Second-Time DWI in Texas

If you have already been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), your second-time DWI in Texas carries even more serious penalties. Your career, home life, and future prospects for success can all be in danger if you are convicted again. You need to mount an aggressive defense to keep yourself safe from fines and jail.


Attorney Jorge Vela is an experienced DWI defense lawyer in Austin who is ready to fight for your freedom. He and his team are committed to using every method possible to clear your name and prevent more damage to your record. Contact our offices today to schedule a consultation and learn more. 

Penalties for a Second-Time DWI Conviction

A first conviction for drinking and driving can make life hard, but once you move to a second or third charge, your life can be drastically affected. A second DWI is a Class A misdemeanor, and most penalties for a first-time DWI are doubled. 

A second DWI conviction may bring the following:

  • The fines double to a maximum of $4,000.
  • You may spend a mandatory three days in jail if you are convicted.
  • Conviction means between one month and one year in jail.
  • Your license will be suspended for as long as two years
  • You may be required to pay a surcharge of $2000 per year for three years to keep your license
  • You must attend and pay for DWI education
  • You may have to install and maintain an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your personal expense.

These can be made worse if you have aggravating circumstances associated with your actions. For example, if you had a child under 15 riding with you, you could be looking at a felony charge. You may even be charged with child endangerment. If you hurt someone while driving, there are even more offenses the prosecutor might add. Fines can increase by $10,000 or more.

Assessing your situation and giving you solid advice on how to defend yourself is where Attorney Jorge Vela comes through for you. He knows you are worried about how to fight the charges and is ready to build the strongest defense possible for you. He will file motions to have evidence thrown out, ask the court to dismiss your charges, and try other techniques to avoid a trial.

What if You Refuse to Take a Test for Blood Alcohol Content?

The Texas Penal Code mandates that if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher, you are intoxicated. Police officers will first pull you over based on your driving behaviors, such as swerving, driving too slowly or too fast, or ignoring traffic signals. If they smell alcohol, they can administer a field test using the Intoxilyzer deviceIf you refuse to take this test, they will arrest you and administer a blood or saliva test at the police station. When you apply for and receive your driver’s license in Texas, you give implied consent to submit to a BAC test. Refusing to do so can negatively impact your DWI charge

Second-Time DWIs Are Much More Serious

Texas escalates the penalties for a DWI with every successive conviction. There is no time limit on how long ago your first conviction was, meaning even if your last one was 15 years ago, the second one is still more damaging. You will definitely spend some time in jail and face other serious consequences.

If you are convicted of a second DWI, it will remain on your record permanently.  If, after being convicted a second time for DWI, you are again arrested a third time, you will be facing a felony charge of DWI (third or more). It will follow you forever and can cause problems in every area of your life, such as:

  • You could lose your job: You  may have to miss work if you are unable to afford a bond and get out of jail., You will also need to miss work in order to attend Court. If you are convicted, your company can use the conviction to discipline you. 
  • Other companies may not hire you: After a second DWI  conviction, many companies will refuse to take a chance on hiring you. If you still do not have your license reinstated, you will struggle to keep a job that requires you to operate a motor vehicle. 
  • You will pay more for insurance: A DWI conviction means you are a risk, and insurance companies will increase their premiums. You will also need to maintain SR-22 insurance to cover your higher risk of liability.
  • You could be on probation for up to three years. You will report to your probation officer and must comply with strict conditions of supervision or risk facing a motion to revoke your probation and more jail time.

The SR-22 form is filed with the state of Texas, and you must maintain it for at least two years after you are released. Between the increase in insurance rates, interlock device charges, and fines, you could face a substantial financial burden after a second DWI.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing

While the criminal justice system handles your jail time and fines, there is another problem you will need to manage if you are arrested for a second-time DWI. The police will take your driver’s license, and the Texas Department of Public Safety will register it as suspended. You will have 15 days to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing.

If you get out on bail or receive probation instead of other penalties, you must still take separate action to get your license reinstated. This will allow you to drive until your case is decided. Handling this on top of facing criminal concerns is something your Austin DWI lawyer Jorge Vela can help you face. 

Contact Jorge Vela To Fight a Second-Time DWI in Texas

Beating the charge for a second DWI is not going to be easy, but you can rely on the skill and knowledge Attorney Jorge Vela brings to your case. He will listen to your story and then begin to identify the best defense strategy for your circumstances. You can rest easy knowing he and his legal professionals are fighting to protect your rights.

We want to minimize the penalties you face and reduce the impact of a DWI on your life and future. Contact us to schedule a meeting and secure top-notch legal representation today. 

Talk to a Lawyer Today

Call now or send us a message to tell us what happened.


Quam viverra orci sagittis eu. Lacus vesti bulum sed arcu.