What is the penalty for 3 DWI’s?

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What is the penalty for 3 DWI’s?

My boyfriend has 2 DWI’s in another state. The cases were closed and 1 here in our state. The case was dismissed but I think that they want a hearing for it being the 3rd offense. The hearing was waived so we are now waiting to hear from the court. Will they fine him or give him jail time?

Asked on February 5, 2013 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If a person has two or more DWI's and then picks up another DWI, then they could be charged with what is called "Driving while intoxicated with two or more prior convictions."   In Texas, this is classified as a third degree felony punishable by 2-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.  If a defendant has never been convicted of a felony, then they could request probation from a judge or jury.  If they have prior trips to the penitentiary, then their sentencing range could be enhanced.

If your boyfriend is being charged with DWI- 3rd or more, then he more than likely has been set for an announcement or first setting.  If he wants to contest his charges, he will need to request a pre-trial and jury trial.  He will not be assessed jail time or a fine until he accepts a plea bargain or goes to trial. 

From what you describe, he may not have prior convictions which would enhance his charge.  If this is the case, he really needs to get a criminal defense attorney to help him get this across to the prosecutor.  If he doesn't have a prior DWI, he may only be looking at a misdemeanor level offense, which has a significantly lower level of punishment than a felony grade offense.  It's always good to shop around for one-- many now accept payments and/or credit cards.  If he simply cannot afford one, then he should request a court appointed attorney.

 


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