In the State of Texas, we take drinking and driving very seriously. The blood-alcohol limit for drivers of privately owned vehicles is .08% and .04% for drivers with a commercial driver’s license. If you’ve been arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), even if it is your first offense, you can still be charged with a felony. There are several factors that determine whether your DWI charge will result in a misdemeanor or a felony in Texas.
Your first DWI offense in Texas may result in misdemeanor, and carry additional consequences in the form of fines, license suspension, and even jail time. The second offense carries a chance of a much longer sentence, as well as increased fines, and a longer license suspension. The third DWI offense in Texas automatically becomes a felony that carries a 3rd degree felony charge, a fine of up to $10,000, two to ten years in jail, and a license suspension of up to two years.
When you endanger the lives of others, the punishment becomes more severe. When you are arrested for DWI with a minor under the age of 15 in your vehicle, you are automatically charged with a state jail felony, where you will be sentenced from 180 days to two years in a Texas state jail, and be assessed a fine of up to $10,000. In addition, your license may be suspended from 90 days to as long as two years. This penalty applies even if you have no other traffic convictions.
In the event that your DWI arrest stems from a traffic accident, the consequences become more serious. Being involved in an accident that results in serious injury to your passengers, or persons in another vehicle means being charged with “intoxicated assault” and brings with it a 3rd degree felony charge, suspension of your license from 180 days to two years, a fine of up to $10,000.00, and a sentence of two to ten years in jail. If the accident results in death, you will be charged with “intoxication manslaughter” which carries a 2nd degree felony, license suspension, the incarceration and fees associated with intoxicated assault, as well as 160 to 600 hours of community service.
These are all very serious charges, and you shouldn’t try to navigate the court system on your own. An experienced DWI attorney will help formulate your best defense and represent you each step of the way. Contact Dorman Bell, LLP at 214.736.7168 today to consult with a skilled and knowledgeable DWI attorney.