In Texas, drunk driving is a serious offense. Texas DUI laws, also referred to as Texas DWI laws, provide strict sentencing guidelines for those who decide to drink and drive. The severity of the punishment will depend on a number of factors, including whether a minor was in the car at the time of the offense, whether this is your first offense, and whether anyone was seriously injured as a result of your drinking and driving. If you have been arrested for violating Texas DUI laws, you will want to contact an experienced Texas DWI attorney in your area.
Explanation of the different Texas DWI Penalties,Probation and Charges
|1st DWI and BWI||Class B Misdemeanor||Up to $2,000||72 hours to 180 days||90 to 365 days|
|2nd DWI and BWI||Class A Misdemeanor||Up to $4,000||30 to 365 days||180 days to
|3rd DWI and BWI||3rd Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||2 to 10 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)||180 days to
|Intoxication Assault||3rd Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||2 to 10 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ)||180 days to
|Intoxication Manslaughter||2nd Degree Felony||Up to $10,000||2 to 10 years in Texas Department of Corrections (TDCJ)||180 days to
|DWI with child passenger||State Jail Felony||Max Fine $10,000||6mos. To 2 years in a State Jail Facility||90 days to 2 years|
|1st DWI with Open Container Enhancement||Class B Misdemeanor||Up to $2,000||6 days to 180 days||90 days to 365 days|
First Texas DWI Conviction Probation
In most cases, if you have no prior convictions, the judge will suspend your entire jail sentence and place you on probation for anywhere between 6 months and two years. A typical probation is for a period of one year and while on probation you are typically required to do the following:
- Report to the probation officer assigned to you monthly.
- Pay fines, court costs, and monthly probation fees.
- Do community service, anywhere from 24 to 80 hours.
- Attend a Texas DWI Education class.
- Attend a (VIP) Victim Impact Panel. This is a class designed to educate individuals on the effects of DWI. It typically is about a 3 to 3 ½ hour class.
- Get a drug and alcohol evaluation. If the evaluation signifies an issue with drugs or alcohol, the court may order treatment.
- Maintain a job and support all of your dependants.
- Take random urinalysis.
Second DWI Conviction Probation
Texas law requires the judge sentence you to at least some jail time as a condition of probation on a second offense. You hear attorneys call this “jail therapy”. But, the judge can and most likely will still suspend the remaining part of any sentence and place you on probation.
A second Texas DWI conviction carries with it a minimum of 72 hours (3 days) of continuous confinement in a county jail as a condition of being granted probation. This means if you get convicted or plead guilty to a second offense , the judge must sentence you to 3 days in jail. If this 2nd conviction is within 5 years of the 1st conviction, the judge is required to sentence you to 5 days in county jail as a condition of receiving probation. In addition to the “Do”s and “Don’t”s stated above, the court will require the following as part of its agreement with you:
- Community service increases from 80 hours to 200 hours. The amount of community service is negotiable within the 80-200 hour parameter.
Third Texas DWI Conviction Felony Probation
The law requires the judge to sentence you to 10 days in the county jail as a condition to receiving probation on a felony DWI charge. In addition to the conditions stated above, the following may be imposed in lieu of a lengthy jail sentence:
- Community service increases to anywhere between 160 to 600 hours.
- 10 days county jail sentenced as a condition of probation.
- Participate in substance abuse/alcohol programs whether they be in-patient or out-patient.
Intoxication Assault Probation
Intoxication Assault is defined as a person causing serious bodily injury to another by reason of driving while intoxicated. Serious bodily injury includes injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement. Probation is still an available option with court approval.
In addition to the conditions for a first probation, the probation conditions of Intoxication Assault include:
- Community service anywhere between 160 to 600 hours.
- 30 days in county jail as a condition of probation