If this is your second DWI in Houston then you are probably familiar with the Texas legal system and you know how unforgiving it can be. The Lone Star State is home to strict cops and judges and even stricter penalties.
A prior DWI conviction can be used to enhance the second DWI charge to a higher-level offense. This enhancement also increases the severity of the penalties and the criminal charges.
Attorney for Second DWI in Houston, TX
If you are being investigated for a second DWI in Harris County, you will want to retain experienced legal counsel from The Gonzalez Law Group as soon as possible. Attorneys with The Gonzalez Law Group will fight to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Our defense lawyers defend DWI clients in the Harris County area including Friendswood, Pearland, Seabrook, League City, Deer Park, Pasadena, La Porte, Galena Park, Baytown and many others. Call us today at (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in our online form and one of our attorneys will review your case for free.
Second DWI Information Center
Texas DWI Laws
Texas considers driving while intoxicated to be operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Texas Penal Code 49.01(2) defines intoxicated as the following:
- A blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more
- Not having normal use of physical or mental faculties because of alcohol, a controlled substance or a combination of both
A great number of DWI arrest in Texas involve a BAC sample that is taken during a test performed on the side of the road or at the police station. Violating the BAC definition is considered a “per se” DWI. It’s worth noting that you can be arrested based on other definitions of intoxicated that can involve subjective options of the arresting officer or the involvement of controlled substances.
The penalties for a second DWI in Texas are harsher than the first conviction. Under Texas Penal Code Section 49.09, the second offense for DWI is a Class A misdemeanor and it requires the court to impose mandatory punishments that can include the following:
- Up to two years of probation or community supervision and a fine not to exceed $4,000
- At least 80 hours of community service but no more than 200
- No less than 6 months up to two years of a driver’s license suspension
- At least 72 hours but no more than 12 months in county jail
- The installation of an interlock device that requires a breathalyzer test before the car starts
Depending on the facts of your case, the court may impose additional conditions for a second DWI conviction. Aggravating factors that could cause the court to impose harsher penalties during sentencing can include the following:
- A driving record with numerous speeding tickets for driving more than 25 miles over the speed limit
- Possession of a controlled substance or an open container in the vehicle
- Prior aggressive or careless tickets
- An accident that involves one vehicle or that causes minor property damage
- Having a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the DWI
- Allegations of using abusive language against the arresting officer
Texas courts will likely impose the following conditions for community supervision or probation for the majority of the people who are convicted of a second DWI:
- Complete an approved DWI education class within the first six months following the date of the conviction
- Complete at least on DWI Victim Impact Panel
- Commit no other crimes for the duration of community supervision or probation
- Obtain an evaluation to determine if an alcohol or substance abuse treatment program is necessary
- Maintain employment
- Get permission from a probation officer before moving or obtaining new employment
- Report monthly to a probation officer
- Complete all imposed community service hours
- Pay all court cost, fines and supervision fees
It’s imperative that you speak with an experienced DWI attorney who will fight to protect your rights so a second DWI offense doesn’t end in a conviction.
Chapter 49: Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses– Follow this link to view chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code that governs how DWIs are handled in Texas. The chapter features information on what is considered public intoxication, boating while intoxicated and intoxication assaults. The chapter can be read on Texas Constitution and Statutes, a site that features the Texas constitution and statutes.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)– The Texas Department of Transportation features an article over DWI in Texas. The article discusses DWI laws, what happens if you are stopped and how to stay safe. The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for the state’s highway system, construction and maintenance.
Lawyer for Second DWI in Houston, TX
An arrest for a second DWI offense does not have to result in convection. We are dedicated to defending our clients and by choosing us, you can rest assured that your case will be handled with trust and diligence.
Call us today at (832) 530-4070 or submit your information in our online form and one of our attorneys will review your case for free. The Gonzalez Law Group proudly defends clients in the Harris County including Pearland, Baytown, Seabrook, La Pore, Pasadena, Galena Park, Friendswood and numerous others.