Despite the harsh penalties that come with being repeatedly charged with drinking and driving, approximately 12.12% of Austin’s DWI arrests since 2012 constituted a second time DWI offense. With Austin clearly facing an abundance of DWI re-offenders, raising awareness towards the severity of a second DWI charge can be beneficial in preventing recidivism. If you find yourself charged with a second DWI, we’ve also included the contact information of some locally renowned second time DWI lawyers in Austin known for navigating the complexities of two time DWI charges.
Second Time DWI Charges and Why They’re Different:
In Texas, as with a majority of states in the US, multiple DWIs result in enhanced charges compared to a first time DWI arrest, with each subsequent DWI charge (regardless of the time passed between them) resulting in penalties harsher than the last.
In Austin Texas, a second DWI charge constitutes a Class A misdemeanor resulting in a suspended license for up to two years, a jail sentence of thirty days to a year, and a maximum fine of $4,000 (with an additional $2,000 annual surcharge for three years to reinstate driving privileges). Even with probation, second time charges still come with a mandatory three days in jail if a defendant’s first DWI was over five years ago, and a mandatory five days if a defendant’s charges were within the last five years.
Compare this to first time DWI charges, which constitute a Class B misdemeanor resulting in a suspended license for up to one year, a jail sentence of up to 180 days, and a maximum fine of $2,000 and it is evident that while Texas treats every DWI very seriously, they are very strict towards re-offenders.
While the enhanced penalties associated with a second time DWI are intimidating enough, multiple DWI charges include additional nuances that one may need to hire a specialized second DWI lawyer based in Austin, including:
Ignition Interlock Device: If an individual is charged with a second DWI within five years of their first DWI, they will likely be made to install an ignition interlock device as a condition of a bond or probation if convicted. An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer attached to a vehicle that must be blown into and read 0.0% BAC before a vehicle will start. These devices cost up to $150 to install and include a monthly fee for monitoring. While these devices are mandatory, a skilled second time DWI lawyer Austin can request that a judge grant early removal if a defendant’s probation is half over or they have consistently provided a passing test.
No Deferred Adjudication: While most nonviolent first time DWI charges allow deferred adjudication, which avoids jail time and allows a defendant’s charges to be dismissed upon the completion of a special probation program, this option is not available for second time DWI offenders. Additionally, DWIs constituting a Class A misdemeanor or above are not eligible to petition for nondisclosure. This means that those charged with a second DWI will have to serve a mandatory minimum jail sentence and will be faced with the life long consequences of a DWI, such as difficulty getting a job or renting a car, and sky high insurance rates. This leads to the importance of hiring a specialized second DWI lawyer in Austin, as only a dismissal or not guilty verdict will prevent the harsh realities of a second DWI conviction. While difficult to defend, a second DWI can be dismissed for a lack of probable cause or evidence of malpractice in a field sobriety test.
Specialized Second Time DWI Lawyers in Austin:
With a greater understanding of the stakes surrounding a second DWI charge, it is quite evident that individuals should avoid re-offending or be prepared to spend thousands on a specialized DWI lawyer. However, if you’re already caught up in a second DWI charge, here are some lawyers who can provide you with masterful representation.
Kevin Bennett of The Law Offices of Kevin Bennett- For a free consultation call (512) 476- 4626.
- Blair Carroll of Carroll Troberman, PLLC- For a consultation call (512) 772- 2442.
Trey Porter of Trey Porter Law- For a free consultation call (512) 201- 4381.