DWI 3rd+ Offense in Texas

DWI 3rd or more in Texas

After two DWI convictions, a third DWI offense (habitual DWI) is a Third Degree Felony. The maximum fine is $10,000.00, and the maximum prison sentence is 10 years in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) penitentiary. A conviction for this offense is permanent, requires a 10-day jail sentence, even if probation is granted, and results in a driver license suspension, as well as other serious, collateral consequences that come with being a convicted felon.

  • Is a Third DWI charge a felony in Texas? Yes. Even if a person received deferred adjudication for their first DWI, and was only convicted of a subsequent DWI, the third DWI charge will be classified as a felony.
  • Do convictions over 10 years old count for a DWI 3rd? Yes. All prior convictions, no matter how old, may be used as the basis for enhancement.
  • Do out of State convictions count for felony DWI in Texas? Yes. Out of state convictions may be used as the basis for enhancement.

What Happens After Third DWI Defense in Texas?

Everyone arrested in Texas is eligible to be released on bond. Third offense DWI charges come with higher bail amounts and more stringent conditions of release. All felony cases in Texas must be indicted by a Grand Jury before the State may begin prosecution. Each district clerk’s office has their own procedures for notifying defendants of their court date. It is critical to never miss a court appearance while facing a DWI in Texas. Learn more. 

  • How much is bail for a DWI 3rd in Texas? A magistrate judge may set bail at any amount they choose, after considering factors like community safety and the likelihood of the defendant appearing in court. Typically bond for a Third Degree Felony, like DWI 3rd, is $10,000.00 or more.
  • What are bond conditions for DWI 3rd? The installation of deep lung devices that measure blood alcohol concentration (BAC), like an ignition interlock device, are required by law in all vehicles a person has access to operate. Additional conditions like drug testing, travel restrictions, and frequent pretrial reporting may be required as well.

DWI 3rd Offense Consequences

  • Can you go to prison for felony DWI 3rd in Texas? Yes. The maximum prison sentence for a DWI 3rd is 10 years in Texas. A third (or more) DWI is classified as a Third Degree Felony. While first-time DWI offenders can seek some leniency, the penalties for a third offense reflect the severity of Texas law.A conviction for a third DWI will result in a prison sentence of no less than 2 years and no more than 10 years. Even if probation is granted, all Defendants convicted of DWI 3rd or more in Texas are required to serve a minimum of ten days in jail as part of any plea agreement. This 10-day jail sentence cannot be waived or probated.
  • Can you get probation for DWI 3rd in Texas? Yes. Everyone charged with DWI 3rd in Texas is eligible to make an application for probation, or as it is more commonly known as Community Supervision. Probation can be granted for a period of up to 10 years. In the event probation is granted, the 10-day jail sentence must still be served by law.It is important to note, however, that the decision to grant a defendant probation is entirely within the discretion of a judge or jury. It’s not a guarantee, and in many cases, it’s an absolute longshot.
  • How much does a 3rd DWI cost? It’s impossible to calculate the cost of a conviction for a DWI 3rd offense in Texas. In addition to attorney’s fees, court costs, and up to $10,000.00 in fines, a felony DWI conviction comes with a two-year driver license suspension and increased insurance rates. The lost wages from being incarcerated and/or classified as a convicted felon can be staggering. Housing, government benefit eligibility and other constitutional rights are also negatively impacted.


Trey Porter is a dynamic advocate, nationally recognized for his work in DWI Defense. He has been voted by his peers as a best lawyer in the field of Criminal and DWI Defense every year since 2015. Recognized by SuperLawyers, Mr. Porter has also been distinguished as a Top 40 Under 40 Criminal Defense Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Porter holds a Superb rating from AVVO, where attorneys are rated based on skillful litigation, client satisfaction, peer endorsements, and positive results. Learn more.

DWI 3rd+ Offense in Texas FAQs; Knowledge is power. Get honest answers now.

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    Read More Reviews





    Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.



    Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.



    Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.


    DWI 2nd

    Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.



    Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.



    Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.

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    The stakes are high. Criminal charges can have devastating, lifelong consequences. During the free, confidential consultation, Mr. Porter will answer questions surrounding your legal matter, and discuss and identify potential defenses.

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