Houston DWI Lawyer on the Second DWI
If you have previously been convicted for any drunk driving charge (often called driving under the influence [DUI] or driving while intoxicated [DWI]), then an arrest for a subsequent DWI in Texas can result in drastically enhanced penalties. Although the typical punishments vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, avoiding the DWI conviction is important to avoid these typical punishments that result from a second DWI conviction.
Second DWI Penalties under Texas Law
We created this website to provide you with general information about the potential punishments that can result from a second DWI conviction under Texas law. No substitute exists, however, for discussing the particular facts of your case with an experienced Houston DWI attorney.
Call Horak Law at (713) 225-8000 to discuss your arrest for a second DWI in Houston, Harris County, and the surrounding areas, including The Woodlands in Montgomery County, Texas.
Special Conditions of Release from Jail on Bond After a Second DWI Arrest
Many individual are shocked to learn that after a second DWI arrest, Texas law does not require the judge to impose certain conditions on the person arrested before he or she can be released from custody. Although this Texas law appears to run afoul of the presumption of innocence, the Texas courts have consistently upheld these provisions as necessary for public safety.
After a second DWI arrest, the Court will impose a "Condition of release for Jail on Bond" which requires the individual to install and use an ignition interlock device. The ignition interlock device is a deep lung air machine that prevents the vehicle from starting until the driver blows into the machine to make sure that the driver has not consumed any alcoholic beverages.
Statutory Minimum Mandatory Requirements for a Second DWI under Texas Law
Under Texas law, a second offense for DWI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. In most cases, the courts are required to impose certain minimum mandatory punishments, including:
- A fine not to exceed $4,000 and up to two (2) years of community supervision or probation;
- The jail portion of the sentence requires that the court impose at least 72 hours in the county jail, although the court can impose up to twelve (12) months in the county jail;
- The ignition interlock device (IID) which requires a deep lung air sample to be provided before the vehicle will start;
- As part of the community control (probation) the court must impose at least 80 hours of community service, although the court can impose up to 200 hours of community service; and
- Driver's license suspension of not less than 6 months or more than 2 years.
For most individuals convicted of a 2nd DWI throughout Texas, the court will impose the following special conditions of probation or community supervision:
- Complete at least one DWI Victim Impact Panel - the Victim Impact Panels in Texas are presentations by the victims of drunk and drugged drivers to educate the participants on the consequences of intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter;
- DWI Education Class - Individuals conviction of a second DWI in Texas are usually required to complete an approved DWI Education class within the first 6 months after the date of the conviction;
- Drug or Alcohol Evaluation and all recommended follow-up treatment - Individuals convicted of a second DWI in Texas are usually required to obtain an evaluation to determine whether alcohol or substance abuse treatment is needed as complete any recommended treatment as required through the Department of Community Supervision;
- Commit no other crimes during the entire period of probation or community supervision;
- Maintain suitable employment;
- Obtain permission before moving to a different residence or obtaining different employment from the probation officer;
- Report each month to see the probation officer and provide proof of each special condition that has been completed;
- Complete the community service hours imposed as a part of the sentence (usually between 80 and 200 hours); and
- Pay all fines, court costs and supervision fees as required by the probation officer.
Although not required under Texas law, the court may impose additional conditions of the second DWI conviction depending on the particular facts of the case. Aggravated factors that can cause the court in Texas to be harsher during a DWI sentencing for a second offense can include the following:
- Possession of a controlled substance or open container in the vehicle;
- Any car crash, including an accident involving one vehicle or any accident that causes only minor property damage;
- Any minor child being in the vehicle at the time of the DWI stop;
- A bad driving record with several speeding tickets for driving more than 25 miles over the speed limit;
- Prior aggressive or careless tickets; or
- Any allegation of using abusive language against the arresting officer or resisting the officer during the arrest.
After an allegation for a second DWI, the court can impose certain additional requirements depending on the facts of the case, including:
- Additional Alcohol or Drug Treatment - depending on the facts of the case the judge might order additional drug or alcohol treatment including requiring attendance at NA or AA meetings;
- No Alcohol Consumption - the court may impose a condition that you not consume any alcohol while on community supervision or probation and that the probationer not enter any establishment that derives most of its revenue from alcohol; or
- Restitution - if the second DWI arrest involving a car accident or vehicle crash, the judge may require the person arrested to provide proof that his insurance company settled any claim by the victim for property damage or require the probation to pay restitution.
A second arrest for a DWI offense in Texas does not have to lead to a conviction. It's important to speak with a criminal defense attorney who is well-versed in defending DWI cases in Texas so your rights will be protected and so you will have the best chance of avoiding a 2nd DWI conviction.
Horak Law | Texas Attorney Defending Second DWI Offenses
If you have been arrested for a second DWI, then contact an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer to talk about the particular facts and circumstances of your drunk driving case. Matt Horak is available to talk with you about your drunk driving case in Houston, Harris County, The Woodlands, Montgomery County, or surrounding areas of Fort Bend, Brazoria, Liberty, Galveston, or Waller Counties.