It's true that the state of Texas has particularly harsh
DWI penalties. For many accused, this mean the fines, fees, possible jail time, and
other measures have high maximums, even for first-time offenders. What
many don't realize that this is also because Texas courts can hand
down repeat offender consequences more frequently than other states. This
is possible due to Texas' lack of a DWI "lookback" period.
What's a "lookback" period? In other states, these periods
of time into the past limit when DWI convictions can count against the
accused. So, for example, let's say a client was charged with a DWI
in 2015 and has prior DWI convictions in 2011 and 1998 in a state that
has a 10-year lookback period. In this example, the 2015 charge would
only count as the client's second DWI because the 1998 charge was
older than 10 years old.
Basically, these lookback laws make it so that DWI convictions can "age
out" from being considered when determining a repeat offense. They
make it so that older DWI offenses can be "forgiven" and that
the accused in a DWI case is judged solely of their recent driving history.
Unfortunately for Texans, there is no such limit on the court's view
of their driving history when they are accused of drunk driving.
Texas' Indefinite Lookback Period
For all Texas drivers, any DWI conviction in their lifetime can count against
them if they happen to be arrested for DWI again. That means it's
not common for older drivers to be convicted of a repeat DWI offense because
of a simple lapse in judgment they made decades ago—sometimes as
Texas' indefinite lookback period allows DWI charges to quickly snowball
into serious consequences. It only takes three DWI convictions to be considered
a felony and proven defense counsel is needed to fight each of these charges
both in and outside the courtroom. Our dedicated and tough Houston DWI
defense attorney at
The Law Office of Jason Luong, PLLC is a former prosecutor who knows how these DWI cases are charged and processed
in our court system. We've helped countless clients counter these
accusations against them and move on from their case with as few consequences
Want to learn more about how we can help you challenge your DWI charge?
Contact us today to request a
free case evaluation.