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Texas Multiple DWI Penalties

By January 1, 2024February 10th, 2024DWI

What are the Penalties for Multiple DWI’s In Texas?

Getting a DWI in Texas is a serious offense which is why we recommend using a Fort Worth DWI lawyer to help you get your life back on track. Getting a 2nd DWI in Texas, 3rd, 4th Texas DWI, 5th DWI in Texas, or even more, could ruin your life as well as others. Texas uses an enhanced DWI penalties statute, Texas Penal Code 49.09, to elevate first-offense and second-offense misdemeanors into a third-degree felony when the defendant commits a 3rd DWI in Texas. If you are wondering what happens when a person gets a 3rd, 4th, or 5th DWI conviction in Texas, the consequences become much harsher. There will be a driver’s license suspension, but the fine could be as much as $10,000 and there could be a hefty prison sentence of 10 years or more.

A man was recently sentenced to life in prison for repeated DWI convictions in Montgomery County, Texas. He had pled guilty to his ninth DWI after nearly getting into a head-on collision while driving intoxicated.

The case received national attention, as life sentences are typically reserved for violent offenders. The prosecutor stated that “That was the point…we don’t want him to kill anybody.” Although this case is unusual, decades-long prison sentences are not all that unusual for repeat DWI offenders in Texas.

In fact, repeat DWI offenders account for 5% of inmates incarcerated in Texas prisons, costing taxpayers $153 million annually. Further, 22% of repeat DWI convictions lead to prison sentences longer than a decade, and 34 inmates are currently serving life sentences for repeat DWI convictions here in Texas, which does not include related convictions such as vehicular assault or manslaughter.

In order to protect your freedom, it’s very important to be aware of the penalties you could face for repeated DWI convictions in Texas – and to know how to fight back against DWI charges in the first place.

Below we discuss the penalties for a first, second, third, and fourth DWI in Texas, as well as how prior convictions may affect sentencing.

How Texas DWI Penalties Stack Up after Multiple Convictions. The experts at Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys can help.

Texas Multiple DWI Sentencing and Penalties

First DWI Offense in Texas

For your first DWI offense, if no aggravating factors are present you will face the following:

2nd DWI offense

For your second DWI offense, if no aggravating factors are present you will face the following:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Fine up to $4,000
  • 30-365 days in jail

3rd DWI offense

With a third DWI conviction, the penalties begin to stack up. You will face the following if you’ve already been convicted of DWI twice:

3rd DWI offense with prior TDCJ incarceration

If you are facing a third DWI offense and have previously been incarcerated with the TDCJ, you face the following enhanced sentencing:

  • Second-degree felony
  • Fine up to $10,000
  • 2-20 years incarceration in TDCJ

4th, 5th DWI Offense, or more with one prior TDCJ incarceration

If you are facing a fourth DWI and have one prior TDCJ incarceration, you face the following:

  • Second-degree felony
  • Fine up to $10,000
  • 2-10 years incarceration in TDCJ

4th, 5th or more Offense with two prior TDCJ incarcerations

If you are facing a fourth or more offense and have two or more prior TDCJ incarcerations, you face the following enhanced sentencing:

  • Enhanced felony
  • Fine up to $10,000
  • 25 years to life imprisonment in TDCJ

Are You Facing Multiple DWI Penalties in Texas?

If you are facing DWI charges, it is crucial that you fight back against your charges no matter what your prior record is – even a first DWI conviction can be life-changing, and as you can see here, the more convictions you suffer, the worse the potential consequences get for the next charge. A Fort Worth DWI attorney can help you protect your future.

Fortunately, a DWI arrest does not make a conviction certain. The prosecution must demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that you were driving intoxicated and that all of the proper protocols were followed for your traffic stop, arrest, and chemical blood alcohol testing.

Repeat Texas DWI offenses can lead to lengthy prison sentences and significant fines. At Hampton Criminal Defense Attorneys, we provide experienced representation for those facing DWI charges.


Speak With The Experienced Fort Worth DWI Lawyers Near You

A good Fort Worth DWI lawyer near you will know how to analyze every detail of your case, looking for potential weaknesses that could get your charges reduced, or potentially even get your case dismissed or dropped by the prosecution.

Be proactive as early in the process as possible and reach out to the experts Fort Worth Criminal Defense Attorneys by contacting us today for a free initial consultation.


About the Author:

After getting his Juris Doctor from the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff Hampton began practicing criminal law in Texas in 2005. Before becoming a defense attorney, he worked as a prosecutor for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office – experience he uses to anticipate and cast doubt on the arguments that will be used against his clients. Over the course of his career, he has helped countless Texans protect their rights and get the best possible outcome in their criminal cases. His skill has earned him recognition from the National Trial Lawyers (Top 100 Trial Lawyers) and Avvo (Top Attorney in Criminal Defense, Top Attorney in DUI & DWI, 10/10 Superb Rating), and he is Lead Counsel rated.