On October 29, 2019, in Humble, TX, John Greco was arrested at the scene of a car accident facing his fifth DWI charge. When police arrived on the scene, they noticed right away that the driver showed signs of intoxication and administered field sobriety tests. A search of Greco’s record revealed he had DWI convictions in 1996, 1998, 2007, and 2010. Because Greco is what Texas considers a “habitual felon” and has “three strikes,” he could be sentenced to up to 99 years in state prison.
While the disposition of his case is unknown, the fact that the judge refused to set bail is a good indicator that Greco indeed faced a stiff punishment.
Each DWI that a driver incurs merits a more serious penalty in Texas. Here is what state law calls for:
If a Texan doesn’t learn after two DWI convictions to drive sober, the penalties become quite severe. Texas is a state with “three strikes” laws in place. This law essentially says that if a criminal can not be rehabilitated after two felony convictions, it is better to focus on punishing rather than rehabilitating. Because a third, fourth, and fifth DWI are going to be felonies, a 5th DWI in Texas can trigger three strike penalties.
Three strikes legislation aims to keep career criminals behind bars. If someone meets the criteria for three strike penalties to be imposed, the minimum prison term is 25 years. A judge can award a life sentence based on the three-strikes rule. Greco would not have committed his fourth DWI in 2010, for example, if the judge in his 2007 DWI had imposed a three-strike penalty of 25 years in prison.
A first or second DWI can be a felony if:
As San Marcos, Texas, criminal defense lawyers, Mendoza Law has defended against hundreds of DWI charges. Our friendly, experienced, and talented team can help you make fair plea bargains or fight the charges in court. Schedule a free legal consultation with us to see how we can help.
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