While a second DWI is a misdemeanor offense, a conviction for this offense carries with it significant direct and collateral consequences.
One troubling aspect of a DWI-Second, also called DWI Misdemeanor Repetition, is that if you are convicted of a second DWI, you are going to serve jail time no matter what – even if you are granted probation. Under Texas law, jail time is a condition of probation for a DWI-Second.
Another, even more troubling aspect, is that once you have a second DWI, any time you are suspected of a DWI in the future, you are going to be facing a felony charge.
A DWI Second in Texas is a hybrid Class A misdemeanor punishable by 30 days to a year in jail. Even though it has a unique minimum time in jail requirement, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor.
As mentioned, even a sentence of probation requires time in jail for a second DWI. If the prior DWI was within the last five years, your minimum time in jail on a probated sentence is five days. If the prior DWI was longer than five years ago, the minimum time in jail on a probated sentence is 72 hours. The most jail time a person can do as a condition of probation for a second DWI is 30 days. The judge can impose up to two years of probation.
You will have to complete the following conditions, and possibly more, for a DWI Second charge in Texas:
If you are charged with a DWI Second in Texas, you should expect the court will require you to have interlock installed on any vehicle you operate while you are out on bond. You should also expect the judge to add a condition that says you shall not consume alcohol while you are bond.
A fine of up to $4,000 will be imposed for a DWI Second charge in Texas. This is true for jail sentences and probated sentences.
If you are convicted of a DWI Second in Texas, you should expect a $2,000 per year surcharge on your Driver License for three years, for a total of $6,000.
While the punishment range for a DWI Second is very different from a first-time DWI, the burden of proof and elements other than the prior are the same as that of a DWI first. For more information on DWI investigations and prosecutions in Texas, don’t miss this article: DWIs in Texas.
The criminal court judge may suspend your driver license for up to two years if you receive a jail sentence on a DWI Second charge in Texas. Administratively, your license will be suspended for one year if your driving record shows more than one DWI-related contact during the last 10 years.
Due to the potential for elevated penalties for a second offense DWI in Fort Worth, it could be beneficial to reach out to a well-versed and steadfast lawyer for assistance.