I am about to go to court for my 2nd dwi in TX.What is a typical sentence? If I decide to take probation over jail, can I serve the probation in CA?

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I am about to go to court for my 2nd dwi in TX.What is a typical sentence? If I decide to take probation over jail, can I serve the probation in CA?

Also, does CA have to adhere exactly to the terms sentenced in TX? How do the 2 states compare with regard to reporting to an officer, **** testing, etc?

Asked on May 19, 2009 under Criminal Law, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 14 years ago | Contributor

In Texas if you are arrested for a second DWI within a 10 year periodit is considered as a "second offense" and is a Class A Misdemeanor.  It is important to note that if arrested and accused of a DWI Second or greater offense, Texas law now requires the court to order as a condition of release from jail on bond, that the person install and maintain an ignition interlock device (deep lung air device) on the car that the person intends to drive and operate while charges are pending.  The device requires a breath sample before it will allow you to start your car.  They also require periodic breaths while driving to monitor and insure sobriety.  New technology has made these devices "user sensitive" so that someone else cannot blow into the device for the driver.

The penalties for a second offense are as follows:

A fine - not to exceed $4,000.00.

Confinement in the County Jail  - for a term of not less than 72 hours nor more than one (1) year.

Community Service - of not less than 80 hours nor more than 200 hours.

Ignition Interlock Device - is required for all DWI second offenders during probation. 

Suspension of license -  a person convicted of a second DWI may have their driving privilege suspended for not less than 180 days or more than 2 years.

As for moving to California, getting a new license there won't be possible.  Both CA and TX adhere to the terms of the Interstate Driver's License Compact.  This means that CA will check with TX on your previous driving record there.  CA won't give you a new license until all terms of your probation have been complied with.  As for where you can serve your probation, that would be up to the discretion of both states.  A lot would depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

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