Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “I went to a party the other night and drank too much. I was arrested later that night and the arrest is my third Texas DUI. Am I going to jail? What other Texas DUI penalties will I face?”
Texas DUI penalties for a third DUI arrest
Like other states, the state of Texas has severe fines and penalties for DUI offenders. This is especially true for anyone they consider a repeat offender. Currently, if you are arrested for a third Texas DUI you will face the following Texas DUI penalties.
License Suspension for180 days up to two years
Prison Term for 2 to 10 years in jail
Mandatory Community service
Fines or Fees, Annual Surcharge of $10,000 or higher
Potential impound or confiscation of your car
Mandatory ignition interlock device installation
Potential alcohol and drug treatment classes
Are you going to jail?
The most common question drivers arrested for drunk driving ask is, “Am I going to jail?” You may not fit the stereotypical picture of a prisoner. In fact, when you think of prison you may only think of violent felons. With increased pressure on lawmakers to pass and enforce tougher DUI laws, and more and more states instituting mandatory jail terms for DUI offenders, especially repeat offenders, if you are arrested for DUI, you may be going to jail.
Whether or not you will face jail time for a DUI in Texas, however, will be determined by the minimum and maximum jail terms established by the state. If the state has established minimum and maximum sentencing guidelines the judge in your DUI case will have little discretion for sentencing. In fact, state laws, not the courts, will decide how much time you will spend in jail.
Jail time is not the only penalty
Drivers often only consider the jail time after a Texas DUI, but they fail to consider that other penalties can also be very severe. For example, drivers may also have lengthy community service requirements, have their license suspended for years, be required to pay hefty annual surcharges, and have to install an ignition interlock device.
Another consequence that most drivers do not consider is that a Texas DUI cannot be expunged from their driving records, making it difficult to get certain jobs, eliminating certain educational opportunities, or making it difficult to find housing.
Finally, one of the most costly consequences of a third Texas DUI is that you may end up paying two to three times more for auto insurance.
Bottom Line for a third time Texas DUI
If you have been arrested for a third Texas DUI you are most likely going to jail for a significant amount of time. Although you may be tempted to simply plead guilty, most drivers should immediately contact a DUI lawyer and discuss their Texas DUI case. This is especially true if they have been convicted for multiple DUIs or if there are aggravating factors surrounding their DUI arrest.
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