Understanding the Complex Spectrum of Punishments for a 2nd DWI in Texas:

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With Texas having some of the strictest penalties for a DWI in the nation, many are unaware of the magnitude of punishments associated with repeat offenses. From hefty fines to prison time, a suspended license, and more, here are all of the punishments for a 2nd DWI conviction in Texas.

2nd DWI Charges:

To understand the punishment for a 2nd DWI in Texas it is important to first understand the charges. A 2nd DWI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor carrying up to a year in prison and a maximum fine of $4,000. If convicted, your sentence will be determined by a judge’s discretion. In addition to the typical penalties of a misdemeanor, repeat DWI offenders can expect the court and state to institute further penalties including:

Administrative License Revocation:

No matter the circumstances those who refuse a breathalyzer test or blow above the legal limit will have their license revoked through the Texas ALR program. The Department of Public Safety provides 15 days to schedule a hearing to fight an ALR, after which your license will be suspended for either one or two years. A license may only be reinstated once you have paid a $125 fee and all other fines associated with your case.

Ignition Interlock Device:

In addition to a suspended license, an ignition interlock device is a mandatory punishment for a 2nd DWI in Texas. An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer system that attaches to the interior of a vehicle and will lock the ignition until a driver blows a passing test result. This device will be installed into all of your vehicles for at least half the time of your probation or parole (usually a year). Ignition interlocks also come with an installation and monthly monitoring fee, and you can face additional misdemeanor charges if caught misusing or tampering with them.

Community Supervision:

Whether you’re granted probation or parole, community supervision is a near-definite penalty for those charged with a 2nd Long Island DWI Lawyer. Community supervision can be quite intense and will typically include housing and work requirements, random drug tests and home searches, victim impact panels, community service, routine meetings with a probation officer, and alcohol education courses. For a 2nd DWI, the court will usually order two years of community supervision.

Criminal Record:

Unlike a first-time offense, a 2nd time DWI cannot be sealed from a record and can have a permanent impact on your life. A 2nd DWI charge will appear on housing and job applications and can also impact your education, child custody, and your immigration status. Repeat offenses have a particularly large impact on your criminal record as they carry a stigma of addiction which may unfortunately (and often undeservingly) make you seem unreliable to employers, landlords, and even judges.

Enhanced Charges and Penalties:

In certain extreme cases, 2nd DWI charges can be enhanced to carry harsher penalties. Enhanced penalties are most commonly seen when a DWI occurred with a child passenger or caused bodily harm to another individual.

A DWI with a child passenger and intoxicated assault are both considered third-degree felonies and can carry up to two years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. If charged with a DWI with a child passenger or intoxicated assault, expect your legal troubles to continue as, respectively,  you’re likely to face child endangerment charges or a massive negligence lawsuit.

While less common, a 2nd DWI charge can also be enhanced to intoxicated manslaughter if you caused an accident resulting in death. If charged with intoxicated manslaughter you could face up to twenty years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Consult With A DWI Lawyer:

While there may be a laundry list of punishments for a 2nd DWI in Texas, a specialized DWI lawyer can help you to avoid many, if not all of them. Despite how it may seem, there are a variety of ways to successfully defend a 2nd DWI charge or have it reduced to a reckless driving misdemeanor. Be sure to schedule a consultation with a local DWI lawyer to weigh your options, you may be surprised with what you hear.

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