DWI 2nd Offense in Texas

Attorney Trey Porter
Trey Porter

DWI 2nd Offense in Texas

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The penalties for a second DWI offense (DWI-Repeat Offender) are severe. In Texas, a DWI second offense is a Class A Misdemeanor. The maximum fine is $6,000.00, and the maximum jail sentence is 12 months. A conviction for this offense is permanent, requires a 3-day jail sentence (even if probation is granted), and results in a driver’s license suspension.

An ignition interlock device is a requirement of bond for all DWI 2nd charges. This means that as a condition of release from jail, a person must agree to install a deep lung device in all accessible vehicles.

DWI charges can be enhanced by certain factors. These enhancements result in harsher penalties, including longer terms of incarceration, thousands of dollars in fines, and the loss of basic constitutional rights. Learn more.

  • Can an old DWI conviction be used for enhancement? Yes. There is no limit to how old a prior conviction may be to be used for enhancement purposes. Out of state convictions may be used as the basis for enhancement as well.
  • How can a dismissed DWI be used for enhancement? A person can be charged with DWI 2nd, even if the first DWI charge was dismissed. With the passage of Texas House Bill 3582, first-time DWI offenders are now eligible to apply for Deferred Adjudication. While Deferred Adjudication can be a good opportunity for certain people, a DWI Deferred Adjudication will serve as a conviction for enhancement purposes in Texas. Learn more.

Can a DWI Second Offense be Dismissed in Texas?

Yes. DWI 2nd cases are dismissed every day in courtrooms across Texas. If you are facing a DWI second offense in San Antonio, the stakes are high. The State is not going to “take it easy” just because a DWI 2nd is a misdemeanor. That’s why it is critical to fight, assert constitutional defenses, and do everything possible to avoid a final conviction and a mandatory jail sentence. 

  • Can a DWI 2nd be dismissed for a bad traffic stop? Yes. Police officers are often wrong about the law. If a judge determines the underlying reason for a traffic stop was erroneous, then everything following the stop will be excluded. Without additional aggravating factors, a bad traffic stop results in a DWI dismissal.
  • Can a DWI 2nd be dismissed for lack of probable cause? Yes. All DWI cases will be dismissed if a judge finds the arresting officer lacked probable cause. Officers are trained to look for signs of impairment during traffic stops. Absent signs of impairment or intoxication, an arrest will be invalidated, and the DWI dismissed.

What Happens with DWI 2nd in Texas?

After being arrested for DWI, the defendants see a magistrate judge. The magistrate judge sets a bond amount and decides whether there will be additional conditions of release. For DWI Second cases, defendants are required to install a monitoring device in all vehicles they own. 

  • What should I do after a DWI 2nd arrest? After an arrest for a second DWI, it’s critical to immediately request an administrative hearing to avoid a driver’s license suspension. You only have 15 days. Learn more.
  • Can a DWI 2nd charge be reduced? Yes. A DWI charge that is enhanced because of a previous conviction may be reduced. Reducing a DWI 2nd to a DWI is a difficult task, however, and can only be done through plea bargaining.

What are the Consequences of a DWI 2nd in Texas?

DWI Second offense is a Class A Misdemeanor in Texas. The maximum fine is $6,000.00, but the actual cost is much higher when court costs and probation fees and expenses are factored in. 

  • Is jail mandatory for DWI 2nd? In Texas, jail is only mandatory if convicted for DWI 2nd. There is no mandatory period of time when arrested. A person arrested for DWI in San Antonio or anywhere else in Texas is eligible to be released on bond. Learn more.
  • How long can you go to jail for DWI Second Offense? The maximum jail sentence is 12 months. Texas law requires a 3-day jail sentence even if probation is granted.
  • Is a 2nd DWI a felony in Texas? No. A second offense DWI is a Misdemeanor in Texas. However, if you have a DWI conviction from another State, your second DWI charge in Texas will be classified as a Third Degree Felony. Learn more.

Probation for Second DWI in Texas

Everyone charged with DWI 2nd in Texas is eligible to make an application for probation. Probation, or community supervision, as it’s commonly called, is a far superior alternative to incarceration in county jail. 

  • How long is probation for a DWI 2nd? The maximum period of probation for a DWI 2nd is 24 months. Defendants sentenced to probation for a DWI offense in Texas are not eligible to petition for early termination. Learn more.
  • How long does a DWI 2nd stay on your record? Forever. A conviction for DWI 2nd in Texas is permanent. Defendants facing a DWI 2nd charge are not eligible to apply for Deferred Adjudication. There are only three outcomes for a second offense DWI in Texas: acquittal (winning at trial), dismissal, or conviction.


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.

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Attorney Trey Porter

Trey Porter

Trey Porter is one of the highest-rated criminal defense attorneys in Texas. Nationally recognized, Mr. Porter relentlessly fights to protect and assert his clients’ constitutional rights in and out of courtrooms across the state.


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