In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious criminal offense that can have life-altering consequences. The Lone Star State takes a tough stance on DWI, with harsh laws and severe penalties for convicted offenders. One of the most stringent laws in Texas is the “Three Strikes Law” which applies to repeat offenders.
Texas Three Strikes Law for DWI
The Texas Three Strikes Law for DWI is designed to crack down on repeat DWI offenders. Under this law, if an individual is convicted of DWI three or more times, he or she will face significantly enhanced penalties for the crime. The Three Strikes Law aims to keep habitual DWI offenders off the roads to protect the public.
Typical Punishment for a Third DWI in Texas
When it comes to a third DWI offense in Texas, the penalties are severe; the Texas Penal Code (§12.42) outlines them in detail. It is important to note that the punishment can vary depending on the circumstances of the case and the specific nature of the prior convictions. While you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand the law and how it applies to your case, here is a general overview of the typical punishment for a third DWI in Texas:
- Felony Charge: A third DWI is a more serious offense than a misdemeanor DWI and is typically charged as a third-degree felony in Texas.
- Monetary Fine: Individuals convicted of a third DWI in Texas may face fines of up to $10,000.
- Jail Time: Third-time DWI offenders may in some severe cases serve a mandatory prison sentence of up to 10 years.
- License Suspension: Upon conviction, a third-time offender can have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to 2 years.
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID): In some cases, the court may require the installation of an IID in the offender’s vehicle (at the offender’s own expense), in order to measure blood alcohol content (BAC) before allowing the vehicle to start.
The Possibility of Probation for a Third DWI in Texas
It is possible to receive probation for a DWI conviction in Texas, but probation for a third DWI offense is not guaranteed. It is subject to several factors, including the judge’s discretion and the defendant’s willingness to comply with probation conditions. In some cases, the court may offer deferred adjudication, which allows the defendant to avoid a conviction on their record if they successfully complete probation. That said, deferred adjudication for a third DWI in Texas is rare.
Are you facing DWI charges in the Austin, Texas area and need legal assistance? If so, reach out to Texas DWI lawyer Brian Erskine of Erskine Law. Mr. Erskine is a skilled criminal defense attorney who knows the law and has years of experience and success handling DWI cases like yours. Contact Erskine Law today for a free consultation about your case and how Law Maverick Brian Erskine can help.