Third or Subsequent DWI
Anybody who has been previously convicted of a drunk driving offense is aware of the many difficulties that can result from the charge. A third or subsequent arrest for DWI is an even more serious situation because whereas first and second offenses are classified as misdemeanors, any third or subsequent charge is considered a felony offense.
This means that an alleged offender not only faces increased possible fines and prison sentences, but a conviction can also result in several additional restrictions. Repeat offenses are taken very seriously by prosecutors in Denton County, making it imperative for anybody charged with DWI for a third or subsequent time to immediately seek legal representation.
Third or Subsequent DWI Lawyer Denton County
If you were recently arrested for your third DWI or you have already been convicted of drunk driving more than twice, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You only have a mere 15 days to request an administrative license suspension hearing to get your license back if you either failed or refused to submit to chemical testing.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents clients all over the Lewisville area, including Denton, The Colony, Little Elm, and many more. You can have our firm review your case to discuss your legal options when you call 940-222-8004 today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Denton County Third or Subsequent DWI Information Center
- How does a person get charged with this crime?
- What consequences does a person face if he or she is convicted?
- What happens if a person is classified as a habitual felony offender?
- Are there any defenses against these charges?
Third or Subsequent DWI Charges in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, a person is charged with DWI when he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. An arrest can be classified as a third DWI offense if the alleged offender has two previous convictions involving any of the following offenses:
- Driving While Intoxicated, Texas Penal Code § 49.04
- Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger, Texas Penal Code § 49.045
- Flying While Intoxicated, Texas Penal Code § 49.05
- Boating While Intoxicated, Texas Penal Code § 49.06
- Assembling or Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated, Texas Penal Code § 49.065
- Intoxication Assault, Texas Penal Code § 49.07
- Intoxication Manslaughter, Texas Penal Code § 49.08
Penalties for 3rd or Subsequent Drunk Driving Charge
Any third DWI or subsequent DWI charge is classified as a third-degree felony. This can result in a minimum prison sentence of two years if convicted, but other possible penalties may include:
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Up to 10 years in prison
- Up to two years suspension of driver’s license
- Annual Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver Responsibility Surcharge of $1,500 for three years
- Community supervision
- Up to 1,000 hours of community service
- Mandatory attendance at DWI repeat offenders class and alcohol or drug education program
- Other court and administrative costs
- Mandatory evaluation and possible counseling
- Mandatory installation of deep-lung device (DLD) or ignition interlock device (IID)
- Loss of right to own or possess a firearm
- Loss of right to vote
Texas Habitual Felony Offenders
Because a third DWI and any subsequent drunk driving arrest is considered a felony offense, a very important consideration that needs to be kept in mind is that alleged offenders face the risk of tremendously enhanced prison sentences for multiple DWI convictions or other felony offenses. Texas Penal Code § 12.42(d) states that an alleged offender who is convicted of two felony offenses can be punished by imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for life or a term up to 99 years.
This means that an alleged offender who has been charged with his or her first felony DWI charge could possibly be sentenced to life in prison if he or she has separate felony convictions. A person who has been charged with drunk driving for the third or subsequent time needs to be aware of the habitual felony offender statute if he or she has been previously convicted of other seemingly unrelated felonies, including drug charges, violent crimes, or sex offenses.
Denton County Third or Subsequent DWI Defenses
Prosecutors will almost certainly be seeking maximum punishments in DWI cases that are the alleged offender’s third or subsequent time being arrested. However, the circumstances surrounding the arrest should be fully investigated to determine if any one of a number of factors can result in charges being reduced or dismissed.
Some possible defenses against a third or subsequent drunk driving offense can include, but are not limited to:
- No probable cause for initial traffic stop
- Alleged intoxication symptoms were result of other factors (allergies, fatigue, common cold, etc.)
- Alleged offender was driving on private property
- Other substances contributed to false breath test result
- Field sobriety tests were non-standardized or improperly administered
- Contaminated or improperly handled blood samples
- Dashboard or booking room videos do not support statements of law enforcement
- Breath test operator did not possess valid license
- Breath test machine unapproved or malfunctioned
- Police officer did not follow proper procedure
Find A Third or Subsequent DWI Lawyer in Lewisville
Have you been arrested for drunk driving in Denton County for the third or subsequent time? Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy fights DWI charges on behalf of clients in Lewisville and surrounding areas, including Westlake, Flower Mound, and Grapevine.
Richard C. McConathy has been handling various types of DWI cases all over North Texas for more than a decade, and Brian A. Bolton is a former District Attorney’s Office Chief Prosecutor. They can review your case during a free consultation when you call 940-222-8004.