Third DWI Offense: Houston DWI Defense

With two previous DWI convictions, your third DWI offense in Texas is a third-degree felony. Also called habitual DWI, a third-time DWI results in a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to 10 years in prison in a TDCJ penitentiary

After a conviction for this offense, you have a mandatory 10-day jail sentence in the event the judge grants probation. Additionally, the court suspends your driver’s license, and you face the collateral consequences of being labeled a convicted felon. 

A third-time DWI is a felony in Texas?

Yes, even with a deferred adjudication for your first DWI and a conviction of a second DWI, your third DWI charge is a felony. 

Do all old convictions count in a 3rd DWI charge?

Yes, no matter the age of your prior convictions, they all count when a judge uses them as a basis for enhancement. 

Do out-of-state convictions count towards Texas felonies?

Yes, it’s possible for out-of-state convictions to become the foundation for the enhancement of your charges.

What Happens After a 3rd DWI Arrest in Texas?

In Texas, everyone arrested is eligible for release on bond. However, a third-time DWI charge comes with higher bail amounts and stricter conditions for release. Texas law requires all felony cases to be indicted by a Grand Jury before the State prosecutes. 

Every district clerk has their own procedures for notifying defendants about their court date. Moreover, it is crucial that you never miss a court appearance when you face any DWI charges in Texas. With a Houston DWI lawyer on your side, you have someone to guide you through this process. 

As a local expert, Herman Martinez is extremely familiar with city, county, and state court systems and utilizes his expertise to attain the best possible outcome of your case. 

Bail for a 3rd DWI

When you face a 3rd DWI, a magistrate judge determines the bail amount for your case. Typically, they consider several factors, such as the safety of the community and your likelihood to appear in court. Often, a third-degree felony results in a bond of $10,000 or higher. 

Bond Conditions for a Third-Time DWI

In many cases, a bond for a third-time DWI comes with the installation of an interlock device that measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before allowing you to drive. However, a judge may place additional restrictions such as pre-trial reporting or travel restrictions.

Penalties for a Third DWI Offense

Prison Time

The maximum prison sentence for a third-degree felony DWI is 10 years in the State of Texas. While first-time DWI defendants might find some leniency, the penalties of a habitual DWI reflect the severity of the offense. 

If convicted, you face a prison sentence ranging from 2-10 years. Even with probation, there is a minimum requirement of 10 days in jail for a plea agreement. There is no option to waive or probate this sentence. 

Probation Possibilities 

Everyone who faces a third-time DWI is eligible to apply for probation, also known as community supervision. Probation can last for up to 10 years. However, as mentioned above, there remains a mandatory 10-day jail sentence even when the state grants probation. 

Additionally, it’s important to understand that this decision lies with the judge or jury in your case. There is no guarantee of probation, and for a felony, it is a rare occasion. 

The Financial Costs

There’s no universal total for a third DWI conviction. With up to $10,000 in fines, court costs, and attorney fees, you face a two-year suspension of your driver’s license. Moreover, this often results in increased insurance premiums. 

Additionally, you face lost wages from your time in prison and a hit to your reputation with the label of a convicted felon. This negatively impacts your options for housing, voting, government benefits, and other rights granted to citizens.

Third DWI Defense Attorney: Herman Martinez

The penalties of a third DWI conviction are quite severe in Texas. With the potential to be labeled as a felon and go to prison, it is a daunting and overwhelming experience. In many cases, your best option is to fight the charges with an experienced advocate on your side. 

If you don’t fight, there’s no way to win. That’s why it is crucial to partner with the best attorney in your area. 

Herman Martinez has a reputation of excellent, aggressive representation throughout Houston, TX. With decades of experience as an attorney and prior experience as a prosecutor, he understands how the other side works. Moreover, he leverages his experience and expertise to pursue the best possible outcome of your case. 

Start your fight today. Schedule a free consultation with our firm.