Areas of Practice
A DWI first time offense in Texas can carry fines up to $2,000 and jail sentencing anywhere from 3 to 180 days. At the time of arrest the offender’s driver’s license may be confiscated and subsequently suspended for 90 days up to a full year. If convicted, the offender would be required to pay annual surcharges of $1,000 – $2,000 a year for 3 years.
The penalties for DWI increase significantly for repeat offenders. If convicted of a second DWI, fines of up to $4,000 are quite common. Jail time could be anywhere from 1 month to 1 year. The offender’s license could be suspended from 180 days to 2 years with annual surcharges ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. The law also requires the installation of a Deep Lung Device or Ignition Interlock Device in the offender’s car. This device measures the alcohol levels in the driver’s breath and will not allow the vehicle to start if the concentration is above .03%.
Third or More Offenses
Three or more DWI charges in Texas are extremely serious and carry fines of up to $10,000. It is also treated as a felony with a potential risk of a minimum of 2 years in prison. The offender’s driver’s license could be forfeited and it may be court-ordered that the offender attend an alcohol treatment program.
The Texas legislature has determined that if someone drives while intoxicated and as a result of that intoxication has an accident that causes serious bodily injury, the person will be charged with intoxication assault. Serious bodily injury is defined as “any injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of any bodily member or organ.” Intoxication assault is a third degree felony, punishable from 2-10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000. Unlike most crimes, intoxication assault is a strict liability crime, meaning the government does not have to prove mental culpability.
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