The state of Texas has severe penalties for those the courts convict of driving while intoxicated. These vary depending on a range of factors, including whether or not it is your first offense, as well as the amount of alcohol in your system at the time of arrest.

It is crucial for you to understand the consequences that come with a DWI conviction, as knowing what you stand to lose can help underscore the importance of building a strong and strategic DWI defense.

The first conviction

If the police arrest you and charge you with a DWI, and it is your first DWI offense in Texas, the state may fine you up to $2,000, you could spend at least three but no more than180 days in jail, you could lose your driver license up to one year and you may have to pay an annual fee of between $1,000 and $2,000 for three years in order to retain your license.

Subsequent convictions

For a second offense, you may face maximum penalties of a $4,000 fine, a year in jail and the loss of your driver’s license for two years. The courts may allow you to keep your license if you pay an annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years.

The maximum penalties for a third offense include a $10,000 fine, 10 years in prison and two years without a driver’s license, or a $2,000 annual fee for three years to keep it. After two or more DWI convictions in the span of five years, the state requires you to install an ignition lock that prevents you from starting your car if you have had too much to drink.

If the police arrest you, you must follow the steps in the Texas courts criminal process, such as attending court hearings on your case. With a strong defense, you may be able to avoid the maximum penalties, or even have your case dismissed.