Penalties for a Fourth Texas DWI Offense
A 4th DWI in Texas means that a person had 3 prior DWI convictions. A first and 2nd DWI conviction are considered misdemeanors depending on the circumstances. A first offense is a Class B misdemeanor while a second offense is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties and consequences of a DWI conviction get worse the more prior convictions you have on your record.
That means that A 4th DWI conviction comes with more severe penalties and punishments than a first, second, or third DWI conviction.
Consequences of a 2nd Degree Felony
A 4th DWI offense can either be a second-degree or third-degree felony depending on the circumstances of your case. People who have had at least one stint at a penitentiary, can be charged with a second-degree felony for their 4th DWI instead of a third-degree felony.
A second-degree felony carries the following punishments:
- You may have to pay a $1,500 surcharge every year for 3 years
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Up to 25 years to life in prison
- A 2-year license suspension
The potential of punishments getting more severe at your 4th DWI conviction means you need an experienced DWI lawyer to represent you. A skilled lawyer may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced.
Consequences Of A Third Degree Felony
Generally, a third or fourth DWI offense is a third-degree felony depending on the circumstances of your case. The punishments for these offenses are more severe than those for misdemeanors. The penalties a fourth offender faces include:
- 2-to-10-year incarceration in a state prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Driver’s license suspension of 100 days to 2 years
- A $1,500 surcharge every year for 3 years
Are Punishments For A Fourth DWI Harsher Than Of A Third DWI Offense?
Punishments for a fourth DWI offense are the same as those for a third DWI offense. That means that you face 2 to 10 years in a penitentiary without the possibility of probation. In some situations, an SAFP may be granted but only when requested properly and only when it’s appropriate.
A third and subsequent DWI offenses are considered felonies in Texas. The following are penalties for a 4th offense:
- Up to $4,000 in fines
- Incarceration in state prison for 2 to 10 years
- A 2-year driver’s license suspension
- A 3-year surcharge of $2,000 every year
- A compulsory DWI intervention program
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle that you have to blow into to drive
When an ignition interlock device detects alcohol in your breath, it automatically disables your vehicle. You can face severe punishment if you allow anyone to breathe into the device.
The offender must complete intervention programs unless a judge waives the requirement. Repeat offenders have to go through a DWI intervention program, while first-offenders only go through the general education program.
You Need A Texas DWI Lawyer
DWI charges are serious and can completely impact your life if you are convicted. An experienced DWI lawyer will investigate the circumstances of your case and gather evidence that can be used to get the charges dropped or dismissed.