What Happens With a 3rd DWI in Texas?

Texas 3rd DWI Offenses

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) with a .08 BAC (blood or breath alcohol concentration) under any circumstances can result in arrest and other major consequences in Texas. It’s illegal under Texas law to drive vehicles when intoxicated. Whether you’re a first-time or third-time convict of DWI, the consequences are serious. DWI can cause serious injury, fatality, and damage to the car. Third-degree DWI is defined to be a criminal offense under Texas Law and it results in major punishments. A DWI conviction makes it hard for you to find a job or a good home or you can lose the right to vote or own a gun. DWI is worse in Texas than you think it is.

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Like other crimes, a DWI conviction brings severe penalties including up to $2,000 in fines, up to 180 days in jail, and suspension of driver’s license at least for a year. Some collateral consequences are there for a DWI conviction, no one wants them to happen.

A conviction for a third DWI will cause a prison sentence of no less than two years and no more than ten years. A minimum of two years can mislead you, as the court can probate the majority of that sentence.

Getting your third DWI in Texas is quite frightening. You’re thinking about how the consequences might affect your future and your personal and professional life. 3rd DWI in Texas is different; it is not a misdemeanor, like the first two DWIs.  By the time you hit 3rd DWI in Texas, it will bring you down the lane with catastrophe. It will hamper your future and make you incapable of living a decent life. You’ll face difficulties in getting a nice job or getting a good house.

All of these mentioned consequences are very serious. It can be a threat to your future. It’s better to hire an experienced Austin DWI attorney to have some lenience on the consequences.

Now that you’ve been confined with an offense, you’ll end up with an impending catastrophe. You’re going to lose the prime rights of your life. Since this is your 3rd DWI in Texas, you’ve already encountered high fines and even served jail time with your first and second DWI convictions.

Third DWI Offense Punishments

Jail Time

A third-degree DWI offense carries two to ten years in state prison in Texas, while with first or second-time offenders, the law shows little lenience, but not with the 3rd degree DWI offenders. The minimum of two years can be misleading, as the court can probate the majority of that sentence.


Fines for DWI conviction can’t exceed $10,000, but multiple fees and “penalty assessments” will notably raise your paying amount.

Driver’s License Suspension

If you’re convicted of a third DWI, your driving privileges will be suspended. As a third-degree DWI offense, Texas law carries a two-year suspension of your driver’s license. A license suspension is expensive. You will have to pay additional fees to get your license back.

Other Punishments

With a conviction for a third DWI offense, a person will face additional consequences than mentioned above. Consequences may affect one’s ability to live a decent life. It will hamper to sustain a good job or get a good house.

Consequences are included. Such as:

  • An offense on your record is now registered.
  • You’ll have to pay hefty fines.
  • At least 2 years you’ve to be in jail.
  • It’ll affect your professional life. You may lose jobs.
  • It’s hard to get a good home in any community with a DWI conviction.
  • Loss of your driver’s license.
  • An immediate increase in car insurance premiums.
  • You might lose the right to vote.

Overall it will change your life upside down in a negative way.

How to Avoid Jail Time for 3rd DUI Texas?

When facing a third DWI charge in Texas, securing the services of an experienced DWI attorney is paramount. Their proficiency in scrutinizing evidence and identifying vulnerabilities in the prosecution’s case can potentially lead to a dismissal. Alternatively, they excel at negotiating with prosecutors to secure reduced charges or penalties, including the possibility of avoiding jail time through community supervision (probation).

  • Hire an experienced DWI attorney to meticulously examine the evidence, identify weaknesses, negotiate reduced charges or probation, and potentially achieve case dismissal.
  • Comply with bond conditions set by the court, demonstrating a willingness to follow judicial orders.
  • Avoid driving while intoxicated to eliminate the risk of additional charges.

Upholding Court Obligations

Demonstrating compliance with the court’s bond conditions is crucial in mitigating the likelihood of jail time. Strict adherence to the judge’s directives, such as abstaining from alcohol consumption and possession, can positively sway the court’s perception of your commitment to rehabilitation. Your attorney can guide you in fulfilling all obligations under Texas state laws, enhancing your chances of a favorable outcome.

First Step: Avoiding DWI Altogether

The most effective strategy for steering clear of jail time is to avoid driving while intoxicated in the first place. However, if you find yourself facing another DWI charge, seeking additional support is highly advisable.

Treatment and Counseling

Voluntarily seeking treatment for substance abuse or addiction showcases your dedication to personal growth and positive change. Such initiatives can influence the court’s decision, potentially leading to a more lenient sentence. Additionally, attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings can further bolster your case, demonstrating your proactive approach to addressing your alcohol or substance abuse issues.

  • Seek voluntary treatment for substance abuse or addiction to demonstrate commitment to positive change and reduced legal risks.
  • Attend Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings regularly to support recovery efforts.
  • Maintain records of counseling and treatment to showcase dedication to rehabilitation.

Consulting Legal Expertise

Navigating the complexities of a third DWI charge demands the guidance of an experienced attorney who specializes in Texas DWI law. Their expertise in handling such cases can significantly impact the outcome, increasing your chances of avoiding jail time and securing a favorable resolution.

A third DWI conviction carries serious consequences, but proactive steps can help mitigate jail time.

Can You Get Probation for a 3rd DWI in Texas?

