Third DWI in Texas

When a person is charged with his or her third driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge in Texas, the impacts become even more serious than the previous two convictions. A DWI occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle and is also under the intoxicating influence of drugs or alcohol. This third DWI causes the judge and prosecutor to treat your case harshly, and you may face closer to the maximum possible penalties under the law. With a strong legal defense, you can work to avoid a third conviction and reduce the penalties you face.

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.

Third Time DWI in Texas

Upon your third DWI conviction, you face significantly more serious penalties than you have before. Increased penalties are designed to prevent the re-occurrence of the offense. Therefore, the more times you are convicted of a DWI in Texas, the worse it will get.

It is important to remember that just because you have been found guilty of a DWI charge in the past, it does not necessarily mean you will be convicted this time. Every case is different, and juries are not allowed to assume you are guilty simply because you have been convicted before. You have the right to challenge the charges against you in a court of law and to be assumed innocent until proven guilty.

A third DWI is a felony, unlike the previous misdemeanor charges you have faced. Felony offenses are very serious and can lead to very high fines and years in Texas State prison, rather than local jail time. As a result, you need to do everything in your power to fight your charges, and the best way to do that is to hire experienced legal counsel to represent you in your case.

Penalties for Third DWI in Odessa

A third DWI will be charged either as a second- or third-degree felony. If this is your third DWI, but you have not had a prior prison sentence, you will face a third-degree felony DWI charge. That level of charge carries the following possible penalties:

  • Maximum fine of up to $10,000
  • Texas State prison sentence of two to a maximum of ten years
  • Driver's license suspension of 180 days to a maximum of two years

If you are charged with a third DWI and have a prior prison sentence, the charge is now a second-degree felony. You now face the following potential penalties:

  • Maximum fine of up to $10,000
  • Texas State prison sentence of two to a maximum of 20 years
  • Driver's license suspension of 180 days to a maximum of two years

If you are charged with a third DWI and have two prior prison sentences, the penalties are enhanced even further and are incredibly severe. These penalties include the following:

  • Maximum fine of up to $10,000
  • Texas State prison sentence of 25 years to a maximum of life in prison
  • Driver's license suspension of 180 days to a maximum of two years

As you can see, your potential prison sentence could range anywhere from two years to life. You must take these charges incredibly seriously and present a very strong legal defense to keep yourself from suffering the worst of these potential penalties.

Additional Penalties for Third DWI

In addition to the penalties already discussed, there are other penalties that you will likely face if convicted of your third DWI offense. You will likely be required to attend and complete drug and alcohol counseling. The cost of these classes is high, and they take up a great deal of time.

You may also 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.

Defending Your Case

Common defenses to a third DWI include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenge 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.
  • Suppression Motions: A suppression motion keeps out evidence that was collected by law enforcement in a way that violates the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.
  • Challenge Field Sobriety Tests: These "tests" are often lead to false positives for intoxication and are notoriously inaccurate. They are mainly based on an officer's observations, not science.

These defense strategies can be employed by you and your experienced defense lawyer to help prevent a third DWI conviction.

Consult an Experienced Odessa DWI Defense Lawyer

If you or someone you care about has been charged with a third 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.