While first-time arrests for driving while intoxicated (DWI) are often portrayed as being the result of uncharacteristic lapses of judgment by ordinarily responsible people, courts will take a much harsher view of people who arrested for the same crime twice. A second drunk driving offense carries much stiffer punishments, including longer jail sentences, bigger fines, and longer suspensions of driver's licenses.
It is important for people to understand that unlike many other states in the nation, Texas has no “lookback period”—the predetermined length of time for which older DWI arrests may be counted against alleged offenders. In other words, any prior DWI arrest—even a conviction that occurred several years or even decades ago—can and likely will be used against a person charged with the crime for a second time.
Attorney for Second DWI Arrests in Brownsville, TX
Were you arrested in the Rio Grande Valley for your second drunk driving offense? You will want to immediately contact The Gracia Law Firm for help achieving the most favorable possible outcome to your case.
Brownsville criminal defense lawyer Jonathan Gracia defends clients facing DWI charges in Hidalgo County, Cameron County, and Willacy County. Call (956) 504-2211 today to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.
Overview of First DWI Crimes in Cameron County
- How are charges different for second drunk driving offenses?
- What punishments can people receive if convicted of second DWI crimes?
- Where can I find more information about second DWI in Brownsville?
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.04, a person commits the crime of DWI if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) defines intoxicated as either "not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body" or having an alcohol concentration (also known as blood or breath alcohol concentration or BAC) of 0.08 or more.
Whereas a person's first DWI arrest is usually a Class B misdemeanor in most cases, all second DWI arrests are Class A misdemeanor offenses. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 17.441 also establishes that a magistrate must order an alleged offender being released on second DWI bond to:
- have installed on the motor vehicle owned by the defendant or on the vehicle most regularly driven by the defendant, a device that uses a deep-lung breath analysis mechanism to make impractical the operation of a motor vehicle if ethyl alcohol is detected in the breath of the operator (more commonly known as an ignition interlock device or IID); and
- not operate any motor vehicle unless the vehicle is equipped with that device.
As Class A misdemeanor offenses, sentences for second DWI convictions may be punishable by any combination of the following punishments:
- Two-year suspension of driver’s license;
- Installation of ignition interlock device (IID) on each motor vehicle owned or operated by the alleged offender at the alleged offender’s own cost for one year;
- Drug and/or alcohol treatment;
- Mandatory attendance at DWI Victim Impact Panel (VIP);
- DWI education class;
- Up to 200 hours community service;
- Fine of up to $4,000; and
- Up to one year in jail.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) | Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) — On this section of the TxDOT, you can find additional information about DWI crimes. View the differences between possible penalties for first and subsequent offenses. You can also find ways to stay safe.
Certified Texas Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Service Centers — Texas Transportation Code §521.2476 requires the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to establish minimum standards for vendors of IIDs who conduct business in Texas and procedures to ensure compliance with those standards, including procedures for the inspection of a vendor’s facilities. Use this link to view a listing of all certified service centers in Texas. The listings note the types of services provided and whether services are provided at fixed locations or mobile locations.
The Gracia Law Firm | Brownsville Second DWI Defense Lawyer
If you were arrested for your second DWI anywhere in South Texas, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel. The Gracia Law Firm represents people all over Willacy County, Hidalgo County, and Cameron County.
Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Brownsville who can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. You can have our lawyer provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation as soon as you call (956) 504-2211 or complete an online contact form.