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Lawyer for DWI in Texas 3rd Offense

Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law
DUI Defense Lawyers Association Board Certified
National College for DUI Defense Board Certified
Super Lawyers 2013-2020
Super Lawyers Top 100 in Houston & Texas
Lawyer Scientist
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Super Lawyers Rising Star 2010-2013

Facing a third DWI in Texas? You need the best to fight for your freedom

A third DWI in Texas is much more serious than a first or second DWI in Texas. Prior convictions reduce any leniency that you would hope to get from a judge or jury, increase the amount of fines and secondary penalties, and make significant jail time all but a certainty. Plus, charges for third and fourth DWIs in Texas are automatically felonies. 

If you have been arrested under suspicion of a third DWI in Texas, you need to act quickly 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 who 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 3x Board Certified in the following:

  1. Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  2. DUI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense as approved through the American Bar Association
  3. DUI Law by the DUI Defense Lawyers Association
  4. Board Certified Advocate in Criminal Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy Foundation

If you’ve got a case that you need to win, you need to give Thiessen Law Firm a call today at (713) 864-9000 and ask Mark Thiessen to fight for you. 

How many DWIs is a felony in Texas?

Is DWI a felony in Texas? It can be, and a third DWI in Texas typically is. DWIs will be 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 a child 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 DWI offense in Texas, 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.

Continue reading about how we win intoxication manslaughter cases in Texas

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 third 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 that could include: 

  • 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 having a felony charge on your record and the ripple effects they can have on the rest of your life.

What is the punishment for a third DWI in Texas?

While DWI penalties vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, the typical punishment for third DWI in Texas will include: 

  • Up to 10 years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Mandatory ignition interlock device
  • 2-year license suspension

Is jail time mandatory for third DWI in Texas?

If you’ve been accused of a third or fourth DWI in Texas, your biggest question is likely: “Now that I’ve been charged with a felony DWI, will I have to do jail time?” Unfortunately, the answer is yes. 

Third DWIs come with prison sentences between 2 – 10 years long, and even those who are convicted and granted probation or a plea deal are required to serve a minimum of ten days in jail.

According to Texas Penal Code § 49.04, jail time and fines for common DWI offenses are as follows:

OffenseChargeFineJail Time
First-offense DWIClass B misdemeanorUp to $2,0003 – 180 days
Second-offense DWIClass A misdemeanorUp to $4,00030 days – 2 years
Subsequent DWI chargesFelony chargeUp to $10,0002 – 10 years
First-time DWI w/ BAC 0.15% or higherClass A misdemeanorUp to $4,000Up to 1 year
First-time aggravated DWI w/ child passengerState jail felonyUp to $10,000180 days – 2 years
Aggravated DWI with prior conviction(s)Third-degree felonyUp to $10,0002 – 10 years
Intoxication AssaultThird-degree felonyUp to $10,0002 – 10 years
Intoxication ManslaughterSecond-degree felonyUp to $10,0002 – 20 years

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 third DWI in Texas?

The statute of limitations for DWI in the state of Texas will vary depending on the type of DWI you are charged with. 

  • The statute of limitations for misdemeanor DWI is two years.
  • The statute of limitations for felony DWI is three years.

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.

You’ve got 15 days to save your license. Choose a lawyer who can defend it.

Thiessen Law Firm is ready to protect your life.

At Thiessen Law Firm, we prioritize your peace of mind and fight to protect you from injustices. Here, you’re more than just a case number, and you don’t have to face the severity of the justice system alone. Contact us today to schedule an Administrative License Revocation hearing, save your license, and preserve your rights.

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Can I get probation for a third DWI in Texas?

Although it is very unlikely, you CAN get probation for a third DWI in Texas. If you are convicted of aggravated DWI or repeat DWI offenses, while jail time will likely be required, some of that sentence can legally be suspended to probation.

Probation is seen as leniency to a judge or jury, and it is very unlikely that someone convicted of two or more DWI offenses will inspire leniency on behalf of a judge — but with the right attorney, you never know what will happen. 

Additionally, the DWI probation rules in Texas are strict, and unlike those on probation for other offenses, people on probation for DWI offenses in Texas are not eligible for early release. You may be able to adjust the terms to be less severe (i.e. less drug tests, fewer check-ins), but if you are lucky enough to be given probation for a DWI offense, you will be serving the entire term for certain. 

Can a third DWI be reduced in Texas?

In some cases, it may be possible to negotiate a reduction of charges for a third DWI in Texas. This typically involves plea bargaining with the prosecution to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for a lighter sentence. 

Getting your charges reduced is not guaranteed, and will depend on the specific circumstances of the case, your criminal history, and the prosecutor’s discretion.

However, getting your charges reduced will still likely result in jail time and significant penalties. Whoever you hire to fight your third DWI in Texas should be approaching your case with winning it in mind. While the chances of dismissal of DWI Texas are slim, good attorneys make miracles happen for their clients every day. Just take a look at our Notable Victories

How to avoid jail time for a third DWI Texas

Because minimum jail sentences apply for anyone convicted of repeat DWI offenses in Texas, avoiding jail time for a third DWI in the Lone Star state means beating the charge. And while beating a DWI charge is a tall order, it is not an impossible feat. There are a few things that you can do, both before you are arrested and after, that will eventually help your case immensely. Some of these things include:

  1. Blow, don’t bleed. We usually recommend taking the breath test instead of the blood test. While the reasons for this can be somewhat complex, it really boils down to the accuracy (or lack thereof) of the breathalyzer. Keep reading about why “do not blow” is bad advice.
  2. Be on your best behavior. Because police need reasonable suspicion and probable cause to legally make a traffic stop and subsequent DWI arrest, the better you behave the harder it will be for them to prove that they had reason to suspect you. 
  3. Use your right to remain silent. You think that you’re smart enough to not incriminate yourself, and you very well may be. But there is ZERO upside to giving the police more information than they need to have during a traffic stop. 
  4. Hire an attorney who knows how to beat a DWI charge. This can mean using tactics such as challenging the legality of the traffic stop, arguing that your rights were otherwise infringed upon, or challenging the accuracy of the blood or breath tests.

Mark Thiessen is an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, which means that he knows the science and the law behind DWI and toxicology as well as anyone, and is particularly qualified to handle complex, high-stakes DWI cases. 

Don’t let a third DWI in Texas ruin your life, call Thiessen Law Firm today

If you’ve been arrested on suspicion of a third DWI in Texas, hiring a lawyer who knows how to beat it is your only chance. Mark Thiessen is a 3x Board Certified attorney and an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist. He knows the science behind blood tests, breath tests, and sobriety tests — and he also knows that many inside the criminal justice system, including the courts and the police, don’t fully understand the science that is often used to put people in prison. 

Don’t be a victim of junk science or bad police work. Hire an aggressive and creative attorney to defend your freedom as they’re your last line of defense. Call Thiessen Law Firm today at (713) 864-9000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and begin defending your life. 

Facing DWI charges? Work with a firm that has over 100 Not Guilty verdicts. Call our Houston DWI lawyers at 713.864.9000 for a free, confidential consultation.

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