Written by attorney Mark Travis Lassiter

Jail Time For DWI Convictions

If you are convicted of a DWI in Texas you normally will have the choice of either taking probation for a specified period of time or serving time in jail. If you choose the latter this article will address how much time you could be potentially be facing. This article also addresses whether a person will face a minimum amount of jail time even with an order granting probation.

1) First offense DWI:

Class B Misdemeanor - There is a mandatory period of 72 uninterrupted hours of jail time. However, the punishment range of what you could serve is from those 72 hours (3 days) up to 180 days. For this offense a person may usually obtain probation without having to spend any time in jail.

2) Second offense DWI:

Class A Misdemeanor - The minimum jail time is 30 days and ranges to one year. Generally speaking a person can usually obtain a probation sentence for this offense however, if convicted of a DWI 2nd you will face time in jail even with a probated sentence. You will have to spend 72 uninterrupted hours in the county jail as a condition of being granted probation. If you are convicted of a DWI 2nd within 5 years of being convicted of a DWI 1st you must spend 5 days in the county jail as a condition of probation.

3) Third offense DWI:

3rd Degree Felony - .A jail sentence can range from 2 to 10 years of imprisonment. If you elect probation, you will still have to serve a minimum of 10 days in the county jail as a condition of probation.

4) DWI with an open alcohol container (first offense):

Class B Misdemeanor – Even though this is considered to be a Class B Misdemeanor along with a DWI first offense conviction, the law requires a minimum jail term of six days if the Defendant had an open container of alcohol in his or her immediate possession at the time of the arrest. However, probation can usually be attained avoiding any jail time.

5) DWI with an accident where serious bodily injury because of the intoxication:

Intoxication Assault (3rd Degree Felony) – This jail sentence has a minimum of 2 years up to a maximum of 10 years in jail. If you receive probation for this crime you will still have to serve 30 days in the county jail as a condition of probation.

6) DWI where a death has occurred because of the intoxication:

Intoxicated Manslaughter or Manslaughter with use of Deadly Weapon (2nd Degree Felonies) – Theses crimes are extremely serious. If convicted you may face imprisonment from 2 to 20 years. Even with probation a mandatory 120 days in the county jail is required.

7) DWI with a child passenger:

State Jail Felony – A person commits a state jail felony if they drive while intoxicated and there is another person in the vehicle who is under 15 years of age. The range for a possible jail sentence is confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than 2 years or less than 180 days. There is no minimum jail sentence if you receive probation for this offense.

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