When Is a DWI a Felony in Texas?

Typically, a person is charged with a misdemeanor crime for a first or second DWI offense in Texas. Let’s take a look at when you may face a felony DWI charge in Texas.

Felony DWI – Texas

There are a number of situations in which being charged with a DWI in Texas may end in a felony conviction.

As we previously talked about, usually a first or second offense DWI results in a misdemeanor charge.

However, when an offender reaches his or her third DWI, he or she will likely be charged with a Third-Degree felony.

That means a potential fine up to $10,000, 2-10 years in state prison, and revocation of the offender’s driver’s license for 180 days-2 years.

However, if the offender has been previously incarcerated at a Texas penitentiary for a DWI, the State may pursue an even harsher Second-Degree felony charge.

A Second-Degree felony charge can be punished by a potential fine up to $10,000, 2-20 years in jail, and  a suspended driver’s license for up to 2 years.

If the offender has been incarcerated twice, the State may seek an Enhanced Felony punishment, which is punishable by a fine up to $10,000, 25 years to life in jail, and a suspended license up to 2 years.

1st & 2nd Offense DWI Felonies

Can you be charged with a felony DWI for a 1st of 2nd offense DWI? Yes!

As always, it depends on the facts of your particular case.

While a first or second DWI offense is typically a misdemeanor charge, it isn’t always.

Intoxication Assault

For example, if you are arrested for a DWI and you are also charged with Intoxication Assault because someone was seriously injured (but not killed), you will likely be charged with a Third-Degree felony regardless of what number DWI you are on.


Another example is if you are arrested for a DWI and additionally charged with Intoxication Manslaughter because a person was killed in a DWI crash. In this instance, you will likely at least be charged with a Second Degree felony.