail time to a minimum of 10 days. Every case is unique; not every circumstance is eligible for a plea bargain. It is vital to seek legal counsel from an experienced DWI attorney.
- Driver’s License Suspension
- 2-10 years in prison
- Felony record
- Fines up to $10,000
- License reinstatement fees and three years of annual $2000 surcharges for reinstatement
- Loss of Employment
- Loss of the right to vote
- Loss of the right to own a firearm
- Required installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle
- Additional charges and consequences possible
What Do You Need to Know about a 3rd DWI in Texas?
The penalties increase with each DWI offense. Each DWI offense is unique, and the specific circumstances of the DWI will influence the incident’s outcome. If there is a weapon involved, the consequences will be more severe. There will be additional charges incurred if there are any passengers under the age of 15. DWI’s that result in property damage, bodily injury, or fatalities are subject to significant consequences. Each additional charge may result in other penalties, resulting in more time in jail and an additional financial burden.
If you are convicted of a 3rd DWI, the penalties will be severe, and the effects of the consequences may last a lifetime. A 3rd DWI conviction carries a hefty load of penalties, including time in jail or prison, steep fines, and revocation of several privileges and rights. In addition to legal consequences, a third-degree felony charge may result in a tarnished reputation and difficulty securing future employment.
A 3rd DWI in Texas is a serious offense. It is possible to win the fight against a DWI charge; however, it is tougher to fight against a DWI charge when there are multiple prior DWI convictions. If you face a first, second, or third DWI offense, you need to act quickly to defend yourself against the charges. The best thing you can do is act fast and try to get the charges dropped so it won’t affect you in the long term. You will need an excellent attorney to help you fight the charges. If you face a DWI in Texas, you need to consult an experienced DWI attorney as soon as possible.
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