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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

Texas Law: How Long Do You Go to Jail for 5th DWI?

If a person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than .15 in Texas, they might face up to 180 days in jail for a first offense. Furthermore, if it is their second offense and their BAC is .15 or more, they could face up to 365 days in prison. If this is their third or subsequent DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), they will be charged with a crime. Additionally, if there is a child under the age of 14 in the car, it is a crime even if the driver has never had a DWI before.

When facing DWI charges, it is critical to speak with an attorney specializing in DWI cases.

It is frequently possible to avoid going to jail. Nobody wants to go to jail, especially if it can be avoided. Hence, it's critical that you get a lawyer who knows what they're doing, who is familiar with DWI charges and laws, and who knows what to look for when it comes to DWI defense.

New Texas DWI Laws

New Texas DWI Laws

The Texas Legislature has made Deferred Adjudication an option for first-time offenders with the passage of House Bill 3582. Deferred adjudication allows individuals to avoid jail and a final conviction. The court will dismiss the DWI charge once Community Supervision is satisfactorily fulfilled. An Order of Nondisclosure may be used to seal the arrest records and criminal charges in several instances.

Probable Cause in a DWI Arrest

To establish contact with the driver of the car in a Texas drunk driving arrest, the officer must have "reasonable suspicion." The officer will utilize reasonable suspicion to prove that the stop was legal.

Furthermore, the officer will almost always utilize the smell of alcohol to justify further inquiry in a Texas DWI traffic encounter. The police attempts to gather "probable cause" to make an arrest at this time. Although "probable cause" is not defined in Texas, the criteria we employed for making DWI arrests was "the set of facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonable and prudent person to believe a crime has been committed or is about to be committed."

Officers gather this probable cause by questioning people, making visual observations, assessing performance on Field Sobriety Tests, and reviewing the findings of any breath tests. As DWI lawyers, we recommend never telling the officer where you've been or if you've had any alcoholic beverages. We also advise against undergoing field sobriety tests or giving a blood or breath sample as these tests can be inaccurate.

How Much Jail Time Does a Person Face for Drunk Driving in Texas?

The jail sentence for a DWI conviction depends on the BAC at the time of the rest, whether or not the driver has prior convictions, and other aggravating factors.

First Offense in Texas

A first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, with a punishment ranging from three to six months. Following a first crime, however, there is no mandatory minimum punishment. If the judge decides to probate the sentence, the driver may be able to avoid going to jail entirely by abiding by the rules of their probation and avoiding other offenses while on probation.

What Is the Jail Time for a Second DWI Offense?

A second DWI offense in Texas is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor by the District Attorney. This type of DWI arrest might result in a sentence of 30 to 365 days in the county jail. If the judge upholds the sentence, the offender will almost certainly have to spend at least three days in the local jail, though they might be able to avoid more time behind bars.

Sentencing for a Third Offense and Subsequent DWI Offenses (Fourth and Fifth)

Repeat DWI offenders face significant consequences under Texas law. Third, fourth, or fifth time DWI offenders could face Third Degree Felony charges after their third or subsequent arrests. If they are convicted of a felony, they will be sentenced to state prison rather than county jail. They could put the offender in any facility throughout the state, and they might not be able to see their friends and family on a regular basis. A felony offense will almost certainly result in much longer sentences. The offender could face two to 10 years in jail under Texas law, and they'll almost certainly have to serve a minimum sentence even if the court overturns their DWI conviction.

What Aggravating Circumstances Could Force a Person to Serve Additional Jail Time?

When a person has aggravating circumstances in addition to drugged or drunk driving, their term in county jail or state prison might be greatly increased. If the offender has a high blood alcohol concentration (.15 or higher), for example, they could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor and face up to a year in prison on their first offense. Additional instances include:

Intoxication Manslaughter

When it comes to this Second Degree Felony, one might face two to 20 years in jail if someone dies because of a drunk driving accident the offender caused. Even if the court grants probation, the individual will face a minimum sentence.

Intoxication Assault

If a person causes an accident while intoxicated and their passenger or another car's occupant suffers significant injuries, they may be charged with a Felony of the Third Degree. A conviction can result in a sentence of two to 10 years in state prison. Even if the judge grants probation, this type of crime carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

Open Containers

Having an open container in a vehicle's passenger section increases the minimum jail penalty for a first violation to six days.

Drunk Driving with a Child Passenger

The Texas DWI penalties for this criminal offense is punishable by state incarceration. Individuals face six months to two years in state prison if they drive drunk with a passenger under the age of 15.

How to Minimize a Jail Sentence After a DWI Felony Conviction

Following a Texas DWI conviction, one may be eligible for a probated sentence. This implies they won't have to serve the entire jail or prison sentence the judge imposed. Probation is an agreement between the offender and the court to obey the terms established by the judge for a defined amount of time in order to avoid some of the more serious repercussions of the conviction.

If a person follows the requirements of their probation carefully, they may be able to avoid jail time for a first conviction and reduce the amount of time they spend in prison for subsequent drunk driving and DWI arrests.

Why Should You Hire Sparks Law Firm in Fort Worth, Texas?

Why Should You Hire Sparks Law Firm in Fort Worth, Texas?

Our Fort Worth DWI lawyers and support staff are dedicated to giving our clients the best possible service. At Sparks Law Firm, our team's ambition to create a law practice committed to representing persons who have been arrested stems from seeing the unlawful arrests of innocent people across the US. Nobody deserves to face a jail sentence for a felony, DWI offense, or other act they did not commit.

As a result, we make sure that our top DWI attorneys in Fort Worth TX and staff are always ready to take your calls and keep you informed about your case. You may rest assured that we'll do everything possible to help you get a favorable outcome for your DWI case. In the difficult field of Texas DWI Law, we take satisfaction in our high success rate. We will devote our skills and experience to arguing for you as your DWI defense.

Contact Sparks Law Firm for a Free Consultation Today!

The best thing anyone in this situation can do is contact a Fort Worth DWI attorney who values their attorney-client relationship. Sparks Law Firm focuses on DWI and associated issues, and our lawyers have both prosecutor and law enforcement experience, which we employ to fight for our clients.

When you receive a DWI in Texas, you're dealing with two issues: first, you're dealing with the criminal charge; however, you're also dealing with the driver's license suspension.

Offenders have 15 days to file a driver's license hearing request, and once that request is filed, we can put the officer on the stand under oath and interrogate him at the hearing before moving on to the criminal case. This enables us to secure the testimony, observe how the officer testifies, and inquire about any differences between the police record and the video.

In terms of criminal law, the officers take the offender to do the booking. If the person facing the DWI charges doesn't have much of a criminal record, they'll be released on a PR bond, which is essentially a promise to return in exchange for a minor processing fee. Then, our attorneys meet with the client, review their case, and check for any flaws in the DWI arrest.

It's critical that you select a lawyer who knows what they're doing, who is familiar with Texas DWI statutes and cases, and who knows what to look for when contesting your DWI. Our lawyers can help find answers to common issues related to DUI cases, such as how long a DUI affects your insurance in Texas or what happens when you get a DUI without a license.

To schedule a free consultation, call Sparks Law Firm today!


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