In Texas, everything is bigger, including DWI penalties for habitual offenders. Recently, a Houston man was sentenced to life in prison after his ninth drunk driving conviction. And that wasn't the first life sentence handed out for DWIs this year. In February, another habitual offender from Texas was given life in prison after his tenth conviction.
A first arrest can lead to jail time
These examples are obviously extreme, but they do illustrate how seriously the state of Texas takes drunk driving. A first offense could land a driver in jail for 3 to 180 days, while a third offense might cost up to $10,000 and between two and 10 years in state prison.
Even first-time offenders aren't exempt from serving real jail time. Often, first-time DWI offenders don't have much of a criminal history, if any, and are unaware of how the legal system truly works. If arrested, the most important thing to do is to call an attorney for help.
Asking the right questions
A seasoned Texas DWI defense attorney will thoroughly investigate and ask important questions. Did the police officer have a valid reason to pull you over? Was the breathalyzer test administered appropriately? These are just a few of the factors an experienced lawyer will scrutinize.
A DWI criminal defense attorney knows the ins and outs of the legal system the way most people don't. This is even more crucial for repeat offenders because, as two Texans recently learned, Texas doesn't take repeat drunk driving offenses lightly.