Penalties – 4th Offense DWI Texas
In Texas, the penalties an offender faces are determined in part by whether the person has been convicted of the crime in the past.
Below we will take a look at the potential punishments and penalties an offender may face for his or her fourth DWI offense. Contact an attorney here.
Fines & Punishment
With certain exceptions, a first or second DWI offense is typically a misdemeanor. Usually a first time offense is a Class B misdemeanor and a second time offense is a Class A misdemeanor.
3rd Degree Felony
However, for a third offense or higher, the charge is usually a Third-Degree felony.
Consequently, if you are charged with your fourth DWI offense, you will likely face a Third-Degree felony charge.
Naturally a felony charge carries much stiffer penalties than lesser misdemeanor offenses.
A fourth time DWI offender faces particularly strict penalties:
- A potential fine up to $10,000;
- 2-10 years in state prison and
- Suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for 180 days-2 years.
An offender may also face a surcharge of $1,500 assessed on a yearly basis for three years.
The court may also require the offender to install an ignition interlock device in his or her vehicle and order participation in a DWI intervention or alcohol awareness program.
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Prior Jail Time
If an offender has previously served time in a Texas penitentiary for a DWI, he or she may face even harsher punishments for a fourth DWI conviction.
2nd Degree Felony
With a single prior penitentiary incarceration, a fourth-time DWI offender may face a Second-Degree felony instead of a Third-Degree felony.
This means a potential fine up to $10,000, 2-20 years in jail, a suspended driver’s license for up to 2 years, and a potential $1,500 a year surcharge for three years.
Worse still, if a fourth-time offender has 2 prior penitentiary incarcerations, the offender faces an enhanced felony punishment – a fine up to $10,000, 25 years to life in jail, up to 2 years of driver’s license suspension, and a surcharge of $1,500 yearly for three years.