A second driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge can have a serious impact on your life. A DWI occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle and is also under the intoxicating influence of drugs or alcohol. A second charge means that you will now face heightened penalties from those you faced the first time around. These increased charges may also mean the judge and prosecutor come after you more intensely in an effort to prove they are "tough on crime." However, you have rights that deserve to be protected, and you should not be the victim of an overzealous prosecutor or judge.
Your rights and freedoms are at stake, but you do not have to face this difficult time alone. The Law Office of E. Jason Leach is dedicated to defending the rights of the accused. If you're facing DWI charges in the Odessa, Texas area, the Law Office of E. Jason Leach is ready to help.
Odessa, Texas DWI Defense Lawyer
E. Jason Leach focuses exclusively on criminal defense law and has been doing so for over a decade. Since 2005, he has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of those accused of driving while intoxicated. He is a Texas board-certified expert in criminal defense and believes that all clients are entitled to the most vigorous defense possible.
People accused of a crime have constitutional rights that deserve to be protected. A criminal conviction can place an incredibly heavy burden on your life, but you do not have to simply accept the charges against you. You can fight back and work to avoid the difficulties of a criminal conviction. With the right help at your side, you can move forward confident that your rights are protected.
Second Time DWI in Texas
When you face a DWI charge for the second time, the potential penalties are more serious than the first charge you faced. These increased penalties are intended to deter people from committing this offense more than once, but this is not always the effect. Instead, people accused of this offense simply face stricter penalties than they would face for a first-time offense.
Even if you have been convicted of this offense before, it does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted again. A charge is simply an accusation, and you are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. You deserve to have your case defended and your rights protected.
In most types of cases, a second time DWI will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a less serious charge than a felony with less serious penalties. However, a misdemeanor charge is still a criminal case with potential fines and jail time, and the charge can result in the suspension or revocation of your driver's license. This crime will also appear on your criminal record. This may make it difficult to find employment, or keep the job you already have.
Penalties for Second DWI in Odessa
As a Class misdemeanor, a second DWI has more significant penalties than does a first DWI, which is a Class B misdemeanor. A second DWI charge carries the following potential penalties:
- Possible fine of up to $4,000
- A minimum of 30 days in county jail, up to a maximum possible sentence of one year
- A driver's license suspension of 180 days up to a maximum of two years
This is considerably more severe than the penalties for a first DWI, which carries the following possible penalties:
- A fine of up to $2,000
- Minimum of 72 hours (three days) or up to 180 days in a county jail
- Driver's license suspension of 90 days up to one year
The impact of this being your second charge is all too clear. The potential fines, jail time, and suspension of your driver's license is much more serious. You must also take this seriously and defend your case in the best way possible.
Additional Penalties for Second Time DWI
Besides those penalties that have already been listed above, there are other penalties that you will likely face if convicted of your second DWI offense. You may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your car in order to get limited driving privileges. This device requires you to blow into it so it can check for the presence of alcohol on your breath. If it detects any, the car will not start, and a report may be sent to your judge and probation officer as well.
You will also likely be required to attend and complete drug and alcohol counseling. The costs of these classes will be imposed upon you as well, and they can be expensive (not to mention time-consuming).
Defending Your Case
You and your attorney can raise legal defenses to the charges against you. You do not have to just sit back and watch as the prosecutor goes after you, and you should never assume you are guilty just because you were charged with a crime.
Common defenses to a second DWI include, but are not limited to:
- Challenging Breathalyzer Tests: When breathalyzer tests are not used properly, or they are not calibrated accurately, the results of the test can be challenged in court.
- Challenging Field Sobriety Tests: These so-called "tests" are not known for their accuracy, and frequently lead to false-positive indicators of intoxication, even when a person is completely sober.
- File a Suppression Motion: A suppression motion keeps out evidence that was collected by law enforcement in a way that violates the U.S. and Texas Constitutions. If this evidence can be kept out of court, the prosecutor cannot use it against you. This can result in a reduction of your charges, or even outright dismissal of them.
With the help of a highly experienced DWI defense attorney, you can use these and many other defense strategies to significantly reduce the impact of a criminal charge against you.
Consult an Experienced Odessa DWI Defense Lawyer
If you or someone you care about has been charged with a second DWI in Odessa, TX or the surrounding areas, you need a knowledgeable, experienced attorney to fight for your constitutional rights.
An experienced DWI defense attorney can help you build a defense that gives you the best shot at a favorable outcome. If you've been charged with a DWI in Odessa, Texas, the Law Office of E. Jason Leach, PLLC is ready to help you fight your DWI charges. To set up a free consultation contact the Law Office of E. Jason Leach today at (432) 552-7000.