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15110 N. Dallas Pkwy, #400
Dallas, TX  75248

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With a 91% success rate on cases announced for trial since 2002, our attorneys are prepared to fight hard in your name.

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DWI Penalties

If you have been charged with a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense in Dallas, you could face very serious criminal penalties if convicted, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Jail or prison sentences,
  • Steep fines,
  • Surcharges for years after a DWI conviction,
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a lengthy time period,
  • Community service hours,
  • Required attendance at an approved alcohol or drug education program,
  • Court costs,
  • Fees
  • A driver’s license suspension,
  • Hefty fees for reinstating a license, and/or
  • A possible permanent criminal record.

In addition to the criminal consequences an individual can face for a DWI conviction, secondary repercussions can include loss of certain rights, including the loss of the right to own or possess a gun, the right to hold public office, and the right to vote for felony offenses. Additionally, DWI offenders may be prevented from pursuing occupations or professional licenses, such as doctors and lawyers. Certain governmental assistance may also be unavailable for certain DWI offenders, including student financial aid and public housing.

Dallas DWI Penalties Lawyer

If you have been charged with a DWI offense in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Irving, Grand Prairie, Denton, Plano, McKinney,Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.

Any DWI offense could result in serious penalties and repercussions. Hiring an experienced Dallas DWI lawyer is your best defense to avoiding the harshest punishments. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your alleged DWI offense.


Dallas DWI Penalties Information Center


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Dallas DWI Charges

If an individual operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, they can be charged with a DWI under Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.04. An individual is considered intoxicated if they have consumed enough alcohol, drugs or a combination of both to impair their ability to use their normal mental and physical functions. A person can also be charged with a DWI if they have a blood alcohol level over .08. If this is a first offense, the individual can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor offense.

Other DWI offenses can include:

  • Second DWI Offense – This offense is generally punishable as a Class A misdemeanor.
  • Third or subsequent DWI offense – This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the third degree.
  • DWI with a Child Passenger – This offense is generally punishable as a state jail felony.
  • Flying While Intoxicated – This offense is generally punishable as a Class B misdemeanor.
  • Boating While Intoxicated – This offense is generally punishable as a Class B misdemeanor.
  • Intoxication Assault – This offense is generally punishable as either a felony of the third or second degree.
  • Intoxication Manslaughter – This offense is generally punishable as either a felony of the second or first degree.

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DWI Jail or Prison Sentences

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code provides maximum and minimum jail and prison sentences for misdemeanor and felony driving while intoxicated offenses. The following is a list of the minimum and maximum statutory suggested imprisonment for each degree of DWI conviction:

  • Class B Misdemeanor – 72 hours to 180 days in jail,
  • Class A Misdemeanor – 30 days to one year in jail,
  • State Jail Felony – 180 days to two years in jail,
  • Felony of the Third Degree – two to ten years in prison,
  • Felony of the Second Degree – two years to 20 years in prison, and
  • Felony of the First Degree – five years to 99 years or life in prison.

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Fines for DWI in Dallas

Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code provides maximum statutory fines for driving while intoxicated offenses. All felony DWI offenses can result in a maximum fine of $10,000.

Class A misdemeanor felony offenses can incur a fine up to $4,000 and Class B misdemeanor offenses can result in a fine not more than $2,000. Although these are the maximum fines an individual can pay for a DWI conviction, the court may impose additional fines, fees and costs for various reasons.


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Texas Ignition Interlock Device Installation

An ignition interlock device prevents an individual from driving their vehicle if they have any detectable amount of alcohol in their breath. The machine is similar to a breathalyzer, where the driver must blow into the machine to determine the driver’s breath alcohol concentration. The driver must not have any alcohol in their breath to start the car’s ignition. Many ignition interlock devices will also periodically require the driver to pull their car over and blow into the machine to determine if they have consumed any alcohol while driving.

Under Tex, Penal Code 49.09(h), Texas law requires any person who has been charged with a second or subsequent DWI within five years of the previous DWI offense to install and maintain a “deep-lung” air device, or ignition interlock device, on any car they own or operate. Many courts will also impose an ignition interlock device installation for other DWI offenses or when an individual is on probation for a DWI offense.

An individual who is required to have an ignition interlocking device on their car will also be required to pay fees to calibrate or maintain the machine each month. If they do not install the device, or do not install the device within the required time period, the driver may face additional penalties.


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Driver’s License Suspensions for DWI in Dallas

If an individual has been charged with a DWI in Texas, their driver’s license can be suspended under Tex. Transp. Code § 521.344. The suspension cannot begin before the date of conviction and no later than the 30th day after conviction. The following are the statutory driver’s license suspensions for DWI offenses:

  • First DWI offenses – 90 days to one year
  • Second or subsequent DWI offenses – 180 days to two years
  • Second or subsequent DWI offenses within five years of the preceding offense – one to two years
  • Second or subsequent DWI Assault within five years – 90 days to one plus an additional one year
  • First DWI manslaughter – 180 days to two years
  • Second or subsequent DWI manslaughter within ten years – one to two years
  • Under 21 DWI – one year

If an individual does not successfully complete an alcohol education program required by the court, their license can be suspended until the program has been successfully completed.


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Surcharges for Dallas DWI Offenses

Under the Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 708.102, individuals who have been convicted of certain offenses relating to driving while intoxicated offenses are required to pay surcharges on their driver’s license.

Surcharges are an administrative fee paid to the Texas Department of Public Safety for certain convictions as reported in the individual’s driving record.

If an individual has been finally convicted of a DWI offense within the preceding three years, they will have to pay a surcharge every year for a period of three years.

Most DWI offenses will be assessed a surcharge for $1,000 per year for a period of three years. However, a second or subsequent DWI conviction within three years of the preceding offense will be $1,500 per year, and if the DWI offender had a high alcohol concentration level of .16 or more, they will be required to pay a $2,000 surcharge for three years.


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DWI Penalty Resources in Dallas

Texas Constitution and Statutes – This link is to chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines the penalties for misdemeanor and felony DWI offenses throughout Dallas.

Texas Constitution and Statutes – This link is to section 708.102 of the Texas Transportation Code, which pertains to surcharges for certain DWI offenses, including the amount of the surcharges and offenses that can result in surcharges.

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles – The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website contains information about driver’s license suspensions, SR-22 forms and options to reinstate a driver’s license. A Dallas County regional service center is located at:

1925 E. Beltline Rd., Suite 100
Carrollton, Texas 75006
Phone: (972) 417-0884

Texas Department of Public Safety – Driver Responsibility Program – This website provides information on the surcharges assessed each year for individuals who have been convicted of a DWI offense in Texas. A Dallas DPS office is located at:

Southwest Dallas DPS
5610 Red Bird Center Drive, Ste. 500
Dallas, Texas 75237
Phone: (214) 330-3958

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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth DUI Penalties Attorney

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your DWI charges throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced Dallas DUI defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the harshest punishments and consequences to your alleged DWI offense.

Call (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged DWI throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County, and Tarrant County.


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