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Penalties for DWI in Texas include time behind bars, fines

Being arrested for drinking and driving can understandably be intimidating in Texas. After all, a wide range of penalties are possible for a DWI conviction in Texas. Fortunately, those accused of driving under the influence are always considered innocent until and unless prosecutors can prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

For those convicted of DWI for the first time in Texas, they can expect to face between three and 180 days in jail. In addition, their driver's licenses will be suspended for up to two years, and they can expect to pay a fine of $2,000 as well. They furthermore might be required to get an ignition interlock device and must complete a drunk driving education or intervention program.

For a second offense, the jail time jumps to between one month and one year, and the fine jumps to $4,000. In addition, for a third offense, time in state prison will span two to 10 years, and the fine will jump to $10,000. However, the potential two-year license suspension, ignition interlock device possibility, and drunk driving education program requirement associated with a first offense apply to second and third offenses as well.

Those facing drunk driving charges in Texas have the right to proceed to trial to fight the charges. At trial, prosecutors must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can happen. This standard exists in an effort to prevent innocent people from being convicted of and punished for crimes they did not commit. An attorney will push for the most personally favorable outcome for the defendant given the circumstances of his or her DWI case.

Source:, "Here are the Texas DWI penalties if you're caught drinking and driving", March 12, 2018

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