Texas Penalties for DWI Convictions | Harris County DWI Lawyer | DUI Defense Attorney

Getting charged with a DWI / DUI offense is a very serious charge in the state of Texas. A conviction on your criminal record will be accompanied with severe penalties, including:

  1. Jail time;
  2. Fines;
  3. Court fees;
  4. Alcohol and drug awareness programs;
  5. The installation of an ignition interlock device;
  6. Rehabilitative treatment; and/or
  7. Community service or other probationary terms set by the judge.

Besides costing you thousands of dollars, the penalties of a DWI / DUI in Texas can last forever if you are in fact convicted. DWI / DUI laws are purposefully complex, so you should consult with a Houston DWI / DUI attorney as soon as possible to avoid these consequences.

How much Bail Bond can I expect to pay if I am arrested in Harris County for a DWI / DUI offense? 

If you are arrested and charged with a DWI or DUI in Houston after your vehicle is stopped by a Harris County Law Enforcement Officer you will be able to post bail some time after being placed in a Harris County jail. If you do not post bail, then you will probably  be transferred to another facility in Harris County until your assigned trial date.


There are two methods of posting bail in Harris County:

  1. An individual can choose to hire a Harris County bail bondsman, who guarantees the presence of the individual on a specified court date -  Hiring a Bail Bondsman is often the fastest way to get out of Harris County Jails, however they will charge anywhere from 10% to 15% of the bond amount and require you to provide collateral in exchange for their services. 
  2. An individual can pay the amount of the bond in full to the Harris County Bonding Office, which is eventually returned after the completion of the court hearings minus an administrative fee - Paying the bail bond out of pocket can be challenging since you have to be able to provide the cash upfront and the cash can take several weeks to return after the case is over, this method can be less costly over the long term since it is all returned but the administrative fee. All Bail Bond payments must be paid at:

Harris County Bonding Office
49 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
Telephone: (713) 755-8040


A Houston Criminal DUI Defense Lawyer can assist you in getting bonded out

If you are arrested for a DWI or DUI charge in Harris County and are required to pay bond, the Bail Bond amount will be determined by whether your are facing Felony DWI charges, Class A Misdemeanor Charges, or Class B Misdemeanor Charges. The Harris County Bail Bond Schedule has predetermined the amount of Bail that will be required based on the level of charges that you are facing. 

If you have been charged with Felony DWI or DUI charges, then you will be tried in the Harris County Criminal District Court.  If you are arrested for a Houston DWI / DUI felony offense, you could expect the following Bail Bond amounts including: 

Felony Offense

Bail Amount

Felony DWI's not specified below $10,000
Felony DWI with previous Felony DWI conviction Double the bond amount for each previous DWI Conviction
If you are charged with a Felony DWI while out on bail for a previous Felony conviction No Bail Bond Amount
If you are out of jail on Felony Probation, and charged with a Felony DWI  No Bail Bond Amount

If you have been charged with a Houston DWI or DUI Misdemeanor Offense, then you will be tried in the Harris County Criminal Court at Law. If you are charged with a Misdemeanor Offense, then you can expect the following Bail Bond amounts:

Misdemeanor Offense

Bail Amount

First DWI Offense  $500
Subsequent DWI Misdemeanor Offense $2,500 plus $1,000 for each prior DWI conviction not to exceed $5,000
Any DWI or DUI offense committed while an individual is on bond, community supervision, or parole. $5,000


