What Is a DWI Second-Offence Charge in Texas?
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) endangers your life and the lives of those around you, which is why the state of Texas doesn’t take DWI charges lightly. Being convicted of a DWI second-offence charge in Texas means that you have been charged for the second time for driving while intoxicated—this charge is classified as a Class A misdemeanor.
What Is the Penalty for a Second DWI in Texas?
In Texas, impairment either means that you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher or that you don’t have control of your mental or physical faculties, as a result of drinking to taking drugs. If you’ve been charged with a second offence DWI in Texas, this means you’ve already been charged with a DWI once before. The severity of the charge will increase to a class A misdemeanor, and DWI second offense punishment will become harsher as well. Penalties of a second offence DWI in Texas carry a fine up to $10,000 and a minimum of five days in jail. However, the sentence can be up to 10 years at the discretion of the judge. Additionally, the judge is required to place an interlock device on your car when you’re released from your second offense DWI on bond, and it will remain there while you await trial—it will also stay on during your probation if you’re convicted. The interlock device will test your breath every time you try to start your car—if the device detects any alcohol at all, the vehicle will not start.
Other conditions of probation include rehab evaluation and a DWI repeat offender program. The rehab evaluation will require you to get evaluated by a state-approved drug and alcohol counselor to determine whether you have an addiction and what treatment plan many be right for you. Depending on their assessment, you may be required to enter a rehab program. The DWI repeat offender program includes a 32-hours course on alcohol abuse, driving impairment, and AA groups. If you refrain from taking this course, your license will be revoked and not returned until you complete it.
A second offense DWI also carries heavy licence suspension rules. If you’re arrested within 10 years of your previous DWI, you’ll automatically receive an administrative license revocation that lasts for one year. You’ll receive a notice, either from the arresting officer or the Texas Department of Public Safety. Your suspension will begin 40 days after you receive it, and you’ll have 15 days to request an administrative hearing. If granted, the administrative judge will determine whether the officer had probably cause to arrest you, and whether your blood alcohol limit was above the legal limit. If they judge in favor of the arresting officer, your license suspension will remain. However, it will be reinstated if you’re acquitted of the criminal charge.
In order to get your license reinstated, it’ll cost you at least $125.00. You can also expect to pay substantial surcharges in addition to your initial criminal fines. The Texas Driver Responsibility Program will require you to bay $2,000 a year for three years to maintain your driver’s license. Failure to pay this fee can result in your license being revoked again.
Bail for DWI Second Offense in Texas
If you or a loved one has been convicted of a DWI second-offence charge in Texas, contact PCS Bail Bonds as soon as possible for help. Our licensed bail bond agents are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, for your convenience. Take advantage of our expertise, and let us help you through this difficult time.