While the penalties for a first and second driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense–both misdemeanors–have the potential to impact your life, there is much more to lose if convicted of a third drunk-driving offense in Austin. Texas classifies a third DWI as a felony offense, which means you face increased penalties in addition to prison time. If you or a loved one was recently arrested for a third offense, you should immediately seek the counsel of a DWI attorney who can begin preparing an appropriate defense for your case.
As a felony offense, a third DWI conviction will result in some steep penalties. The judge can order you to spend two to ten years in prison (depending on the circumstances of your case) and pay up to $10,000 in fines. Your license will once again be suspended for anywhere between 180 days and two years.
Your criminal sentence isn’t the only set of consequences you will face with a third conviction on your record. Because you will be classified as a felon, certain rights that you now take for granted can be taken away, such as the right to vote or even own firearms. In addition, you may be unemployable in certain fields, like government or education, unable to obtain a professional license, and have problems renting an apartment or trying to take out a mortgage.
Yes, the stakes are high when facing a felony DWI–but being arrested for this crime doesn’t automatically mean you will be found guilty. Did the police have probable cause to stop you on suspicion of DWI? Were the field sobriety tests administrated according to the standardized guidelines? Are the logbooks for the breathalyzer machine up to date? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” a DWI lawyer can develop a defense to reduce your chance of a conviction.
Attorney Ken Gibson is well known throughout the Austin legal community for his experience with DWI law and dedication to staying up-to-date on the latest technology and strategies in this field. To discuss your charges with Mr. Gibson, please contact our office now to set up an appointment for a no-cost case evaluation.