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State Bar of Texas

Second DWI Offense in Texas: Laws and Penalties

Jerry W. Tidwell, Jr.
DWI–driving while intoxicated

Being charged with a DWI–driving while intoxicated–charge, Texas’ equivalent of a DUI, is a serious offense. Being charged a second time, however, is even more concerning.

If you are facing a second DWI in Texas, you need to understand the law and your options, and think seriously about retaining the counsel of an experienced Texas DWI defense lawyer.

Penalties for a 2nd DWI in Texas

A first-time DWI will be penalized by a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days and jail, the potential loss of a driver’s license for up to one year, and an annual driver’s license retainer fee of $1,000 or $2,000.

The penalties for a second-time DWI, as would be expected, are harsher. To be sure, as reported by the Texas Department of Transportation, penalties for a second DWI offense include:

  • Fine – A person who is convicted of a second DWI will face up to $4,000 in fines;
  • Jail time – A second DWI in Texas can result in jail time of up to one year;
  • Driver’s license suspension – If you are convicted of a second DWI, you may lose your driver’s license for up to two years; and
  • Driver’s license retention fee – You may be able to retain your driver’s license by paying an annual fee for three years of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000.

Keep in mind that in addition to the above, you will also face legal fees and court costs. Further, if you are allowed to retain your license, it will probably be in exchange for the installation of an interlock ignition device on your vehicle. In addition to the penalties assessed by the state of Texas, a DWI on your record–and certainly a secondary or subsequent DWI–can have a negative effect on your opportunities, affecting employment, family law matters, and more.

If you are charged with a second DWI in Texas, it is strongly recommended that your first call is to your lawyer; fighting a second DWI charge on your own may result in a case outcome that could have been mitigated. Your lawyer can help you by:

  • Explaining the charges against you and the potential consequences you face;
  • Assessing the prosecution’s evidence against you;
  • Filing motions in your favor;
  • Ensuring that all evidence was gathering lawfully, and that evidence that was not gathered lawfully is dismissed;
  • Exploring your different defense options;
  • Negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution; and
  • Defending you in court.

Call Our Texas DWI Lawyers Today

Don’t run the risk of representing yourself if you’ve been charged with a secondary DWI in our state. Our Texas DWI defense lawyers at the Tidwell Law Firm, PLLC are here to provide you with the quality legal representation you deserve.

For your initial case consultation, please connect with us directly by calling our law firm or sending us an online message.

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