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 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 Austin 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.
Second DWI Defense Lawyer in Austin TX
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a second DWI, contact Kevin Bennett today to discuss the circumstances surrounding your arrest in Austin, Travis County, Pflugerville, Lago Visto, Lakeway and the surrounding areas. Kevin Bennett is a tactical DWI defense attorney in Austin 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 Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 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.
- Second DWI Charges in Austin
- Operating a Motor Vehicle in Texas
- Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction in Texas
- Collateral Consequences for a DWI Conviction
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
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.
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 previous related offense, he or she is required to pay for the costs of having an ignition interlock device installed in his or her vehicle. An Austin drunk driving lawyer can help you fight the charges and keep your freedom.
Collateral consequences are the repercussions an individual can experience as a result of a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that a DWI conviction comes with several collateral consequences. For example, charges can damage your reputation and hinder your ability to obtain employment.
The following are additional consequences:
- Suspension of driver’s license
- Inability or delay in obtaining citizenship
- Loss of professional or occupational licenses
- Denial of promotion
- Participation in community service programs
- Denial for scholarship
Texas Penal Code: Intoxication and Alcoholic Beverage Offenses- Visit the Texas Penal Code and read the statutory language for intoxication and alcoholic beverage offenses. Access the site to read penalties for DWI and the circumstances that can enhance your penalties.
Alcohol-Related Offenses – Visit the website for the Texas Department of Public Safety, and read their citizen’s guide to alcohol-related offenses. Access the site to read penalties and enhanced penalties.
DUI Attorney in Austin, TX
If you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving for the second time, it is vital that you contact an experienced defense attorney immediately. With each conviction, the penalties increase, and in order to give yourself the best chance of avoiding these penalties, contact The Law Office of Kevin Bennett.
Kevin Bennett is a dedicated defense attorney who represents clients in and around Lakeway, Lago Vista, Pflugerville, Travis County, and Austin. Contact Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a consultation about your pending charges. Your initial consultation is free, and it is an essential part of developing your defense strategy.