We cannot overstate why it is so important to seek legal help following a drunk driving arrest of any kind. Having a skilled DWI lawyer helps ensure better legal outcomes, which means reduced sentences and a better overall route through the nuances of the legal system. In a number of cases, going it alone can be a very bad idea.
We've previously looked at the various legal penalties that are associated with first-time DUI/DWI arrests. We'd like to take a moment right now to consider the various punishments that are associated with a second DUI/DWI offense.
About Repeat DUI Offenses in the State of Texas
In many states, there's a so-called “lookback” period for DUI/DWI offenses. That means there's something of a statute of limitations for drunk driving arrests in order for it to be counted as a repeat offense.
In the state of Texas, however, there is no lookback period. That means if you are arrested for drunk driving as a teenager and then arrested again for drunk driving when you are 50 years old, that counts as your second DUI/DWI offense. This is important to keep in mind since the penalties for a repeat DUI/DWI are much more severe.
Jail Time for Second Offense DUI/DWI
When arrested for a second DUI/DWI, you will spend at least 72 hours in jail. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, you may be incarcerated anywhere between 30 days to 1 year.
Fines for Second Offense DUI/DWI
A second offense DUI/DWI will involve a fine of up to $4,000, though this will be increased if there is a passenger in the car younger than 15. In addition to that base fine, an additional $1,500 annual surcharge will be collected for three years.
License Suspension for Second Offense DUI/DWI
After a second DUI/DWI conviction, the driver's license will be suspended for 180 days to 2 years. The judge will make the final assessment with this matter.
Ignition Interlock Device for Second Offense DUI/DWI
Following a second DUI/ DWI arrest, the driver will have to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle, which requires the driver to perform a breathalyzer test in order to start the vehicle. Modern ignition interlock devices are designed in such a way that another person cannot perform the breath test for the driver.
Other Punishments and Penalties for Second Offense DUI/DWI
In addition to the above, people convicted of a second DUI/DWI can expect 80 hours to 200 hours of community service, probation for 1 year to 2 years, and similar penalties as first-offense DUI/DWI (e.g., enrollment in AA or a substance abuse program, DUI/DWI eduction class, victim impact panel, etc.).
Why a DUI/DWI Defense Lawyer Is Crucial for Second Offenses
When facing a second DUI/DWI charge, it's imperative that you seek out legal help. DWI defense attorneys will provide you with information on all of your legal options and work on plea deals to reduce sentences and help you in the long run. Your attorney will also help you understand the long-term legal ramifications for the repeat offense.
Learn More About Your Legal Options In Drunk Driving Cases
If you would like more information about repeat drunk driving offenses and what your best legal options are in these matters, be sure to contact our Austin, TX DUI/DWI defense lawyers today. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jason Trumpler will help you make the best choices with regard to all of your legal options.