What Happens on a Second DUI in Texas? Penalties and Solutions
Anyone facing a second DUI in Texas is already familiar with the legal system in the state. Laws are strict and understandably so.
Statistics show that Texas has one of the highest DUI-related accident rates in the United States, leading to several deaths. The state's legal system is therefore not so forgiving with such cases.
Authorities realize that people make mistakes and have ways of ensuring they are not held against culprits too much. However, it becomes an issue when a person let off the hook in the past returns for the same offense.
People facing second DUI charges in Texas should know the seriousness of the case and do the right thing. These offenders should hire a competent defense attorney.
Sparks Law Firm has experienced lawyers who have handled several second DUI cases in Texas. Contact us at (817) 381-7846 to get a free case evaluation.
Penalties for a 2nd DUI in Texas
The state of Texas does not classify a second DUI as a felony. Instead, it considers the offense a Class A misdemeanor with severe punishment.
Penalties for a second DUI in Texas are life-altering.
The fine for a second DUI in Texas moves from $2,000 to $4,000 maximum upon conviction. Furthermore, the impact of these on the offender's financial future could be severe.
A mandatory three-day jail term applies for a second DUI in Texas. If convicted, the sentence ranges from one month to one year. This is double the maximum penalty for a first-time DUI.
If that isn't enough motivation, remember that a third DUI conviction is automatically a felony in the state. The repercussions of those penalties won't be discussed in this article, but they are terrible.
There is probation for a second DUI in Texas, but it's not always the best result. Drivers convicted for this offense may receive up to two years of probation and must comply with additional penalties.
Individuals found guilty of a second DUI may be subject to license suspension for up to two years, installation of an interlock device on their vehicle, and attendance at alcohol education classes.
Although the secondary penalties may seem to have the same range as a first DUI, there is a much-increased chance that the culprit gets the harshest sentence.
A person convicted of a first-time DUI might only have their license suspended for six months. There is a higher chance of receiving the whole sentence if they get convicted a second time.
Defending Against a Second DUI
Defending a second DUI charge in Texas is one of the most difficult cases a lawyer can have.
Firstly, the jury will be informed immediately if an accused has previously been charged with DUI. This puts the culprit at a disadvantage going into the trial, which is why having a competent attorney is vital.
An accused should contact a DWI lawyer in Fort Worth Texas as soon as they are arrested. This gives the lawyer time to thoroughly review the case specifics for a strong defense. It may be difficult, but it's not impossible.
Challenging the science and circumstances of presented proof can raise reasonable doubt. An example of that is the inaccuracy of breathalyzers.
Reducing or Dismissing Second DUI Charges
Cases may be similar, but the facts of each one are unique. A defense attorney is the best person to determine whether charges against an accused can be reduced or dropped. This will guide their defense strategy. They can also answer other questions such as what it means if a DUI is dismissed and if a person should tell a potential employer about a DUI.
In some circumstances, the culprit might be able to plead guilty and forgo trial in return for a lower punishment.
Dealing with a second charge is a hurdle since the prosecutor might not be prepared to cooperate. Even if the attorneys come to a compromise, the judge may still decide not to approve it.
An individual has a better chance of leniency from the courts if their previous conviction happened years ago. Showing that they are getting help for alcohol addiction or demonstrating civil responsibility can affect the severity of the punishment.
Facing a 2nd DUI in Texas? Let Sparks Law Firm Help!
What a person does when facing their second DUI in Texas can change the rest of their lives. The best option is to hire an experienced criminal attorney to handle the case.
Sparks Law Firm has successfully defended several people who faced DUI charges from felony charges.
Call us at (817) 381-7846 to schedule a free consultation with our lawyers. We are ready to help.