The Need-to-Know Facts About Second-Offense D.W.I. Charges
If an individual is convicted of a second D.W.I. offense, the charges and criminal penalties can be very severe. Having the necessary legal knowledge of an experienced defense attorney from The Shrum Law Office can help you navigate the courtroom and avoid more serious punishments. We want you to know exactly what you are up against when facing the judge and jury, and show you the difference a dedicated and knowledgeable defense team can make for your conviction.
Unlike some charges, there is no limit to how old a prior D.W.I. conviction is when you are being charged with a second offense. This opens the door for an experienced prosecutor to broadcast the defendant as a dangerous repeat offender to the eyes of a jury. The prosecution may suggest a history of D.W.I. convictions and reckless behavior with only one previous D.W.I. conviction on your record that was over a decade ago. The uncertainty of a second offense D.W.I. conviction makes fighting a first offense properly so important. If convicted, a D.W.I second offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties that include a fine of up to $4,500, suspension of your driver’s license from 180 days to 2 years, and from 30 days to 1 year in jail. The length of time between your first and second D.W.I. offenses will matter after your conviction, however. For a second offense D.W.I. probation includes a mandatory 3 days in jail if your previous conviction was more than 5 years ago, or a mandatory 5 years in jail if your prior conviction was less than 5 years ago.
If you are also charged with a subsequent offense of D.W.I. or a first offense of Intoxication Manslaughter, or Intoxication Assault at the time of the incident, bond conditions will require further control of your freedom in the state of Texas. Your vehicle will be required to have a device known as a Vehicle Ignition Interlock Device installed. This device requires a breathalyzer test before the engine can be engaged. If your results show any level of intoxication, the vehicle will be temporarily disabled and the courts will administer an “Accused to Abstain from Alcohol Use and Use of Controlled Substances Without a Prescription” order. This order will then be enforced by the court through random drug testing that will result in further penalties if failed, tampered, or avoided.
Any criminal conviction brings a world of uncertainty to the accused. For second time offenders, this uncertainty is intensified by harsher penalties and heavier monetary fines. If you or someone you know have been accused of their second D.W.I. offense in the state of Texas, please give us a call at The Shrum Law Office and let our seasoned attorneys handle the judge and jury for you.