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The only thing worse than getting arrested for Driving While Intoxicated is getting arrested for it again. If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the police officer smells alcohol on you, and you don’t do a perfect job on the field sobriety tests, it’s very likely you will be arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. And, if you already have a prior conviction on your record for DWI, it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be arrested for it a second time.
A second conviction for DWI is no joke. Consider some of the mandatory consequences for a second DWI conviction in Texas:
- Up to a $4,000 fine
- Mandatory jail time even if you’re sentenced to probation
- Mandatory driver’s license suspension for up to 2 years
- Mandatory ignition interlock device on your car (even if you can’t drive because your license was suspended)
- Monthly reporting to a probation officer
- Monthly drug testing
- No eligibility to have the court record sealed
These are just some of the penalties that come with a second DWI conviction. And you should also consider– if you have a second prior conviction on your record for DWI, the next time you are arrested for DWI it is automatically charged as a felony offense. However, the good news is that – just like a DWI first offense – the government still has to prove that you were intoxicated before you can be convicted of a DWI second offense.
If you are pulled over and the officer suspects you are intoxicated, the first thing he will do is run your driving record to see if you’ve ever been arrested or convicted for an alcohol-related offense. When he finds out that you have a prior DWI, it’s likely he’s already made up his mind that you’re going to be arrested for DWI this time. The only thing he’s doing at this point is gathering evidence to prove what he’s already decided about you. So, be SMART, and don’t help him and provide evidence against yourself.
If you’re asked to perform the field sobriety “balance and coordination” tests, politely refuse to do them. If the officer starts asking how much you had to drink, when you started drinking, and whether you “feel like you’re intoxicated,” politely ask the officer to speak with your attorney before answering any of his questions. If the officer asks for permission to draw blood from you so he can have it analyzed for alcohol concentration, don’t give him permission. If the prosecutor doesn’t have enough evidence to use against you, they can’t obtain a conviction when you go to court. And, if you do end up having to take a conviction for a DWI second, a good criminal defense attorney can help get your case reduced to a DWI first offense so you can avoid the mandatory penalties discussed above that come with a DWI second offense.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DWI, you need an aggressive and experienced criminal defense team working for you to make sure your DWI arrest does not become a conviction. Call the attorneys at Hamilton Grant today. (972) 943-8500.