The punishment for a DWI 3rd-degree conviction can lead to up to 10 years of probation or possible prison time. One key factor works during a pleading time, whether the person has any criminal history on record or it’s the only DWI felony. Law considers the number of DWI charges one is facing and how frequent the charges are.  If a person’s record has non-DWI felony convictions, the problem may happen while negotiating. If the judge denies giving probation, unfortunately not much can be done in this situation. A jury trial or a bench may be needed in front of the judge.

If you’re coming from a friend’s birthday party or late-night dinner on New Year’s Eve, don’t drive while intoxicated. DWI charges will lead you nowhere. If it’s a third-degree offense, then the possible consequences are severe, and life as a convict can be very difficult. Hiring a reputable attorney will be the best choice; an attorney will help you fight the charge in court by building a strong defense.

DWI Laws in Texas

Texas uses the term DWI (Driving while intoxicated) instead of DUI (Driving under the influence) to officially refer to drinking and driving cases.

Texas’ DWI laws prohibit all drivers from operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater or while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

The state has heavily mandated laws that make it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to get behind the wheel with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

The DWI laws in Texas are strict for a reason. The state has a dark record of a huge amount of fatalities due to driving violations. To this effect, Texas DWI laws are fashioned to discourage people entirely from the notion of driving intoxicated.

Generally, you are considered “intoxicated” if you “lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties” as a response to taking drugs, alcohol, or any other substance. To prevent the tragic trend of deaths, the Texas government has set up heavy penalties and tolls for DWI law defaulters. Let’s take a look at those penalties.

Texas DWI Penalties

It is an unwise thing to break any law in Texas. The state has a reputation for being arguably the strictest state in the country. That said, the penalties vary based on the circumstances of a case. The general survey of the potential sentences is based on the number of times you’ve been convicted for a DWI offense.

The table below shows a general survey of what these sentences should look like;

Penalty 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
License Suspension 90 days to 12 months 180 days to 2 years 180 days to 2 years
Jail 72 hours to 6 months (12-month maximum with .15% BAC or greater) 30 days to 12 months 2 to 10 years
Fines Up to $2,000 (up to $,4000 if BAC is .15% or greater) Up to $4,000 Up to $10,000
Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Only as a condition of obtaining an “Occupational license.” 1 year (with a prior conviction within 5 years) 1 year (with a prior conviction within 5 years)

Child Passenger While Driving Intoxicated

If you drive intoxicated with a child in the vehicle, you can also face child endangerment charges. You’ll also be facing fines of up to $10,000, potentially losing your license for 180 days, and some 2 years jail time.

Vehicular Manslaughter and Intoxication Assault

Suppose you commit a DWI and cause an accident, which leads to another person being badly injured. In that case, you can also be charged with a third-degree felony – intoxication assault. This charge carries the same potential punishments as a third-offense DWI

Vehicular manslaughter, on the other hand, is a second-degree felony that occurs when a drunk driver murders someone in an accident. These degree felonies carry heavy tolls like prison sentences of between 2 to 20 years and up to a $10,000 fine. These charges are valid for anyone who commits this infraction, regardless of the number of times they’ve received a DWI before.

FAQs on Texas 3rd DWI Offenses

How much is bond for 3rd DWI in Texas?

The bond amount for a 3rd DWI in Texas is typically set by a magistrate judge and can be $10,000 or higher. The exact amount depends on the specifics of the case and judicial discretion.

How many DWIS can you get in the state of Texas?

There isn’t a specific limit to the number of DWIs one can receive in Texas. However, the penalties for DWI increase with each offense, and the nature of the charges can escalate to more serious levels with subsequent offenses.

What is the statute of limitations for a 3rd DWI in Texas?

The statute of limitations for a 3rd DWI in Texas depends on whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanors generally have a shorter statute of limitations compared to felonies.

What happens if you get 5 DWIs in Texas?

If you receive 5 DWIs in Texas, the penalties are likely to be severe, given the repeat nature of the offenses. This could include long-term imprisonment, heavy fines, and other serious legal consequences.

Can a 3rd DWI be reduced in Texas?

The possibility of reducing a 3rd DWI charge in Texas would depend on various factors, including the specifics of the case and the discretion of the court. Legal counsel would be necessary to explore this option.

What happens if you get 4 DWIs in Texas?

Similar to the 5th offense, receiving 4 DWIs in Texas would likely result in severe penalties, including long-term imprisonment and significant fines, due to the habitual nature of the offenses.

How many DWI is a felony in Texas?

In Texas, a DWI can be classified as a felony depending on various factors, including the number of prior offenses. A 3rd DWI, for example, is typically treated as a felony.

How long do you stay in jail if you can’t make bail in Texas? If you are unable to make bail in Texas, you will remain in jail until your court appearance or until bail is posted. The duration can vary based on the court’s schedule and other factors.

Reducing Texas DWI Charge

In a situation where you’re charged with a violation of a DWI law in Texas, it’s possible to get a lesser charge with a “Plea Bargain.” A DWI charge can be reduced to reckless driving using a plea deal known as “Wet Reckless.”  While in some states there’s a distinction for reckless driving charges that involve drinking, in Texas, the statute applies more loosely to all types of reckless driving.

Glaringly, the Texas DWI laws prove how unwise it would be to drive under the influence in the state. In light of this, if you find yourself in a dire situation involving these DWI violations, you should seek professional counsel as soon as possible. Hire a Texas DWI Lawyer to help you get the professional perspective you need and avoid any violations of your rights.

This is most especially true if, for some reason, you are not guilty. Whatever the reason, you need someone who will back you and stand in your corner. Good luck!

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