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What Are The Penalties For DWI In Texas?

DWI Lawyer Trichter & LeGrand

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Everything You Need To Know

DWI in Texas can come with a variety of penalties and potential punishments depending on the severity of your charges and whether or not you’re actually convicted. While the potential penalties do have a wide range, they are all fairly severe — DWI is a serious offense in the state of Texas, and the potential consequences are equally serious.

Here, we’ll cover a number of the potential penalties and some of the circumstances that may impact how severe the penalties are. For more information about the associated penalties associated with various DWI or DUI charges, we go into detail here.

Potential penalties for DWI in Texas include:

(list updated Sept 1, 2019)

First Time DWI offenders with less than .15 BAC:

Possibility of a fine not to exceed $2,000.00

Possibility of a jail sentence from 3 days to 180 days

For Second DWI offenses:

Maximum fine may increase to no more than $4,000.00

Maximum jail time range may increase to 30 days to one year

For Third DWI offenses:

Maximum fine may increase to no more than $10,000.00

Maximum jail time range may increase to 2 years to 10 years

For Intoxication Assault:

May be fined up to $10,000.00

Can also be sentenced to 2-10 years in prison

For Intoxication Manslaughter:

May be fined a maximum of $10,000.00

and/or imprisoned for 2-20 years.

The penalties and fines may vary according to the specific circumstances and details of your particular case. In some cases, you may be charged with several different offenses for a single incident, or you may not be formally charged at all. It’s important to discuss your case with a professional DWI attorney so that you can better understand the charges you may be facing, as well as any potential penalties, fines, or additional charges.


In addition to the prescribed fines for specific offenses, persons finally convicted of an offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated shall pay one or more of the following fines:

  1. $3,000 for the first conviction within a 36-month period
  2. $4,500 for a second or subsequent conviction within a 36-month period
  3. $6,000 for a first or subsequent conviction if it is shown on the trial of the offense that an analysis of a specimen of the person’s blood, breath, or urine showed an alcohol concentration level of 0.15 or more at the time of the analysis. 

Further Details on Particular DWI Convictions and Penalties

DWI with a child passenger is another potential charge, where a person is operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and there is another person in the vehicle who is under 15 years of age. This conviction is considered a State Jail Felony. Punishments for this may include:

  • Confinement in State jail for any term of nor more than two years or less than 180 days
  • A fine not to exceed $10,000.00

Intoxication Assault is where an accident occurred resulting in serious bodily injury resulting as a proximate cause of the intoxication. Upon conviction, the penalties for this DWI are more severe and may include:

  • A minimum of two years, up to a maximum of 10 years, in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000.00

Intoxication Manslaughter is a DWI where a death occured in an accident and where intoxication was the proximate cause of the death. This can be considered a 2nd Degree Felony, and upon conviction penalties may include:

  • Imprisonment from 2 to 20 years
  • A maximum fine of $10,000.00

Under Texas law, a person commits a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense when the person in question is:

  • Operating a motor vehicle in a public place
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated

If you are arrested or charged and both of these criteria are met, you may be charged with a DWI according to Texas state law. Additionally, in Texas, a person is legally intoxicated and may be charged with a DWI with a .08 BAC or if they are impaired due to alcohol or other drugs, regardless of BAC.


If you have been arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in the State of Texas you are facing two cases against you

The first case is by the Texas Department of Public Safety, to suspend your driver’s license. The second case is the criminal case by the State of Texas.

You only have 15 days to act, or you will lose your driver’s license and your first case. We recommend you get the best DWI attorney you can afford and fast.

Improve your chances of fighting your case with just one call. Get a free consultation with our DWI attorneys today.


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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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