The first two driving while intoxicated (DWI) convictions may not send you to prison, but a third one can. In Texas, a DWI conviction for the third time is a felony, and it carries harsher penalties than those for first- or second-time offenders.
The penalties for a third offense
A person caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08% for the third time commits a third-degree felony in Texas. This conviction includes a sentence of 2 to 10 years in prison. A third DWI also comes with the following penalties:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Loss of driver’s license for up to 2 years
- A state fine of $6,000
- Participation in a DWI intervention or education program
In some cases, the court can place the accused on probation. Probation for third-time offenders can last up to 10 years.
The rights of the accused
A felony conviction on your record can negatively affect your life opportunities in many ways. However, you can avoid that third conviction by proving your innocence in court. If the police did not have reasonable cause to stop you, or if they did not comply with proper arrest procedures, the court could reduce your charges or even dismiss your case. You have the right to fight for your freedom, and you can do so in court with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.