Some people may not realize how serious getting a DWI really is. The consequences can be quite severe and have lasting impacts on your life. You might not also realize that the penalties for DUIs increase with multiple charges. A first offense is harsh but each additional DWI charge has even more serious consequences that can build up significantly.
First Offense Penalties
Even your first DWI charge carries serious consequences that can include fines totaling up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail. Your license can also be suspended from 90 days to a year and you may be subject to an annual fee of up to $2,000 to retain it.
Second Offense Penalties
A second offense nearly doubles the penalties. You may face fines up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail for your next DWI and your license can be suspended for at least a year. This charge also carries an annual fee of up to $2,000 to retain your license every year for up to three years.
Third Offense Penalties
Your third DWI will have the most significant impact with a $10,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison. This is in addition to the annual fee of $2,000 to retain your license after a suspension of one to two years.
All of these offenses can also include community service, drinking education classes or treatment programs and an increase in your insurance rates.
Facing a DWI at any stage is a serious matter, though classified as a misdemeanor. If you are charged with a DWI, you may want to talk to a Texas attorney who can help you figure out your situation and defend your case.