DWI 1st vs 2nd vs 3rd vs with a Child Passenger

Facing a drunk driving or Driving While Intoxicated charge? There are several things you need to know about DWI penalties and fees.

When you’re arrested for a DWI there are serious administrative consequences— a driver’s license suspension— but if you’re convicted of driving while intoxicated, depending on the offense, you could face up to 10 years in prison!

Overwhelming? Scary, right?

A DWI charge is a serious offense that carries serious criminal consequences. You need to do whatever it takes to fight a DWI case and avoid a conviction, if possible., The process starts with understanding each type of DWI offense, along with the penalties and sentences (range of punishment) associated with each offense. You should also note that DWI penalties can include community service, DWI education, and mandatory use of ignition interlock devices. With consequences for jail time and fines increasing significantly for multiple DWI convictions, an experienced DWI defense could mean the difference between a dismissal and prison.

What is a DWI?

In the State of Texas, you can be legally intoxicated in different ways. First, a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of 0.08 or more. Second, is the loss of your normal physical faculties. Third, is the loss of the normal use of your mental faculties. Drugs count as well for intoxication, so you can be “intoxicated” without drinking alcohol at all! Most DWI’s in Texas are a Class B misdemeanor. The amount of possible jail time and fines you can face for a DWI conviction vary depending on how many prior convictions you have, along with your recorded BAC level. Be aware that a DWI with BAC of 0.15% or more is a Class A misdemeanor up to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

DWI 1st Offense

A First DWI Offense charge could land you in jail for up to six months and carries a fine of $2,000 and a license suspension of up to 1 year. You should also be aware that a BAC of 0.15% could lead to 1 year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Additionally, you could be charged an annual fee of up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain your driver’s license.

DWI 2nd Offense

A Second DWI conviction could result in 1 year in jail and a maximum fine of $4,000, your license suspended for at least 1 year and an annual fee of up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain your driver’s license.

DWI 3rd Offense

A Third DWI conviction ranges from 2 to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, your license suspended for a maximum of 2 years, and an annual fee of up to $2,000 for 3 years to retain your driver’s license.

DWI with a Child Passenger

Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger is a state jail felony. This means the driver operated a vehicle with a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age. Why does this make a difference? Because it carries a penalty of 180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

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