Third DWI in Texas? You need expert defense
A third offense is much more serious than a first or second DWI in Texas, representing heightened penalties and more aggressive prosecution by the court. Prior convictions reduce any leniency that you would hope to get from a judge or jury and increase the amounts of fines, secondary penalties, and possible jail time.
If you have been arrested under suspicion of a third DWI in Texas, you need to act fast and decisively. Every minute you wait is another minute that your attorney does not have to start building your defense.
Hiring just any defense attorney will not do. You need a DWI expert* that knows how to take on tough cases, fight in a court of law, and win. Mark Thiessen is not only one of the most decorated criminal defense lawyers in the country, but he is the only lawyer in America who is 4x Board Certified.
*Mark Thiessen is board certified in:
- Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense as approved through the American Bar Association
- DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association
- Board Certified Advocate in Criminal Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy Foundation
How many DWIs is a felony in Texas?
In Texas, is DWI a felony? It can be, and a third DWI in Texas often is. DWIs are often charged as felonies under the following circumstances:
- It is your third (or fourth) strike. Texas is hard on DWI, and even harder on repeat offenders. If you already have two or more DWIs on your record, a third or fourth DWI with no aggravating factors is punishable as a third-degree felony.
- Someone was injured as a result of an accident. If you are arrested under suspicion of DWI and you were involved in an accident in which a person suffered injuries, you can be charged with intoxication assault, another third-degree felony.
- Someone died as a result of an accident. If you are arrested under suspicion of DWI and you were involved in an accident in which a person was killed, you can be charged with intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony and the most serious DWI charge you can face.
- You had children in the car. If you are arrested under suspicion of DWI with a child passenger (anyone under the age of 15) in the car, you can be charged with a state jail felony.
A third DWI in Texas is often a felony charge. If you didn’t hire the best DWI lawyer in Houston on your first or second offense, you still have a chance to do so. This time around, you can hire a DWI lawyer like Mark Thiessen, who knows the science behind DWI, as well as the law, and uses it to secure Not Guilty verdicts for his clients.
How much does a third DWI in Texas cost?
DWI fines and secondary costs only go up with repeat offenses. For example, bonds for a 3rd DWI in Texas are much higher than they would be for a first conviction. If convicted, your third DWI offense will come with some steep costs:
- A fine of up to $10,000
- A $2,000 surcharge to the Texas Department of Transportation for three years
- Court costs
- Driver’s license suspension and reinstatement costs
- Raised premiums for car insurance
- SR-22 costs
- SCRAM device costs
- Costs of intervention and community service programs
- Bail bonds
While the monetary cost of a third DWI is significant, it often pales in comparison to the real cost of a DWI: the penalties associated with a felony charge and the ripple effects that they can have on the rest of your life.
What is the penalty for a 3rd DWI in Texas?
DWI penalties vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, but repeat DWI cases are more likely to include secondary penalties like mandatory DWI courses and community service and may carry longer potential prison sentences. Penalties for a DWI in Texas 3rd offense include:
- Up to 10 years in prison
- Mandatory ignition interlock device
- 2-year license suspension
Is jail time mandatory for a 3rd DWI in Texas?
If you’ve been accused of a third or fourth DWI, your biggest question is likely: “Now that I’ve been charged with a DWI felony, will I have to do jail time?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes. Third DWIs come with prison sentences between 2 and 10 years long. Even those who are convicted and granted probation or a plea deal are required to serve a minimum of ten days in jail.
However, the true cost of a third DWI is much more than a jail sentence and a fine. Multiple DWIs come with the loss of freedoms incurred after being convicted of any felony (gun ownership, the right to vote, etc.), the impacts of a prison sentence on family life, and the limitations imposed on employment and homeownership by felon status.
Your best chance to avoid any penalties is to avoid being convicted in the first place. To do that you’ll need a very good lawyer.
What is the statute of limitations for a 3rd DWI in Texas?
The statute of limitations for DWI in the state of Texas is two years for misdemeanor DWI and three years for felony DWI. Although these statutes of limitations exist, it is very uncommon for them to be relevant in any DWI case.
Why? DWI is unique in that if you are caught, you are caught immediately by the police. It isn’t like other criminal charges for which an arrest warrant is ordered and the police would need to track you down. Essentially, once a charge is filed, the statute of limitations becomes irrelevant, and it would be almost inconceivable that a charge would go unfiled for two or three years in a DWI case.