Everyone makes mistakes, but some mistakes we make put our futures in jeopardy more than others. This is certainly the case with drinking and driving, as the danger that it poses to ourselves and others can be quite serious. The state of Texas takes DWI charges very seriously. There’s the potential for some leeway with an initial driving while intoxicated charge, but things can get very serious if you are facing your second DUI offense. What happens when you get a second DUI?
What should you do if you’ve found yourself in this difficult legal predicament? Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
Texas is one of the stricter states when it comes to laws revolving around driving under the influence. It’s safe to say that the Lone Star state takes this kind of offense quite seriously.
A DWI charge can be given to anyone who is caught behind the wheel of an automobile with a blood alcohol concentration level of over 0.08. If someone is found to be impaired due to the result of some other drug, they can be charged with a DWI even if they are below a 0.08 on the BAC scale.
Refusal to take a breathalyzer test when pulled over will result in an immediate license suspension of up to one hundred and eighty days. For first-time DWI offenders, there is a chance for some leeway thanks to Texas second chance laws.
It is possible for first-time offenders to have their initial DWI convictions sealed and removed from the public record. However, once an individual is charged for the second time with a DWI, things can get a lot tougher to manage.
A second DWI offense is seen under the law as a Class A misdemeanor. This is a more serious charge than an initial DUI offense. The penalties one might face as a result of this charge will be more serious as well.
The fines that one might have to pay to the state government might go as high as $4,000. There’s also the possibility that the individual in question will be sentenced to time behind bars.
For how long? The judge will decide, but the law allows for anywhere from a month to a full calendar year. That’s quite serious. If your previous offense was within a five-year window, there will be at least a mandatory three-day sentence.
The suspension you’ll face on your driver’s license will be quite extreme as well. A judge can suspend your license for up to two years time. During that time, you won’t be able to operate a vehicle on the road.
You’ll also need to pay extremely high fees to retain your license once unsuspended.
There are a number of other consequences one might need to keep in mind when facing their second DUI offense.
If your new charge is within five years of the previous charge, there’s a chance you might need to get a special ignition interlock installed in your vehicle. This lock will not allow you to start your vehicle while intoxicated.
It will then be illegal for you to operate any vehicle that does not have this kind of device installed. You may be also required to submit to semi-regular drug testing as part of your probation following sentencing.
There is also no option with your second conviction to have it sealed. That means that your charge will be part of the public record forever. It will appear in background checks and online searches.
This could potentially impact your ability to secure employment, loans, and other such opportunities later on in your life.
As you can see, the stakes could not be higher than they are in a second DWI case. The state will be ready to lay down the law and you’ll need to work extremely hard to avoid severe punishment.
The most important thing you can do when facing this kind of charge is to secure the assistance of an attorney who has handled cases similar to yours. While you may not be able to avoid all the punishments associated with this kind of charge, an attorney may be able to mitigate some of the damage that might be done.
An attorney can help you gather evidence and build a strategy with the goal of securing as lenient punishment as possible for your offense. An experienced DWI lawyer will have gone through this process dozens of times and will know what strategies work and which don’t.
They’ll also be able to handle the deadlines, complicated paperwork, and ensure you’re in compliance with all legal requirements and norms.
They’ll be well-equipped to handle the significant challenges of this kind of charge and to build a solid defense. How they go about doing this will depend on the specifics of your case.
The last thing you’ll want to attempt is to defend yourself in this type of case. There is far too much on the line.
There are few charges more difficult to face in the state of Texas than a second DWI charge. What happens when you get a second DUI? The punishments looming over you will become quite serious, as the above information can help you to understand.
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