What is DWI 2nd and the potential punishment?
DWI 2nd is a serious charge. According to the State of Texas, a DWI 2nd charge is when you are arrested for DWI and have previously been convicted once of driving while intoxicated. There is no limit to how old your previous conviction may be in order to enhance a DWI to a DWI 2nd. The consequences for DWI Second Offense are much more serious than a first offense DWI conviction.
Defending a DWI 2nd is problematic because the jury is told from the beginning that the driver had a prior DWI. This information suggests that the defendant has a habit or propensity to drive while intoxicated. Juries are given the same unfair information in felony DWI thirds–but it’s worse in that case because they are told there have been TWO prior DWI convictions. Because subsequent DWI charges are treated so unfairly, it’s even more important to always aggressively fight a DWI First charge.
Consequences for DWI Second Offense
A DWI second offense is a class A misdemeanor which has a punishment range of a fine no more than $4,000 and/or a jail sentence of from 30 days to 1 year, and a possible driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to 2 years. Additionally, if a jail sentence is probated, the consequences for DWI second offense probation includes a mandatory 3 days in the county jail if you have a prior conviction over 5 years old, or 5 days in the county jail if you have prior convictions within 5 years. Also upon conviction, there is an annual $1,500-$2,000 surcharge fee every year for 3 years in order to retain your driver’s license.
If you are charged with a subsequent offense of DWI or a first offense of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, as a bond condition, you are required to install a vehicle ignition interlock device on your car, and you are not allowed to operate a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an interlock device which detects the presence of alcohol in your breath. If the device detects a certain level of alcohol, the vehicle is temporarily disabled and, additionally, the court will order an accused to abstain from alcohol use and use of controlled substances without a prescription. The court may enforce this by ordering random drug testing.