Call Madrid Law, PLLC at 713-877-9400 for legal defense.
In Texas, penalties for first-offense Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are annoying, problematic and troubling. It’s when you are convicted of DWI for a second time that the penalties start to get serious. Compounding these difficulties is the fact that Texas allows its prosecutors to hold a first-offense DWI against you no matter how long ago you were arrested – a 30-year old first-offense DWI can be held against you to support a second-offense DWI conviction.
If you have been arrested for second-offense DWI in the Houston metro area, an aggressive and effective DWI lawyer is likely to be a necessity, not a luxury. Mario Madrid is a board-certified specialist in Texas criminal law who is a proud member of the National College of DUI Defense Attorneys. His nearly two decades of litigation experience, including experience as both a judge and a prosecutor, give him an invaluable edge when confronting the Houston judicial system on behalf of clients.
Possible Criminal Penalties
Possible criminal penalties for second-offense DWI in Texas include:
- 30 to 365 days in jail
- A fine of up to $4,000
Although a good DWI defense attorney might be able to have your jail sentence probated, you will have to spend at least three days in jail if you are convicted.
Possible Administrative Penalties
Administrative penalties for DWI involve suspension of your driving privileges or the placement of conditions on your ability to drive legally.
- Suspension of your driving privileges for up to a year. Even if you were driving on an out-of-state driver’s license, Texas can suspend your driving privileges in Texas and formally notify your home state of your DWI.
- Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, on your car (this is a certainty if you are sentenced to probation).
- A “surcharge” of $1,500 per year for three years as a condition of keeping your driver’s license (increasing to $2,000 per year if your Blood Alcohol Concentration was at least 0.16%).
If you refused to submit to field sobriety testing during your traffic stop, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to two years, twice as long as the maximum suspension period if you had submitted to sobriety testing but failed the test. Moreover, refusing to submit to testing doesn’t mean that you can’t be convicted of DWI even without the results of a sobriety test – your refusal to submit to testing can be used as evidence that you knew you had something to hide.
You will have a mere 15 days to apply for a formal hearing to contest the suspension of your driver’s license. You are entitled to be represented by an attorney, call witnesses and present defenses.
Unfortunately, Texas DWI law does not allow defendants to plea bargain a DWI charge down to the less-serious “wet reckless” charge, making plea bargaining more difficult than it otherwise would be. Your defense attorney will have to either plea bargain your DWI down to another charge, convince the prosecutor to drop charges, or win an outright acquittal.
Only an experienced DWI defense lawyer is likely to fully understand both the intricate nuances of Texas DWI law and the prevailing practices of the Houston judicial system. If you were arrested for DWI in or near Houston, call Madrid Law, PLLC at 713-877-9400 for a free initial consultation. Your future may depend on it.