Facing a first-time DWI can be stressful for Texans, but facing a second offense DWI adds an additional layer of penalties. The potential jail time, fines, and license suspensions increase for someone going through a second DWI. At this time, it is natural to feel overwhelmed, but that is why you need the help of a professional.
When you put The Wilder Law Firm in your corner, you can rest assured that over 25 years of experience is being put to work to best defend you. We are here to support you through this process, determine the most effective defense for you, and prevent further issues that could jeopardize your case. You know how serious a DWI is, so there is no time to lose. Contact us immediately at 214-741-4000 so that we can start defending you today.
What is a Second Offense DWI?
A second DWI offense is defined by Texas Penal Code Section 49.04. The statute claims that, “a person commits an offense if the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place” (Section 49.04(a)). Intoxication is also defined in the penal code as:
- Not having the normal use of your faculties due to drugs, alcohol, a controlled substance, a dangerous drug, a combination of these substances, or any other substance into the body; or
- Having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more (Section 49.01(2)).
If you are accused or charged of a DWI, Texas law enforcement will look back through your entire driving and criminal record to validate your offenses. If they find any previous DWI on your record, from any time period, you will be charged with a second DWI offense.
Defenses We Personalize For You
When we negotiate your case with the prosecution and you get your day in court, you want to be as prepared as possible. In order to make your case, you need a strong defense. This is where we guide you. As a seasoned criminal defense attorney, I have seen many, many different types of DWI situations. I have the knowledge base to review your case and determine the best way to defend you. Here are a few common defenses that can be explored on your behalf:
- Lack of reasonable suspicion.
- Improper administration of standardized field sobriety tests.
- Improper administration of blood or breath machine tests.
- Variations in what is considered normal for clients.
- Police conduct.
- Reducing/dismissing the charge.
Lack of Reasonable Suspicion
The police officer who pulled you over did not have “reasonable suspicion.” Police must have a valid reason to pull a driver over. If you were doing nothing wrong while driving, we should defend the charge based upon the nature of the stop (illegal). The police might also exhibit other improper behavior, which I can use to your advantage in your defense.
Issues with Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
The police officer did not administer the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) properly. This is common. Precision and objectivity are required when administering these tests. There are common ways the police make mistakes. Other factors impact your SFSTs. For example, factors other than intoxication can impact a one leg stand test results, such as the shoes you are wearing, fatigue, injury, etc.
Issues with Blood or Breath Tests
Oftentimes, the police will ask you to submit to a blood or breath test to determine your level of intoxication. However, it is possible for these machines to be improperly calibrated or used. I will use my knowledge of these machines to determine if your test results are even valid.
What is Normal
As much as the prosecution wants to believe in a “one size fits all” accusation or conviction, the truth of the matter is that each case and each person is unique. Alcohol impacts different people differently, and this needs to be taken into consideration if a DWI is alleged. My team will determine how alcohol consumption impacted you and if it had any effect on your driving abilities or an accident that resulted.
We always evaluate the conduct of the police to determine if they were conducting themselves properly, professionally, and in accordance with police procedure. Their conduct will leave an impression on how trustworthy their opinion is and how competently they conducted their investigation. This impression will play a role in the outcome of your case.
Reducing the Charge
When establishing your defense, I will always attempt to reduce your charge from 2nd DWI to a 1st DWI charge. This will alleviate any mandatory jail time that you face with a 2nd DWI as well as reducing the amount of potential fines you face. In addition to just reducing the charge, I will explore all options to have your case dismissed too.
These are just a few examples of where we can create a winning defense. We will not stop until we establish the most effective defense for you.
Consequences of a Second Time DWI
A second DWI is weighted more heavily than a first offense. These penalties include:
- A minimum jail sentence of three days as a condition of probation.
- A minimum jail sentence of five days as a condition of probation if your prior DWI is within five years of the second arrest.
- A jail sentence of 30 days to one-year if you are not granted probation.
- A fine up to $4,000.
- An additional “Super Fine” of $4,500, regardless of the court fine assessed, if your alcohol concentration was less than 0.15. ($6,000 is your alcohol concentration was 0.15 or higher).
- A suspension of your driver’s license for 180 days to two years.
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle you drive. You will not be able to legally drive any car without an ignition interlock device!
- Bond condition: The law mandates an ignition interlock device be installed in any car you drive as a condition of bond.
- An increase in auto insurance rates.
- A DWI listed on your permanent criminal record.
- Difficulty obtaining or keeping certain professional licenses.
- Difficulty obtaining or keeping certain jobs.
- Difficulty furthering your education.
- Immigration issues.
- Child custody issues.
How We Can Help
When facing a second DWI, so much is on the line. You have already gone through a first-offense DWI – you do not want to face these penalties a second time. When you hire my firm, you will have peace of mind that you have a winning team on your side that is dedicated to preparing and presenting the most effective defense for you. There is no time to lose – contact us today at 214-741-4000 for the guidance and representation you need.