The Stakes Are Higher If You Have A Prior DWI Or Enhanced Charges

The harsh consequences of a DWI escalate sharply if you are arrested for a repeat offense or if your DWI involves aggravating factors. It becomes even more important to have an experienced defense lawyer protecting you.

Alejandro Martinez is a former prosecutor who is well-versed in Texas DWI law. He can address your repeat offense DWI or enhancing factors to fight a conviction or minimize the penalties you face.

Escalated Penalties For Repeat DWI

Texas law makes some allowances the first time a person is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). If that drunk driving episode was an isolated lapse in judgment, the person may qualify for first offender programs such as pretrial diversion. On subsequent offenses, defendants lose the benefit of the doubt. There is less leniency and more emphasis on punishment and public safety.

Second Offense Of DWI

Texas does not have a “lookback” limit. If you have any previous DWI conviction, even from 10 or 20 years ago, you will be subject to repeat offender penalties:

  • Jail time of three days (minimum) to one year
  • License suspension 180 days (minimum) up to two years
  • Mandatory ignition interlock
  • Fines up to $4,000

Third Or Subsequent Offense Of DWI

A third DWI is a third-degree felony in Texas. The penalties are far more serious:

  • Prison time up to 10 years
  • Minimum 10 days in jail if you qualify for probation
  • License suspension up to two years (after incarceration)
  • Fines up to $10,000
  • All the collateral consequences of a felony conviction, including loss of gun rights and voting rights

Aggravating Factors That Make Any DWI More Serious

High BAC — If your blood-alcohol content is above .15 (approximately twice the legal limit), jail time and other penalties are enhanced. A high BAC can also disqualify you from some first-offender programs.

Child endangerment — If you were pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving while transporting a child under the age of 15 — even on a first offense — you face additional jail time up to two years, longer license suspension and additional fines up to $10,000.

Open container — An open alcohol container or empty bottles or cans in the car is a misdemeanor charge, but it complicates your defense and can tack on additional mandatory jail time if you are convicted of DWI.

DWI accident — Causing an accident that seriously injures someone can be charged as intoxication assault, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Causing a fatal accident while intoxicated can be charged as intoxication manslaughter, which carries a prison term of up to 20 years.

Skilled And Proactive Defense For High-Stakes DWI Charges

Because there is less leeway to negotiate penalties and harsher punishments awaiting a conviction, you may need to fight the charges. The Law Office of Alejandro Martinez, PLLC, regularly represents people facing aggravating DWI and repeat offense DWI. Our attorney exhausts every defense, from the legality of the traffic stop to the results of the breathalyzer.

Call our Austin law office at 512-523-5927 to arrange a consultation, or contact us by email. We practice in Travis and Williamson counties.