First DWI – Class B Misdemeanor
- Jail: Confinement in the county jail for not less than 72 hours or more than 180 days.
- Probation: Not more than 24 months.
- Fine: Up to $2,000.
If an open container was found in the vehicle or in your possession when you were arrested, the minimum term of confinement is six (6) days in the county jail.
Second DWI – Class A Misdemeanor
- Jail: Confinement in the Lubbock County Jail for not less than 30 days or more than 365 days.
- Probation: Not more than 24 months.
- Fine: Up to $4,000.
Felony DWI – Third Degree
- Prison: Confinement in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for not more than 10 years or not less than 2 years.
- Probation: Not more than 10 years or less than 2 years.
- Fine: Up to $10,000.
Misdemeanor DWI Probation
Unless there is an extreme situation or dangerous and severe facts, most first time and even second time DWI convictions result in probation. Probation can last up to 24 months, and many West Texas counties only offer probation for 24 months. You must know that a SINGLE violation of probation can result in a revocation and a jail sentence being imposed.
Common Lubbock County Probation Conditions
You will be ordered to report on a monthly basis to your assigned probation officer. Failure to report is the quickest way to find yourself behind bars. Judges in Lubbock County and in West Texas take very few excuses when it comes to non-reporting. Even if you cannot pay the fees or have other issues, communicate with your probation officer and always report.
Texas law mandates that you perform a minimum of 24 hours and a maximum of 100 hours of community service if placed on misdemeanor probation. Community service hours in Lubbock courts range from 24 hours to 80 hours.
Jail time can be rare for a first offense DWI unless the offender chooses that as an option if pleading guilty. For a second time offense, jail time may be more likely.
Court Costs and Fines
You will pay court costs which are approximately $300-$400. These can be paid through probation on a monthly basis. Fines are very common in Lubbock and West Texas Counties. There is no set amount, but the amount is typically determined by the facts of your case. Fines typically increase for second offenses.
You are required by Texas law to install an interlock device for one half of the time you are on probation. In order to start your car, you have to blow into the device, and if it detects a certain amount of alcohol, it will not let you start your car. Some devices require you to blow into it every 20 minutes the car is being driven. This is NOT discretionary with first DWI’s, but is mandatory as a condition of probation, and as a requirement of your bond. For instance, if a Texas Tech student is placed on probation for DWI in Lubbock County for a period of 24 months, that student will be required to install an interlock device on his/her vehicle for 12 months.
Alcohol and/or Drug Evaluations
You may be evaluated to see if you have an alcohol or drug problem. This evaluation can be ordered by the Court or at the discretion of your probation officer. You could also be ordered to attend AA meetings as a condition of your probation, regardless of the results of your evaluation.
Alcohol and/or drug consumption is NOT allowed while on probation.
Lubbock County imposes a curfew on all probationers. Arrangements may be made with the individual probation officer if a person works nights or their job conflicts with the curfew.
Alcohol Offender program (AOP)
Within 180 days of being placed on probation, you will have to pay for and successfully complete an approved course. If you fail to do so within 180 days, your driver’s license will automatically be suspended for 1 year. If you were a minor at the time of the DWI, your license will automatically be suspended for 1 year as a result of the conviction, and you will still be ordered to complete this course.
Victim Impact Panel
This course is often presented victims programs such as M.A.D.D or other organizations. Often the attendees will hear victims of drunk driving and DWI speak and tell their story of how their lives were adversely affected by DWI. The hope is that attendees will be educated and not drink and drive in the future. Many times attendees express that the VIP class was the most rewarding part of probation.
You will be ordered to maintain stable and suitable employment during probation. If you do not have a job, the probation department will monitor your efforts and assist you in finding work. Classes are often provided to assist probationers in obtaining a GED or other valuable training to help probationers find jobs. If you do have a job a probation officer can visit you at your place of employment at anytime.
Commit No Crimes
Obviously, do not commit any other crimes. Any violation of the law can result in your probation being revoked. I have never heard of someone having their probation revoked for a simple speeding ticket (excluding a reckless driving charge as a result) or for failing to use their turn signal (Class “C” traffic violation). But Class “C” Public Intoxication could more likely result in your probation being revoked.
If you are a resident of Lubbock you can be ordered to stay within Lubbock County and the State of Texas. You will have to get permission from your probation officer before leaving the County for an extended period of time. If you are not from Lubbock, you must get permission from the Court to have your probation transferred and it is the Court’s decision whether to grant that transfer.
Probation charges a monthly fee. The fee ranges from $40-$60 per visit.
You may be compelled to give a breath, blood or urine sample to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs. This is at your probation officers discretion.
The Judge has the authority to ban you from any establishment that sells alcohol, all bars, night clubs, saloons, or restaurant.
Intense Supervision and Electronic Monitoring
It is not common, but Judges can impose intense supervision on a probationer and require you to submit to electronic monitoring. You will be forced to wear a device around your ankle (ankle monitor) and the device will monitor if and when you are home as required by the terms of your probation. If you are not at your home during the specified periods of time, you could have your probation revoked.
How We Can Help
If probation is granted, you will be given an Order setting all you terms and conditions of probation that apply to your specific case. You must comply with each and every term and condition; otherwise, you could end up in jail.
PP&T will fight to help you avoid conviction and probation, but realizing that should you face these consequences, you need someone that knows how the system works to help your probation run as smoothly as possible.