Penalties For DWI
Penalties For DWI
In Texas there are several classifications of punishment for a DWI conviction. For a first offense, the fine should not exceed $2,000. Texas law does also mandate that the judge should order community service to the accused for a period not exceeding 100 hours and not less than twenty four hours. Regarding jail time, a first offender cannot be jailed for more than six months or less than 72 hours. If a container that has already been opened and contains alcohol is found in your car, the minimum period of jail time is 6 days . Unless there were some unusual circumstances, many people who are found guilty of a first offense DWI are granted probation; the normal length for this community supervision is typically 1 to 2 years.
For a second offense, Texas law does require that the court orders as a pre-condition before release that the accused person install and maintain an LAD (Lung Air Device) on the car she or he will be driving while the charges are still pending in court. This device usually requires a sample of your breath before you start the car and also some periodic breaths while you are behind the wheel so as to ensure that the driver is sober. These devices are smart enough to realize if someone else tries to blow on the device. If you are fined, the fine should not exceed $4,000. For those sentenced to jail, the term should not be less than 72 hours and should also not exceed one year in jail. For community service, the law mandates the concerned judge to order no more than 200 hours and no less than 80 hours. If you are found guilty of a DWI second offense, the judge may also have your license suspended for no more than 24 months and not less than one hundred eighty (180) days.
For a third or greater offense conviction, a fine not exceeding $10,000 may be imposed. One can also be confined in jail for a period not exceeding ten years but not less than two years. A deep lung device is also required for all individuals who have been convicted of 3 or more DWIs. The judge may order not more than 600 hours and no less than 160 hours of community service. Again, the license of a convicted driver can also be suspended for not more than 24 months and not less than 6 months or 180 days.
In the event of a fourth offense or more, the normal punishment is usually jail time for a period not less than two years and not exceeding ten years without any probationary option being offered.
Apart from the above mentioned penalties for DWI in Texas, a third conviction is normally considered a serious problem with alcohol and some kind of rehabilitation treatment is mandated if you are to avoid serving any prolonged jail term. A program such as SAFP (Substance Abuse Felony Probation) can be ordered.
Call us today if you are facing any DWI related issues. Our McKinney TX DWI Attorney can advise you and build a strong criminal defense on your behalf.