If you get a second driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge while on probation for your first, the court will likely consider revoking your probation. You may have to serve the remainder of any jail sentence you received as a part of your first conviction, face additional time related to the probation violation, and fight the new charges.
Texas DWI laws are tough, especially on repeat offenders. If at all possible, you want to avoid facing a second conviction. This is especially true if you are still on probation from the first conviction. However, the court does not need to convict you for you to face a probation violation.
The Court Could Revoke Your Probation
When you receive probation as a part of a sentence for a criminal conviction, it is probated jail time. This means that instead of going to jail, you agree to abide by certain rules set by the court. If you break these rules, the judge has the options of revoking your probation and sending you to jail.
In most cases, one of the terms of probation is to avoid further arrests and convictions. Any run-in with the law could be enough to trigger a probation revocation, especially a second DWI arrest.
The sentence for a second offense DWI includes a mandatory jail sentence, but you could face much more time if the court revokes your probation. You will want to fight these second DWI charges and will also likely need to attend a probation violation hearing.
Your Probation Violation Is Likely a More Pressing Issue Than the Second DWI
You have a responsibility to report your arrest to your probation officer. Once they learn about it, they have the option of beginning the steps necessary to hold you responsible for the probation violation. This may include filing a Motion to Revoke Probation and a judge issuing a warrant for your arrest.
You will have the option to turn yourself in, or police will come and arrest you. Because this is a warrant for the violation of probation, they will not set bond for you. Instead, you will need help from a criminal defense attorney, or you will need to wait on your probation violation hearing.
If they find you violated your probation, you may have to complete the remainder of your original jail sentence behind bars. You may also face additional time because of the probation violation. The court could also hand down a longer sentence in your second DWI case based on your record.
Potential Sentencing for a Second Offense DWI in Texas
Prosecutors in Texas typically charge second offense DWI as a Class A misdemeanor.
As such, the penalties for a second DWI may include:
- A fine of as much as $4,000 plus court costs and other fees
- 30 days to a year in jail
- A driver license suspension of up to two years
- An annual fee of $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000 to retain driver license for the following three years
Once you regain your driving privileges, you will need to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. This is a mobile breath testing machine that requires you to blow to start your car and periodically as you drive. If you have alcohol in your system, your car will not work. Texas requires this type of device if you receive two or more DWI convictions in a five-year span.
These penalties are in addition to any consequences you may face related to your probation violation. This could include additional jail time, community service, and other penalties.
Eddington Worley Attorneys Can Help You Fight the DWI Charges You Face
The consequences of getting convicted a second time for drunk driving are not something to take lightly. Texas law does not have a look back period on DWI offenses, so you could face enhanced penalties for a second or subsequent DWI decades after your first conviction. And it is not only DWI they look at. Boating while intoxicated and other related offenses may count as well.
At the same time, violating your probation from a previous DWI is a very serious accusation and one that could cost you your freedom. We recommend having a Texas criminal defense attorney on your side who can represent you in both your probation violation case and your DWI case if you get a second DWI charge while on probation for your first.