In most states, when you’ve been previously convicted of an offense and then you get in trouble again, the penalizations increase with each offense, and the charges may increase as well.
In Texas, a DWI does increase with each offense, and penalties for the second offense will be more severe than the first. Plan to hire a Texas DWI attorney to see if you have any chances of reducing or dismissing your charges.
DWI Second Offense
A DWI second offense in Texas is a misdemeanor. The only exception to this is in the case of aggravated assault or manslaughter cases. While both first and second offenses are classified as misdemeanors, you can anticipate a more severe punishment for the second offense.
Since this is a second offense, it may be more challenging to combat the conviction or the charges. You also are less likely to get a reduced sentence since it’s a repeat offense. However, this will depend on the circumstances.
A DWI second offense conviction will be permanent on your record, and will have mandatory jail time attached as well.
Penalties for DWI 2nd Offense
Many times with the first offense, it’s easier to get reductions in penalties. But when it comes to a repeat, it’s much harder. Since it’s not your first offense, you will have a lot more aftermath to deal with.
These are some of the things you should anticipate:
- Fines up to $6,000
- Jail sentences up to 12 months (3 days minimum mandatory)
- Driver’s license suspension up to 2 years
- Ignition interlock device on vehicle
These are just the legal penalties. Don’t forget to account for surcharge fees, court costs, and any other fees you have to pay to drive again. For example, the Texas Department of Transportation will require an annual fee.
How Will the First Offense Affect Your Second Offense?
One thing that you need to be aware of is that even if your first offense DWI was initially dismissed, that charge could be held against you here. You’re not off the hook because the original charges were dismissed.
In the state of Texas, prior convictions can be used to enhance your sentence. Even when an initial conviction is deferred, that offense can still be applied when future charges come about. There is no statute of limitation on how prior offenses can impact you in the future.
Working Through a 2nd Offense DWI
The good news is that you are not automatically stuck, even with a second offense DWI. Hire a Texas DWI attorney to help you navigate the process. An experienced attorney will know your options and the best ways to approach this charge to help you get better results.
It is possible to have a 2nd offense DWI dismissed. There are certain aspects of the case that might be used to your advantage. Give yourself the best shot with an attorney who knows the system and will fight for your rights.