Subsequent charges for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) carry higher and higher penalties. If you are convicted for a third-time DWI in Texas, the fines and jail time will have devastating consequences on your life and career. It is crucial that you understand what you are up against and take action to secure a reputable Austin DWI attorney like Jorge Vela to fight for your rights.
You have very little time to build your defense before the state will try to take everything from you. Instead of hoping you can tackle this on your own, contact us for a consultation so we can begin building your defense strategy right away.
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.
Third-Time DWI Penalties Are Extremely Harsh
In some states, DWIs are “counted” only within a small window of time, such as ten years. In Texas, there is no time limit, and even if your first and second convictions were long ago, the state continues to increase the penalties.
A third-time DWI is charged as a third-degree felony, and if you are convicted, you may face the following punishments:
- You may pay a fine of up to $10,000.
- You could go to state prison (not county jail) for two to ten years, though you may qualify for probation depending on specific circumstances.
- You can face a minimum two-year license suspension.
- Once you get your license reinstated, you must pay $2,000 annually for three years to keep it.
- You will pay for and attend DWI intervention sessions.
- You must pay all costs for installing, maintaining, and calibrating an ignition interlock device on your vehicle for as long as the judge decides.
- You will likely be on probation for two or more years after you are released from prison.
Should You Submit to a Blood Alcohol Content Test?
If officers suspect you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will pull you over and ask questions. If they believe they have reasonable cause for an arrest, they will probably ask you to submit to a test by breathing into an Intoxilyzer device. When you get your license, you give implied consent to this testing, and refusing it means you automatically lose your driving privileges for six months.
If you refuse the breath test, the officers will take you to either the police station or the hospital for a blood test. Refusal to take a breath or blood test may result in the loss of your license for an additional 18 months (a total of two years). It is important to note that your refusal to take either a breath or blood test can be used against you in a jury trial as evidence of intoxication. In other words, the prosecutor may argue that you refused these tests because you were trying to hide evidence of your intoxication. On the other hand, submitting to these examinations may provide the prosecutor with evidence that alcohol was present in your system while you were operating a motor vehicle.
However, the mere presence of alcohol in your system is not sufficient evidence to prove that you were intoxicated while driving. In order to prove that you were driving while intoxicated, the Texas Penal Code requires the prosecutor to prove that your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher at the time of driving.
Breath test devices are notorious for giving false positives for a number of reasons. For example, all Intoxilyzer Devices register a standard rate of error on every test. The standard rate of error may be relevant when discussing the accuracy of the blood alcohol content results from any testing.
Blood tests are generally more accurate and are sometimes difficult to challenge in court. However, Texas law provides that a DWI blood draw can only be conducted by qualified personnel and must be performed in compliance with specific scientific protocol. Additionally, improper blood sample storage or transport can compromise the sample’s integrity and admissibility in court. A skilled DWI defense can leverage these considerations to secure a DWI reduction and dismissal in some instances.
How Your Attorney Can Defend You Against DWI
- Examining whether police followed procedures when they arrested you
- Determining if your rights were fully protected during your arrest and interview
- Having BAC samples retested to demonstrate a false positive
- Getting any incorrectly gathered evidence against you thrown out
- Requesting your charges be dismissed immediately
- Bringing in expert witnesses to testify on your behalf
- Negotiating a reduction in charges and penalties
- Challenging officer reports and testimony
- Arguing the officers lacked probable cause to arrest you
Secondary Consequences of a Third-Time DWI in Texas
In addition to time in prison and huge fines, you will face many secondary consequences if you are convicted a third time for DWI. You will probably be fired from your job and struggle to get a new one when you are released since most companies avoid hiring convicted felons. You will also be on probation, have restrictions on your license, and pay much higher insurance rates. Your family and friends may turn their backs on you, and future relationships can suffer. To avoid all this and keep your life intact, you must put together the best possible defense for your circumstances with the help of a skilled and experienced DWI lawyer. We do not judge you and believe everyone deserves quality legal representation, as guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Why Choose Jorge Vela for a Third-Time DWI in Texas
For your third DWI charge, the prosecuting attorney will be eager to convict you and make an example of your alleged mistake. Fight back against a questionable charge and its debilitating effects on your life by hiring Attorney Jorge Vela to stand by your side in court.
Our team of legal professionals is ready to create the defense you need for your unique situation. We fight for your rights and to allow you to maintain your freedom and future. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.