Why do DWI second charges require jail time for probated sentences?

Apr 23, 2019 @ 10:58 AM

DWI Second Offense | DWI Misdemeanor Repetition in Texas

DWI Second

While a second DWI  is a misdemeanor offense, a conviction for this offense carries with it significant direct and collateral consequences. 

One troubling aspect of a DWI-Second, also called  DWI Misdemeanor Repetition, is that if you are convicted of a second DWI, you are going to serve jail time no matter what - even if you are granted probation. Under Texas law, jail time is a condition of probation for a DWI-Second.

Another, even more troubling aspect, is that once you have a second DWI, any time you are suspected of a DWI in the future, you are going to be facing a felony charge.

A DWI Second in Texas is a hybrid Class A misdemeanor punishable by 30 days to a year in jail. Even though it has a unique minimum time in jail requirement, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor.

Jail as a Condition of Probation on a DWI Second in Texas

As mentioned, even a sentence of probation requires time in jail for a second DWI. If the prior DWI was within the last five years, your minimum time in jail on a probated sentence is five days. If the prior DWI was longer than five years ago, the minimum time in jail on a probated sentence is 72 hours. The most jail time a person can do as a condition of probation for a second DWI is 30 days.  The judge can impose up to two years of probation.

Other Conditions of Probation of DWI Second in Texas

You will have to complete the following conditions, and possibly more, for a DWI Second charge in Texas:

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  • DWI Repeat Offender Program (DWI ROP)
  • Substance Abuse Evaluation/ Treatment Alternatives to Incarceration Program (TAIP)
  • Interlock as a Condition of Probation
  • Community Service
  • Victim Impact Panel

Bond Conditions of DWI Second in Texas

If you are charged with a DWI Second in Texas, you should expect the court will require you to have interlock installed on any vehicle you operate while you are out on bond. You should also expect the judge to add a condition that says you shall not consume alcohol while you are bond.

Fines for DWI Second in Texas

A fine of up to $4,000 will be imposed for a DWI Second charge in Texas. This is true for jail sentences and probated sentences.

License Surcharges for DWI Second Convictions in Texas

If you are convicted of a DWI Second in Texas, you should expect a $2,000 per year surcharge on your Driver License for three years, for a total of $6,000.

DWI Second Investigation and Prosecution

While the punishment range for a DWI Second is very different from a first-time DWI, the burden of proof and elements other than the prior are the same as that of a DWI first. For more information on DWI investigations and prosecutions in Texas, don’t miss this article: DWIs in Texas.

DWI Second License Suspensions

The criminal court judge may suspend your driver license for up to two years if you receive a jail sentence on a DWI Second charge in Texas. Administratively, your license will be suspended for one year if your driving record shows more than one DWI-related contact during the last 10 years.