While all DWI charges come with harsh penalties and the potential for lifelong consequences, any third time charges and above are considered felony offenses, governed by a variety of complex procedures that often require a specialized third DWI attorney in Austin to navigate. Here’s an explanation of the penalties associated with a 3rd DWI charge in Travis County and a list of some expert third DWI attorneys in Austin that will be of certain assistance to those recently arrested.
Third Time DWI Charges:
In Texas, regardless of when you were charged for your last two DWIs, a third DWI charge is considered a third degree felony resulting in a prison sentence of two to ten years and a maximum fine of $10,000. While a third DWI can result in probation of up to ten years, individuals are still conditionally obligated to complete at minimum 10 days in jail (maximum 180 days) before being mandated to complete substance abuse counseling, DWI intervention programs, and up to 600 hours of community service. Furthermore, if a DWI results in death or bodily injury it is treated as equivalent to using a deadly weapon barring a defendant from receiving good behavior credit until half of their prison sentence has been served.
Since one’s criminal sentencing and probationary period are largely determined by a judge’s discretion, it is likely that those who have been labeled as habitual offenders will not receive leniency (and possibly no probation at all). As such, if you’ve been charged with your third DWI, not hiring a top rated third DWI attorney in Austin with experience throughout the Travis County courts can result in an extended prison sentence and lifelong repercussions.
In addition to criminal penalties, a third DWI charge in Texas will result in administrative penalties that are out of a local attorney’s control. Texas is known for administratively revoking an individual’s license in the instance of refusing or failing a breathalyzer test. Upon refusal or failure, an individual’s license will be automatically revoked within 15 days unless a hearing is scheduled. If an individual has been charged with their third DWI, their license will likely be revoked for 180 days to two years regardless of the defense they present in a hearing. If your license is administratively revoked, you will likely have to apply for a restricted license known as an occupational license which has a mandatory one year waiting period (from the date of the current suspension) for those convicted of two or more DWI offenses within the past five years. An occupational license is similar to a provisional driver’s license in that it can only be used when driving to work or school, or completing work and essential household duties. An ignition interlock device is also required to be installed in all of a third time DWI offender’s vehicles.
Considering a third DWI is a felony and felonies are not eligible for expungement or orders of nondisclosure, being convicted will result in the lifelong consequences of a felony. Some of these consequences include:
- Loss of the right to vote until one’s entire sentence and probation is completed
- Difficulty finding housing or employment
- Loss of Second Amendment rights
- Loss of professional licenses (such as registered nurses or certified teachers)
- Loss of certain government benefits
Expert Third DWI Attorneys in Austin:
While markedly challenging, a DWI attorney specializing in multiple and third time DWI charges can argue for reduced charges or a dismissal depending on the details of one’s case. Charges are more likely to be successfully dismissed or reduced if there is evidence of a traffic stop done without probable cause, malpractice while conducting a field sobriety test, or a malfunctioning breathalyzer.
Here are some local Austin attorneys who specialize in defending multiple DWIs:
Stephen T Bowling, DWI & Criminal Defense Attorneys: Bowling has experience representing individuals charged with up to six DWIs. For a free consultation, call (512) 599- 9000.
The Law Offices of Jason Trumpler: Trumpler has found recent success arguing for the reduction of a third DWI charge from the traditional third degree felony to a Class A misdemeanor. For a free consultation call (512) 457- 5200.
The Hull Firm: This firm specializing in DWI and criminal defense has maintained a 98% success rate. For a free consultation call (512) 599- 9999.