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What Are the Consequences of a Third DWI Conviction? Local Defense Lawyer Explains

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense in the United States – and Texas is no exception. In particular, repeat offenders may face steep fines and time behind bars. This is why it is so important to hire a local DWI defense lawyer if you face charges.

In most situations, Texas classifies first and second DWI offenses as misdemeanors. However, according to the Texas Penal Code, a third offense is a felony.

If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated in Texas, then the Law Offices of Robert Gregg may be able to help. Mr. Gregg is a Dallas DWI attorney who can answer your questions, prepare your defense and explain the potential outcomes of your case. To schedule a consultation, call us today at (214) 891-7536.

In the meantime, read on to learn three facts about third DWI convictions in Texas:

  1. A third DWI is a felony.

Texas considers a third DWI charge a felony in the third degree. As such, those convicted of a third DWI are likely to spend extended time in jail and pay an expensive fine. The fine will not exceed $10,000, but you cannot earn a decent income when you are spending up to a decade behind bars.

If there are aggravating circumstances, such as having a minor with you in the car when police catch you, or injuring another driver, then the penalties may increase. This may also happen if your BAC level significantly exceeded the legal limit.

You may also need to complete community service. Depending on the offense’s severity and the discretion of the judge, this could last from 80 to 200 hours. If the judge suspects that you have a drinking problem, then you may need to enter an alcohol treatment center.

  1. There are administrative penalties for third DWI offenders.

Several administrative consequences await those who are convicted of a third DWI offense. You may lose all driving privileges for two years, and you may need to pay a $1,000 annual license fee just to retain your license.

If your third DWI charge occurs within five years of your previous convictions, then you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You will be unable to start the engine if you have been drinking, using certain mouthwashes or consuming other products containing alcohol. You will also have to pay all installation, calibration and maintenance costs.

  1. There is no look back period in the state of Texas.

Some states have a forgiving look back period of 10 years; Texas is not one of them. A look back period means that if you do not repeat an offense within a specified time frame, then the court will not consider the crime to be a repeat offense when sentencing. However, Texas courts will still consider you a repeat offender.

A third DWI carries particularly steep consequences, but even a first offense is a serious matter. If you face this charge, then a local DWI defense lawyer may be able to help. The Law Offices of Robert Gregg is available at (214) 891-7536 to protect your interests and structure your defense.