Bail Bondsmen in Houston, Harris County, Texas

Houston, Harris County, Texas Bonding Companies
Bail Bonds Houston
945 Mckinney
Houston, TX 77002 
Bada Bing Bail Bonds
803 W 20th St
Houston, TX 77008
Harris County Bail
1223 Prairie
Houston, TX 77002
Las Vegas & Godfather's
1112 Wood
Houston, TX 77002
713- 224-3600
1404 Congress St 
Houston, TX 77002
Set Em Free Bail Bonds
3206 Houston
Houston, TX 77009
Bay Area Bail Bonds
1219 1/2 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058 
A Bail Out Service
6508 Taggart Street
Houston, TX 77007 
Allout Bail Bonds
5225 Katy Freeway
Houston, Texas 77007 
Lone Star Company
1420 Washington
Houston, TX 77002
Woodard's Bail Bonds
6108 Tidwell Road
Houston, TX 77016
Alamo Thrifty Bail Bonds
1917 North Main Street
Houston, TX 77009


Some Houston DWI lawyers prefer to use BailBonds Companies they are familiar with - So Contact a Houston Defense Lawyer first - If You Can


What is the Harris County Prosecutor required to prove in order to find an individual guilty of a DWI / DUI? 

Under Texas DWI law, in order to sustain a charge for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), the Harris County Prosecutor must prove (1) that the suspect was operating a motor vehicle (2) while intoxicated (3) in a public place. "Intoxicated" is defined as not having normal use of your mental or physical faculties as a result of alcohol and/or drug consumption, or alternatively that you have a BAC of .08 or higher (per se DWI). 

How does a Harris County judge determine the penalties for a DWI / DUI conviction?

If the Harris County Prosecutor does meet his/her burden of proof and you are convicted, then either the Harris County Criminal District Court or the Harris County Criminal Court at Law will impose a variety of criminal penalties based on the classification of the offense. They will look at whether you previously have been convicted of a DWI / DUI offense, and whether your case involved any aggravating factors. The table below will provide you with a quick overview of the Harris County penalty guidelines and ranges that could be applied if you are in fact convicted. However the judges have, within their discretion, the ability to allow some sort of probation or alternate sentences. 

Harris County Penalties for DWI / DUI Related Offenses

Conviction Offense Level Range of Jail Time License Suspension Period Maximum Fines
First DWI Class B Misdemeanor 72 hours - 180 days 90 days - 1 year Up to $2,000
Second DWI Class A misdemeanor 30 days - 1 year 180 days - 2 years Up to $4,000
Open Container Enhancement for First DWI Class B misdemeanor 6 days - 180 days 90 days - 1 year Up to $2,000
Third or Multiple DWI Third Degree Felony 2 years - 10 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice Facility 180 days - 2 years Up to $10,000
DWI with a child passenger under age 15 State Jail Felony 6 months - 2 years in State Jail Facility 90 days - 1 year Up to $10,000
Intoxication Assault Third Degree Felony 2 years - 10 years in Texas Department of Criminal Justice Facility 180 days - 2 years Up to $10,0000
Intoxication Manslaughter Second Degree Felony 2 years - 10 years in Texas Department of Corrections 180 days - 2 years Up to $10,000

To learn more about the penalty schemes and probationary terms for the various alcohol related offenses, please click on one of the links below. 

To learn more about DUI penalties upon a conviction for a minor under age 21, please see the DUI Drivers Under 21 section to learn more. 

Houston DUI Lawyers serve the Greater Houston Area

The Houston DUI criminal defense attorneys on this page can represent you in all matters involving your DUI charge, including: DUI Arrest, An Administrative License Suspension (ALS), The Houston Texas Divert program, Chemical testing procedures, Texas DUI Laws, Houston DWI offense, and stop and arrest information. Serving clients throughout Southeast Texas, including Aldine, Baytown, Bellaire, Beaumont, Channelview, Cloverleaf, Conroe, Deer Park, Friendswood, Galena Park, Galveston, Hedwig Village, Highlands, Hilshire Village, Humble, Jacinto City, Katy, League City, Magnolia, Mission Bend, Missouri City, Pasadena, Pearland, Porter, Sealy, South Houston, Spring Valley, Stafford, The Meadows, The Woodlands, Waller and West University.

When you need someone in your corner, a Houston DWI lawyer will fight for you. Call now to speak with an experienced Houston DUI criminal defense attorney today.