Fort Worth Second-Offense DWI Lawyer
Second offense DWI cases are typically heard in the misdemeanor courts, which are called the county criminal courts. Prosecutors may take a more aggressive approach on second time DWI charges and could try to charge the accused with jail time. When someone is facing their second DWI charge, the prosecutor is less likely to dismiss the case or reduce the charge to a lesser non-DWI offense and is more likely to try the case. A conviction may lead to a minimum 30 days up to one year in jail.
While the stakes may be higher and preparing the defense could be difficult, an accused person may need to consult a Fort Worth second-offense DWI lawyer. A skilled DWI lawyer could explain your legal options and champion your case.
How Second DWI Offenses are Treated Compared to First Offenses
Prosecutors typically view a second offense DWI as someone with a drinking problem and not an individual having a bad night or making a mistake. Second offense DWI offenses in Fort Worth may be more difficult and demanding regarding the type and length of the sentence than a first offense. There are requirements and conditions may include extended treatment and DWI repeat offender programs. More intensive requirements could involve interlock or optical monitoring devices and higher fines.
The courts treat a second-offense DWI charge more severely than the first DWI charge and are typically stricter in the supervision of a person on probation. The courts may give the defendant time in jail as a condition of probation or a longer sentence in jail than for the first time DWI. Also, conditions could be imposed such as counseling programs, alcohol monitoring, jail time, and close supervision.
Potential Penalties of a Second DWI Offense
When a person is convicted of a second DWI in Tarrant County or in Fort Worth, the punishment could be 30 days up to one year in jail, and up to $4,000 in fines. Probation may be a possibility and is longer and in the two-year range contrary to the one-year range for a first time DWI. The fine for a first DWI is up to $1,000 while a second DWI could be between $1,000 and $4,000. If the person is granted probation, the judge may require a minimum of 15 days in jail as a condition of probation. A second offense DWI attorney could help a Fort Worth defendant understand what penalties authorities might attempt to charge a defendant with.
Does the Amount of Time Between DWI’s Matter?
While there was a concept in the past of a certain time period that passed between the previous and current DWI charges to be a conviction, the time length no longer applies. The length of time between DWIs could still be used against a person to make their subsequent DWI punishment harsher. There were more restrictions in the past for getting an occupational license depending on the length of time between DWIs. Currently, it is possible to get an occupational license in most cases. For more information about an occupational license, reach out to a Fort Worth second-offense DWI lawyer.
Alcohol Education Programs and Counseling
With a second DWI charge, the conditions a convicted person may need to meet could be greater. Individuals may be required to attend a more intensive alcohol education program, which may include the DWI repeat offender program. This program is typically longer than the three-day program for a first time DWI. The individual may be required to have an alcohol monitoring device interlock, home unit, a SCRAM device, or an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet.
Also, someone with a second DWI offense may be required to attend counseling and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They could be sentenced to 15 days in jail or longer as a condition of probation and required to do up to 180 hours of community service. Lawyers may find ways to get a diversion program if they are able to convince the prosecutor to change the offense from a DWI to something else. A Fort Worth second-offense DWI attorney could explain what diversion programs or probations may be available to a defendant.
A Fort Worth Second-Offense DWI Attorney Could Help
If you have been arrested for a DWI for the second time, you may want to obtain a seasoned attorney. A Fort Worth second-offense DWI lawyer has experience handling these types of cases and could fight for you. An attorney could review the facts of the case to determine if the tests were administered correctly, if there were any constitutional issues with the traffic stop or arrest, and other potential issues. Call today and set up a consultation with a dedicated second-offense DWI attorney in Fort Worth.