In Texas, your first two DWI convictions are usually considered misdemeanors. However, your third DWI conviction is categorized as a third degree felony. It does not matter how long ago you received your first two convictions, they will still count as priors.
If you have been convicted of your third DWI, you may have to pay up to $10,000 in fines. You could also receive anywhere between two years and 10 years of state prison time.
You are also looking at a license suspension of up to two years and annual fee of up to $2,000 for three years in order to keep your license.
You may also be required to participate in a DWI intervention or education program and possibly have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle. The device also has fees associated with its installation and monthly recalibration services.
A violation that resulted in the death of another person
Texas takes DWIs very seriously. If your third DWI charge involved the death of another driver or a passenger, what would have previously been considered intoxication manslaughter could be upgraded to a felony murder charge.
By 2013, seven San Antonio-area cases had received such an upgrade due to local and statewide tactics to keep habitual offenders off of Texas roads.
While the lesser charge of intoxication manslaughter can result in a maximum of 20 years in prison, a conviction of murder is punishable with a life sentence.
A charge for a third DWI offense can be very difficult to negotiate. You may be able to plea bargain for a lesser charge and fewer penalties. For example, you may be able to capitalize on an addiction problem and receive time in a substance abuse facility instead of serving time in prison.
If you have received a DWI in Texas, it is important to understand your options. For advice concerning such a situation, contact an attorney experienced with DWIs.