How Long Is Your License Suspended for 2 DUI Charges? All You Need to Know!
A first DWI arrest can be a daunting enough process, even as early as the arraignment phase. Therefore, it stands to reason that a second offense DWI can be even more so. Bear in mind that prior alcohol-related offenses come into play here, which typically cause the legal system to impose harsher criminal penalties than they would've otherwise.
There's no telling what your DUI conviction is going to look like between driver's license suspensions and a potential jail sentence. However, this is not a battle you need to fight alone. On the contrary, pending DUI charges should always be handled with an attorney in your corner.
If you're dealing with a second DWI in Texas, then you should arrange a free consultation with an expert attorney. Call Sparks Law Firm today at (817) 381-7846 to evaluate your case and see what the action plan may look like.
Suspension Types after a DWI in Texas
After getting stopped in Texas and posting a blood alcohol content level that's beyond the legal 0.08% following a chemical test, you could face one of two driver's license suspension types. Of course, not having your driving privileges is highly inconvenient, which is why you need to leverage the power of an attorney-client relationship.
DWI Conviction and Driver's License Suspension
Being convicted of a DWI in Texas can mean losing your driving privileges for years. The decision of the actual length depends on if there is any prior conviction on your record. A first offense DWI would net you a period between 90 days and a year. However, with a single previous criminal conviction working against you, you're looking at anywhere between 180 days and two years.
This goes even higher when there are two previous convictions or if there is one where there has been an injury or fatality. In this case, the suspension can last two years.
Administrative License Revocation (ALR)
You are typically asked to have your blood alcohol content measured by the police if you are suspected of driving under the influence. A breath test tends to be the first option, which you are heavily advised to go for.
If you should fail the test or refuse to take it, an administrative license suspension is automatic. The Texas Department of Public Safety oversees this process and it begins within 40 days. Note that you can request a hearing to have it dismissed.
A DWI lawyer in Fort Worth can submit this request on your behalf, and this is another reason to reach out as soon as possible after your DUI arrest.
The state of Texas allows you access to a temporary driving permit, known as an occupational license. If granted, though you haven't had your license reinstated, you can legally drive for essential tasks, such as going to work or fulfilling grocery needs.
Getting the restricted license requires a petition process after your license suspension. You want a lawyer serving your cause here, as a motor vehicle is almost essential for convenient transit, and not having the ability to use one can be almost crippling. You should also note that not everyone can qualify for the provisional license.
Other Potential Penalties for a Second Offense DWI
Your second DWI conviction is still not considered a felony according to the DWI laws that guide proceedings in Texas. However, it does happen to be a class A misdemeanor. Therefore a DWI second offense is quite the step up from the first instance in which you were arrested for drunk driving.
Of course, this means that the potential penalties, including the driver's license suspension period, are that much more severe, including the possibility of jail time for the criminal charges brought against you.
There is a base three-day mandatory jail sentence for a second DWI in Texas. However, it doesn't end there. You may receive a sentence of anywhere between a month and a year. Your prior DWI conviction would only have carried a maximum sentence of six months.
Therefore, you've effectively doubled the maximum sentence here, which makes administrative penalties the least of your worries. Remember to schedule your free evaluation as soon as possible to minimize your chances of having to deal with this kind of outcome.
The fines associated with DUI arrests can also be quite a problem. They're steep enough to set the average person back financially, and no one wants to worry about that kind of life-altering situation.
But how much is a DWI fine in Texas?
When your test indicated a higher than acceptable reported blood alcohol level the first time, your maximum fine was $2,000. If you were ordered to pay a fine, you probably didn't even pay the maximum amount. The doubling pattern continues here as the maximum fine increases to $4,000.
As indicated before, you could be looking at a driver's license suspension that runs up to two years after drunk driving lands you in legal trouble for the second time. However, there may be additional secondary punishments.
First, alcohol education classes may become mandated as a part of the judge's order. An order may also be placed for an ignition interlock device to be put on your car.
Secondary punishment types for DWI charges after a second offense are not that different from those of first offenses. However, the intensity is where things differ. For example, you carry a higher risk of being awarded the maximum extreme of the punishment.
Probation is also possible for those charged with drunk driving in motor vehicles. It may sound like a relief, but you may not necessarily secure want this outcome. It can also run for up to two years and being on probation is almost certainly going to be accompanied by secondary punishment requirements in lieu of steeper criminal penalties.
Dismissing a Second Offense DWI Charge
Though it may feel a bit on the hopeless side, it's actually not impossible to have a second DWI case dismissed, which means you can avoid the penalties associated with the criminal conviction.
However, considering the serious nature of failing an alcohol test and being among the ranks of convicted motorists for the second time, a criminal defense attorney must be strategic in successfully convincing the court to go this route.
A couple of the defenses that may be used to yield this kind of outcome are the presence of a bad traffic stop or lack of probable cause in cases where signs of impairment were not clear or seen by the arresting officer.
Always Choose the Breath Test
The idea of a chemical test after you've been stopped by the police can be a frightening one. However, refusing the breathalyzer could lead to the immediate driver's license suspensions described above plus a more difficult case to defend. Implied consent in Texas means driving constitutes acceptance of chemical testing.
Alternatively, you may then be given the option to submit to a blood test instead. This creates a more difficult situation since the blood test is the most accurate in DWI cases. Therefore, you are advised to always take the breathalyzer.
How a Suspended License or DUI Defense Attorney Can Help You
After your free consultation is over, how does your lawyer help you to fight your second DUI effectively across whatever upcoming court dates are on the horizon? First, you have a confidential relationship with your attorney.
Therefore, you can freely share sensitive or confidential information, and it is not going to be shared anywhere. You may find that certain details make your DWI charge easier to fight. Here are a couple of ways your lawyer assists you.
When the Texas Department of Public Safety hands down driver's license suspensions, it can affect your ability to earn and survive. Your DUI attorney helps you to fight for your vehicular freedom by handling all your ALR affairs or by seeking an occupational license on your behalf so you can at least have your essentials taken care of.
Your defense attorney may attempt to have your charges dismissed if the arresting officer acted out of accordance with typical procedures or if the case against you doesn't hold up to legal scrutiny.
Alternatively, if there were discrepancies with the test administered, this may be called into question as a part of your argument. Having a good defense attorney is also very important in the duration of your DUI arraignment.
Request a Free No-obligation Consultation with an Experienced Attorney Today!
A DWI conviction can be bad enough when you're dealing with it initially. Any subsequent DWI comes with a harder case to fight plus a host of steeper penalties. For example, there may be longer jail sentences and you may have your license suspended for longer in this instance.
Thankfully, a DWI attorney specializes in representing clients, even when they're convicted for the second time. Initiate a free consultation with an expert DWI lawyer to get insights into your conviction situation and what your action plan may look like.
If you're in Fort Worth, TX, and you're dealing with a second DUI, reach out to Sparks Law Firm today by calling (817) 381-7846.