Houston Criminal Defense Lawyer

DWI Third Offense

If you have been arrested for DWI in Houston, call Madrid Law, PLLC at 713-877-9400

Texas is one of the worst places in the U.S. to be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) – in fact, a third offense is prosecuted as a felony. Even worse, a prior DWI or DUI can be held against you no matter how long ago it occurred — two prior offenses committed decades ago can still be used to justify prosecuting you for a third offense. None of this changes if your prior offenses occurred in another state. If you have been charged with third-offense DWI in Houston, a good Houston DWI lawyer is a necessity.

Criminal Penalties

If you are convicted of third-offense DUI, Texas can incarcerate you in state prison for anywhere from two to 10 years, You can also be fined up to $10,000 and required to perform 80 – 200 hours of community service. If you are lucky, the judge might sentence you to probation. Even then, you will be required to serve a minimum sentence of 10 days in jail, and you could be placed on probation for up to 10 years. When your driving privileges are restored, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your car.

Driver’s License Penalties

Texas can suspend your driver’s license for up to two years for third-offense DWI. If your drivers’ license was issued by another state, Texas can forbid you from driving in Texas and notify the state that issued your license of your DWI. Once your driving privileges are restored, you will be required to pay an assessment of $1,500 to $2,000 to the Texas Department of Public Safety, every year for three years, in order to keep your license.

Refusing to Submit to Testing

If you are pulled over for DWI and refuse the officer’s demand to submit to sobriety testing (a Breathalyzer test, for example, or a blood test) in order to avoid a third DW conviction, your driver’s license can be suspended for up to two years. No evidence of intoxication is required to suspend your license – your refusal to submit to testing is enough to justify a suspension.

The irony is that you can be convicted of DWI even without the results of a breath of blood test. Not only can the officer testify that you appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the stop, but your refusal to submit to testing can be used against you in court to prove that you knew you were intoxicated.

Long Term Consequences of a Felony Conviction

Conviction of a felony will result in the following long-term (lifetime) consequences:

  • Loss of the right to vote
  • Loss of the right to own or possess a gun
  • Loss of professional licenses (varies by industry and state)

Your ability to secure employment and credit will also be seriously affected.

Get Help Today

Mario Madrid is a seasoned criminal lawyer whose nearly two decades of practice includes stints as both a prosecutor and a judge. He is Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Law (an honor extended to only 10 percent of Texas criminal lawyers), and he is a proud member of the National College of DUI Defense Attorneys. If you have been arrested for DWI in Houston, don’t delay — call Madrid Law, PLLC at 713-877-9400 for a free initial discussion of your case. Your freedom may depend on it.