Most driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Texas are misdemeanors.
While you could face stiff consequences following a DWI conviction, there are only four circumstances in which your DWI becomes a felony in Texas:
- The offender has two or more previous DWI convictions
- There was a child passenger
- There was an accident causing serious bodily injury (i.e., intoxication assault)
- There was an accident causing death (i.e., intoxication manslaughter)
All first and second DWIs in Texas are misdemeanor charges unless one of the above factors apply.
Repeat Offenders With Two or More Convictions
While your first two Texas DWIs are misdemeanor charges, the third and any subsequent charges are third-degree felonies. The consequences of this type of conviction include:
- A fine up to $10,000
- Two to ten years in a state prison
- A driver’s license suspension ranging from 180 days to two years
Unlike many other states, Texas does not have a look-back period for DWI convictions. If you ever had a drunk driving conviction in Texas or any other state, it could count toward enhanced penalties in Texas.
DWI With a Child Passenger
DWI with a child passenger is a felony charge in Texas. If you drive drunk and there is someone under the age of 15in the car, you could face this charge. It does not matter if the child is your son or daughter, another family member, or a friend. This is a type of child endangerment, and the penalties are significant. You could face up to two years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted.
When you cause an accident while driving intoxicated and a passenger in your vehicle or an occupant of another vehicle suffers serious injuries, you could face intoxication assault charges. This type of case relies on:
- You causing the accident
- Your intoxication being a likely causative factor
- Another party suffering serious injuries
A DWI lawyer can help by working to prove any one of these factors is false, which could reduce the charges levied against you. You may also be eligible for probation for DWI.
If you do face a conviction, it is a third-degree felony with a minimum sentence of 30 days, even if the judge probates the rest of your prison time.
Intoxication manslaughteroccurs when you cause an accident while intoxicated and someone dies as a result. Just as with intoxication assault, you must be atfault in the accident, and your intoxication must be the proximate cause of the death.
If convicted, you will be subject to second-degree felony sentencing and required to serve a minimum sentence of 120 days in prison, regardless of probation.
Let Eddington Worley Fight Your Felony DWI Charges
You don’t have to fight felony DWI charges in Texas on your own. Our team can offer support and guidance throughout the process. We can help protectyour rights and building a strong defense strategy based on the facts of your case.
Some examples of ways our DWI lawyers may be able to help include:
- Getting the charges against you dismissed or reduced
- Negotiating a plea deal for a lesser charge
- Clearing your name in court
- Convincing the judge to probate your sentence
Talk to a Texas DWI Defense Attorney About Your Arrest Today
If you or a loved one face a felony DWI charge in Texas, the team from Eddington Worley can help you pursue a more favorable outcome.
We know when a DWI is a felony, and we can help you fight these accusations in court.Call us today at 855-508-9785 for a free consultation.