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Houston DWI Penalties

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Houston – Harris County DWI Penalties

The penalties for DWIs in Houston are as follows:

  1. First offense: A fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or the possibility of serving jail time from three days to 180 days, and a driver’s license suspension of 90 to 365 days. (Class B Misdemeanor)
  2. Second offense: Fine increases to no more than $4,000 and/or jail from 30 days to one year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years. (Class A Misdemeanor)
  3. Third offense: A fine up to $10,000 and/or two to 10 years of imprisonment, and suspension of your driver’s license ranging from 180 days up to two years. (3rd Degree Felony)
  4. DWI with an open alcohol container (first offense): In addition to the penalty referenced above, you face a minimum six days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. (Class B Misdemeanor)
  5. DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication (Intoxication Assault): If convicted you may serve a minimum of two years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. Additionally, you may be fined up to $10,000. (Third Degree Felony)
  6. DWI where a death has occurred as a proximate cause of the intoxication (Intoxication Manslaughter): If convicted you may pay a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or be imprisoned from two to 20 years (Intoxication Manslaughter or Manslaughter with use of Deadly Weapon are both 2nddegree felonies.) Note: the district attorney can stack charges against you for each death, for example, two deaths can mean four to 40 years.
  7. A prior DWI conviction and a present drag racing charge: Drag racing is a class B misdemeanor; however, it becomes a class A misdemeanor if the person had a prior drag racing conviction, a DWI conviction or had an open alcohol container while they were driving.
  8. DWI with a passenger under the age of 15: State jail felony. Punishment for a non-enhanced state jail felony is confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days and a fine not to exceed $10,000.

In the misdemeanor classifications you may be eligible for probation, but there is no guarantee that you will receive a probated jail sentence or fine. If convicted of intoxication assault and granted probation, a minimum of 30 days in jail is mandatory as a condition of probation. Probation of intoxication manslaughter requires a minimum of 120 days in jail as a condition of your probation. If you are convicted of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, though, and the court or jury finds that you committed the offense with a deadly weapon, you may be ineligible for probation.

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