Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is illegal in the state of Texas, and the penalties for the crime upon conviction are incredibly harsh. If you’re a repeat offender, then expect to face enhanced consequences. In the state of Texas, a third or subsequent DWI is classified as a felony offense. That means if you’re convicted you could be sentenced to time in prison rather than jail.
Convicted felons tend to face a multitude of roadblocks once they’ve finished their sentencing. They often have issues obtaining employment, a professional license, or a home/business loan due to their felony criminal record. That is why it’s incredibly important you fight back against felony DWI allegations if you’ve been accused of a third or subsequent DUI in Texas. You can do this by hiring an experienced Harris County DWI defense lawyer with The Benken Law Firm.
Third DWI Houston Lawyer | 3rd DUI in Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with a third or subsequent DWI, then it’s within your best interest to call Brian Benken of The Benken Law Firm. Attorney Benken has been practicing criminal defense for years with a special focus in DWI cases. He possesses an in-depth understanding of these type of cases and can utilize his knowledge to fight your charges. Let him act as your guide today by calling his office or submitting an online contact form.
Contact Brian Benken of The Benken Law Firm to set up your first consultation free of charge. The Benken Law Firm is located in Houston and Harris County, Texas and accepts clients in all parts of Texas including Southside Place, Uptown, Gulfton, Brays Oaks, Houston Heights, and Greenspoint.
- Third DWI Defined in Texas
- Jail Time for 3rd DWI
- Ignition Interlock Device Requirement
- Additional Resources
Third DWI in Texas
The state of Texas is infamous for its stringent DWI laws. The penalties for DWI are severe and often the judge will impose additional conditions to the sentence that must be completed. Under the Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict an individual of DWI.
- Driving an automobile on Texas public roads; and
- And the individual had a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) was at or above .08 OR your physical and mental faculties were impaired by alcoholic beverages and/or controlled substance(s)
In Texas, there is no “look-back period.” Meaning any prior DWI conviction could be used to enhance your current DWI charges. Even if the prior conviction was years or even decades ago. If you have a prior conviction for any of the following, your penalties could be enhanced.
- Driving while intoxicated
- Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger
- Driving while intoxicated with a BAC of .15
- Boating while intoxicated
- Flying while intoxicated
- Assembling or operating an amusement ride intoxicated
- Intoxicated assault
- Intoxicated manslaughter
How Much Jail Time for 3rd DUI in Texas?
Since there’s no lookback period in Texas, that means you’ll face enhanced penalties for a third DWI. Your consequences will be elevated even if the prior convictions were decades ago. According to the Texas Penal Code, a third DWI is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Minimum of two years in prison with a maximum of 10 years
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Up to 200 hours of community service
- Two-year license suspension
- Surcharge from DPS of up to $2,000
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Completion of a 12-hour DWI class
Ignition Interlock Device After Third DWI
Judges usually impose additional sentencing conditions when it comes to DWI in Texas. One of these commonly imposed conditions is to install an ignition interlock device (IID). An ignition interlock device is technically a breathalyzer that’s been attached to your motor vehicle’s engine. The purpose of the device is to stop the individual from driving intoxicated in the future and to keep the public safe from their actions.
When an ignition interlock device is connected to your car, you must submit a breath sample to start the engine. If you submit a breath sample at or above .08 BAC, then your car’s engine will be locked. You won’t be able to drive the car or even turn it on until a certain time period has passed.
Any attempt to “trick” the device by having another person “blow” for you will not work. The device requires the driver to perform “rolling re-tests” which are random re-tests the IID will ask while you are driving. If you’re unable to submit a sample, the car will turn on the wipers, lights, radio, and horn until you’re able to pull over and turn off the vehicle.
Texas Penal Code Third DWI – Visit the official website of Texas Legislation to read the Penal Code to learn more about DWI in the state of Texas. Access the statue to learn more about DWI, DWI with high BAC, DWI with child passenger, and other types of alcohol-related offenses.
Interlock Device Providers– Visit the official website of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to peruse about the different IID providers they have listed. Access the site to learn IID laws, an overview of the standards an IID provider must have, and reports related to IID.
Harris County Lawyer for 3rd DWI | Houston DUI Defense Attorney
Are you facing DWI charges and have prior convictions? If so, you’ll need a strong defense to escape felony charges. Fight back against these allegations with effective and efficient legal representation from The Benken Law Firm. Attorney Brian Benken has years of DWI trial experience and have represented people accused of all types of crimes ranging from intoxication manslaughter to open container violations. He can assess your charges and build a formidable defense tailored to fight the prosecution and keep you out of jail.
Call The Benken Law Firm today at (713) 223 - 4051 to set up your first consultation. The Benken Law Firm accepts cases in Houston, Harris County, and throughout all parts of Texas.