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What Are the Texas DWI Penalties?

understanding texas dwi penalties

If the police pull you over and discover that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 or more, you could be arrested for driving while intoxicated or DWI. As a result, you’ll face legal penalties that will include fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspension. These penalties vary depending on how many times you’ve been charged with DWI. If you’ve been accused of this serious crime in Texas, be sure to hire a lawyer and then learn about the penalties you might face. 

What Are the Penalties for a First Offense?

If this is your first time being charged with DWI, this crime will be considered a Class B Misdemeanor. Your driver’s license will likely be suspended for anywhere from 90 days to 365 days.

You will also typically spend some time in jail for a first-offense DWI in Texas. At a minimum, you’ll spend 72 hours in jail, but it could be up to 180 days. You can also expect to pay a fine of up to $2,000. Keep in mind that hiring a lawyer can help you keep these penalties as close to the minimum as possible. 

What Are the Penalties for a Second Offense?

If this is your second DWI, the penalties will be more severe. First, it will be considered a Class A Misdemeanor, and you could lose your license for anywhere from 180 days to 2 years. 

With this second conviction, you will spend at least 30 days in jail, though this penalty can go up to 365 days of jail time. You’ll also need to pay up to $4,000 in fines for your second DWI in Texas.

What Are the Penalties for a Third Offense?

If you’re convicted of DWI for the third time in this state, you will face a 3rd Degree Felony, which is a serious mark on your record. You will also lose your license for 180 days to 2 years. 

In addition, you’ll spend two to 10 years in prison and have to pay fines of up to $10,000. The only way you have a chance of minimizing these severe penalties is to hire a lawyer with experience handling Texas DWI cases, so contact one as soon as you’re arrested for this crime.

How Can an Attorney Assist You?

These penalties are severe in order to discourage driving while intoxicated. But just because you were charged with a crime doesn’t mean you’ll be convicted or get the harshest punishment available. If you hire a skilled attorney, you’ll have a chance to get the least amount of jail time, fines, and other consequences. 

An experienced Texas attorney knows the law inside and out and will use that knowledge to reduce the penalties you’re facing or even get the case dismissed. If you’re ready to talk to a lawyer about your legal rights, contact our law office at (972) 573-4532.

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