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:

  1. A potential fine up to $10,000;
  2. 2-10 years in state prison and
  3. 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.

Ignition Interlock

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.


You may also be interested in…

  1. Boating While Intoxicated
  2. DUI vs. DWI in Texas

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.

Enhanced Felony

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.

4 comments

  • Rebecca

    I was recently reviewing case file from Texas and it was marked DWI-FINAL and the person was being held on $60,000 also a number I have yet to see in other cases. Thoughts on why?

    • Sr. Attorney Crime Division

      Hard to say Rebecca, kind of have to know all the facts for a question like that. Also, it depends on the county, some are more strict than others.

  • Beau

    i am in florida. i had 2 dui’s in 1997. then a 3rd dui in 2004. then i got a 4th dui for sleeping in a parked car in 2009. the 4th was reduced to a 3rd-more than 10 years.
    that 10 years suspension here is over in 8 months so i was looking everything up and making sure ll my fines were paid. to my horror, i just discovered that in florida, 4 dui’s is a life time suspension. i can only apply for a hardship licese.
    the wife and i have been looking into moving out of florida and heading to the Dallas area for the last few months. we can sell our home here and get a decent place there plus put some money in the bank.
    what i would like to know is this. if all my tickets are paid off here in florida, can i get a drivers license in texas ? or does this suspension for life follow me to dallas ?

    • Sr. Attorney Crime Division

      Beau, you’re going to have to call and speak to an attorney about that. A Dallas Criminal Attorney will need to know all the specific facts about your case before being able to give you a clear answer. Also, you’re probably going to have to pay a retainer fee just to get this question answered, so be prepared to invest around $1,000 (just a guess) to get this answered by a criminal lawyer.

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