Texas DWI Penalties
Drunk driving is a serious offense in Texas. Whether you have been charged for the first or third time, a DWI conviction results in harsh penalties such as jail time, fines, license suspension, and community service.
The following is a breakdown of the Texas DWI penalties:
- First-time DWI – Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 180 days, a maximum $2,000 fine, license suspension not exceeding 365 days, and up to 100 hours of community service
- First-time DWI (with a BAC of at least .15) – Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum one-year jail sentence, a fine no more than $4,000, license suspension for up to 365 days, and up to 200 hours of community service
- Second-time DWI – Class A misdemeanor
- Third-time DWI – Third-degree felony that results in a maximum 10-year prison term, a fine not exceeding $10,000, license suspension for up to two years (including mandatory ignition interlock installation), and up 600 hours of community service.
In addition to these penalties, a DWI conviction can lead to a permanent criminal record. Having a drunk driving offense on your record can make it difficult to get or keep a job, find housing, apply for higher education, and take advantage of other opportunities in life.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “lookback period” in Texas. This means a previous DWI conviction will always be considered in the event of a new DWI charge, whether the new offense occurs five or ten years after the last one.
Additionally, a DWI conviction cannot be expunged in this state. This means your DWI conviction will follow you for the rest of your life.
That is why having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can make a significant difference. Your lawyer can keep that permanent mark off your record and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Fort Worth, contact The Clark Law Firm today and schedule a free consultation.