If an individual is arrested for drunk or drunk driving and they have a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI, also commonly referred to as “DUI”), the prior conviction for DWI can be used to enhance the new or any other subsequent DWI charge to a higher level offense. This enhancement also increases the severity of the criminal charge as well as the penalties faced.
A 2nd arrest for will almost always result in relentless prosecution of the case, as prosecutors believe that the conviction and punishment in the prior conviction was not severe enough to deter the individual from repeating the same actions that previously got them into trouble and threatened public safety.
In most cases, a second offense will still be charged as a misdemeanor. However, the increased range of jail time faced coupled with higher fines is enough to make a second conviction a devastating experience. Consulting with an experienced drunk driving lawyer in San Antonio is essential to the defense of your case. A criminal defense attorney that that regularly handles these cases can help guide you through a process that can sometimes be intimidating.
Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction in Texas
If an individual is arrested for a second drunk/drugged driving offense, he or she will be charged with a class A misdemeanor, which carries a jail term of between 30 days and one year, and/or up to a $4,000 fine.
Other penalties include, but are not limited to:
- Community Supervision
- Driver’s license suspension for up to two years
- DPS Surcharges
- Community Service
- Drug and Alcohol Education Courses
- DWI School
If an individual is convicted of a second DWI within five years of a previously related offense, he or she is required to pay for the costs of having an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. A San Antonio drunk driving lawyer can help you fight the charges and keep your freedom.
Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.09 Defines Parameters for Second DWI Charges in San Antonio
An individual can be charged with a DWI if he or she operates a motor vehicle in public, while intoxicated. The defendant is considered intoxicated if his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 or higher, or if after consuming drugs or alcohol, he or she shows an inability to operate his or her mental or physical faculties in a normal way.
According to Tex. Pen. Code Ann. § 49.09(a) If an individual has previously been convicted of any of the following related offenses, he or she can be charged with a 2nd driving while intoxicated offense:
- Intoxication Manslaughter
- Intoxication Assault
- Operating an Amusement Ride While Intoxicated
- Boating While Intoxicated
- DWI with a child passenger
Operating a Motor Vehicle in Texas According to Texas Penal Code Ann. § 32.24
Under Texas law, a motor vehicle is defined as a device that can be used to transport people or property. This statute excludes devices that are used exclusively on rails or tracks.
In order for an individual to operate the vehicle, he or she must be in actual physical control of it. This means that if he is in, on, or near the vehicle, and has the ability to operate it, he or she can be considered to be operating the vehicle, whether it is actually being driven or not.
Second DWI Defense Lawyer in Austin TX
Contact Dave Parent today to discuss the circumstances surrounding your arrest in San Antonio, Bexar County, Kendall County, Boerne, Bandera and the surrounding areas. Dave Parent is a tactical DWI defense attorney in San Antonio who will strategically plan a defense that will give you the best chance of avoiding the most severe penalties that are associated with your alleged charges.
Call The Parent Law Firm today at 210-819-4111 to learn more about your options following an arrest. Your initial consultation is free, and it is a vital step in preparing your defense and protecting your future.