Driving while intoxicated in the Lone Star State is a serious crime with serious consequences. While driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges for first and second offenses in Texas are typically filed as misdemeanors, prosecutors file felony charges for DWI offenses when there have been at least two prior DWI convictions. Read on to learn more about what to do if you are facing charges for a third DWI (or more) in Texas.
If you have been charged with a third DWI felony, the State of Texas is required to prove certain elements of the crime in order to secure a conviction. First and foremost, as with any DWI case, the State must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in a public place at the time of the arrest. Further, in a felony DWI case, the prosecution must provide evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that you have at least two previous DWI convictions on record. (Note: other fact scenarios can lead to DWI felony charges as well such as having a child under 15 years old in the vehicle. Ask your Texas DWI lawyer for more information about such cases.)
- RELATED: DWI Charges in Texas
3RD DWI IN TEXAS: PUNISHMENT
The penalties for a third DWI conviction in Texas can be severe. A third DWI is considered a third-degree felony, and can carry the following potential punishments:
- Imprisonment: between two and 10 years in prison
- Fines: up to $10,000
- Driver’s License Suspension: up to 2 years
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Installation
A third Texas DWI conviction can have other long-term impacts on the life of the offender. Aside from the hit to the offender’s reputation or standing in the community, he or she may have difficulty finding employment or housing, gaining custody of children, and more.
HOW TO AVOID JAIL TIME FOR 3RD DWI IN TEXAS
It is critical to take a third DWI charge seriously and seek legal representation immediately because a DWI conviction can seriously impact your freedom. An experienced DWI defense attorney can review the circumstances of your case and work to reduce the charges you face, including possibly avoiding jail time via community supervision (more commonly referred to as “probation”). Many people who are charged with a third DWI in Texas are eligible to make an application for community supervision which can be granted for up to 10 years. However, the best possible way to avoid jail time is for the case to get dismissed altogether.
Consulting with an experienced attorney who handles DWI cases is your first step toward getting justice in your case. Attorney Collin Evans has years of experience with cases involving alcohol-related driving offenses and can advise you on the best way to proceed in your specific case. Collin Evans Law is a Houston, Texas-based law practice that serves Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, Galveston County, Walker County, Brazos County, Waller County, and Brazoria County. Criminal defense attorney Collin Evans is ready to answer your questions about your 3rd DWI in Texas or any other legal issue you might be facing. For a free consultation and more information about the legal services available, contact the team at Collin Evans Law, PLLC online at any time or by calling 713-225-0650.