In Texas, when you reach your 3rd DWI offense, this conviction becomes a felony on your record and is significantly more severe than prior offenses. You can expect a far different outcome if you are convicted compared to your prior offenses.
It is in your best interests to hire a DWI lawyer to defend your case and navigate the court processes if you are facing your 3rd offense.
DWI 3rd Offense
Texas treats DWI on a sliding scale to some degree. If you are convicted on your first and second charges, these are misdemeanors on your record. Those offenses could carry jail time, as well as hefty fines.
But the scale slides significantly higher as you reach your 3rd offense. You escalate from a misdemeanor charge to a felony charge, with far more severe punishment as well. Not only will you likely be facing some extensive jail time, but you will also have hefty fines to pay and be required to attend alcohol treatment programs.
By no means does Texas take it easy on you for your first or second offense, but they really hit you hard when you repeat a third (or even more) time.
Texas Penalties for DWI 3rd Offense
We’ve already discussed that with the 3rd offense, you’re no longer facing misdemeanor charges. If convicted, you will have a felony on your record, which could impact a lot of other areas of your life as well.
And here’s the thing: just because you received a deferment on your first offense doesn’t mean this won’t be counted. In fact, even if those prior convictions are from years ago, they will still count against you and can cause this 3rd offense to be charged as a felony DWI.
In Texas, you do have the right to be released on bond initially when you’ve been arrested. Since this is a felony, it’s possible that your bond will be set at $10,000 or higher. This will depend on the judge and the circumstances.
These are the penalties according to the law:
- Prison sentence up to 10 years (10-day minimum)
- Fines up to $10,000
- Loss of license up to two years
On top of these, you likely will pay hefty court costs, lawyer’s fees, insurance premiums, and Texas DOT surcharges as well. Since you likely will have some jail time, even when probation is assigned, you may have loss of work and therefore loss of wages as well.
Get Reliable Defense for 3rd DWI Offense Charges
When you’re facing a 3rd DWI conviction, the best thing you can do is hire a DWI lawyer to take your case. While they may not be able to stop a conviction, they can potentially help you get a lesser sentence if convicted.
Experienced attorneys will know the best ways to navigate the system to help you get the best results. You’re not in this fight alone – you just need to know where to turn.