Three strikes and you’re out! This rule applies to baseball. But can it affect you if this is your 3rd DWI in Texas?
DWI, also known as driving while intoxicated, is serious business. Problems you’re likely to run into include:
- Hurting yourself or someone else while driving
- Damaging your vehicle
- Losing your right to drive
If this is the case for you, it’s important to have an attorney who can help. You want someone with experience who will advise you on what to expect, and what type of sentencing and fines you’re looking at.
Read on to learn more about how your DWI is different the third time around.
Learn How Your 3rd DWI in Texas Is Different
Going on your third DWI is scary. You’re wondering how you allowed yourself to get in this situation again.
Your 3rd DWI in Texas is different in that it is not a misdemeanor, as your first two DWIs were. Texas laws are strict by the time you hit you hit your third offense for driving while intoxicated.
These include issues such as:
- You now have a felony on your record
- Higher fines
- More community service
- Extremely high likelihood of jail and prison
- The fact that a substance abuse problem is present
All of these issues are serious matters. Rather than try and navigate on your own, it’s important to get a qualified DWI attorney involved.
What Mistakes Did You Make to Get Here
When you go to court, the district attorney will make note of how many prior offenses you have. Because you have a 3rd DWI in Texas, expect a question related to substance abuse.
Consider issues related to your problem such as:
- Your previous DWIs and what situations caused you to acquire those.
- How often you use drugs and/or alcohol
- If you’ve had substance abuse treatment in the past and what the treatment consisted of
Your attorney can help you find out what kind of support is available for folks in your position. Because of the severity of your offense, your options may include detox treatment and going to a rehab center.
While going through your court case, think of how long you’ve had problems with substance abuse. Now is the time to overcome them, before it gets out of hand.
What Rights You’re Likely To Lose
Now that you’ve been stuck with a felony, you’ll end up losing the rights. Since this is your 3rd DWI in Texas, you’ve already experienced high fines and even serving jail time with your first and second DWI.
Expect to lose these rights all over again. Besides serving time and paying a hefty fine, you will likely:
- Lose your license for up to two years
- A surcharge up to $2,000 every year for three years once you regain your license
- Lose all rights to own a firearm
Your fines may cost up to $10,000. The amount of time served in prison ranges from two to ten years.
These costs and charges shouldn’t be taken lightly, with everything you can lose. That’s why a skilled attorney is a necessity in a case such as this.
Why You Don’t Want a Fourth DWI
Your 3rd DWI in Texas is considered a third-degree felony. Even if you don’t have prior criminal records besides your other DWI, your fourth charge is still serious.
Texas laws state a fourth DWI is considered a second-degree felony. You have a 50% chance of serving jail time due to the severity of the offense.
You stand to lose more than your license and your home life. Income takes a loss by the time you reach your fourth DWI.
This happens because:
- Loss of your license makes it harder to hold a job or limits the types of jobs available to you
- Extra money is needed for attorney fees
- Counseling and/or traffic school or DWI classes are mandatory
- A special system installed in your car that prevents you from driving if you’ve been drinking (this actually happens after your second offense)
Although getting your third DWI is disheartening, use this as a reason to stay on a path free of drugs and alcohol. Remember that this isn’t the worse situation possible, and follow the steps to free yourself from addiction problems.
Get the Help You Need
Help comes in many forms. You’ll want help from a center to help those struggling with addiction. Having a therapist is another way to ensure you no longer have problems.
If you’ve just been charged with your third offense, start with getting an experienced and educated DWI attorney. An attorney is necessary for various situations related to a DWI.
These may involve:
- Refusing a sobriety test
- You or another party had injuries
- There was an accident involving someone’s death
- It’s necessary you get a plea bargain of some kind
Contacting an attorney right away and making them aware of your situation is the first thing you should do. You’ll have the chance to start plea bargaining on the right foot.
Your attorney serves as a barrier between you and the district attorney. They will make you aware of what charges you’re possibly facing, and what the best course of action is so you don’t spend a lot of time in jail.
Let a Trusted Attorney Work with You
If you’re facing your 3rd DWI in Texas, don’t feel as though you need to go through the process alone.
We are here to help you navigate through the court system. You’ll understand how your third DWI is different, without fear of judgment.
Contact us today, so we can begin working on your case. We work to ensure you get the best outcome, and the help you need to get your life back on track.