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When Is Driving While Intoxicated a Felony in Texas?

While a DWI charge is a serious matter that can seriously affect your future, if the charge is a felony, the stakes are far higher. If you’re facing a DWI felony charge – or any DWI charge – you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced Gatesville criminal defense attorney in your corner.

A DWI Felony Charge

A DWI charge typically will not reach the level of a felony unless it is at least a third offense, but there are circumstances in which even a first offense will suffice.

Intoxication Assault

If someone who is driving while intoxicated injures someone else on the road, he or she can face a third-degree felony charge for intoxication assault. A conviction carries 2 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

Intoxication Manslaughter

If someone who is driving while intoxicated kills someone else on the road, he or she can face the second-degree felony charge of intoxication manslaughter. A conviction carries 2 to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

DWI with Child Passenger

If someone who is driving while intoxicated has a child passenger in the car upon arrest, he or she can face the charge of DWI with Child Passenger, which is a state jail felony. A conviction carries from 180 days to 2 years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.

Third DWI Offense

If someone is facing a DWI offense that is at least the driver’s third, he or she can face a third-degree felony DWI charge. A conviction carries from 2 to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. If the accused has been incarcerated in a Texas state prison for any offense (whether it relates to DWI or not), he or she can face a second-degree felony. A conviction is punishable as follows:

  • For one prior prison stint, from 2 to 20 years behind bars
  • For two or more prior prison stints, from 25 years to life behind bars
  • Fines of up to $10,000

Non-Felony Charges

A first DWI charge is a Class B misdemeanor, and a conviction carries 3 to 180 days in jail with fines of up to $2,000. A second DWI charge – with no aggravating factors – is a Class A misdemeanor, and a conviction carries 30 to 360 days in jail with fines of up to $4,000. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.15 percent – nearly twice the legal limit – at the time of arrest, it is considered an aggravating factor, and it can elevate the charge he or she faces. 

Discuss Your Case with an Experienced Gatesville Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Gatesville, Texas, is a trusted criminal defense attorney who dedicates his practice to helping clients like you obtain optimal case outcomes. Your future is important, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information about how we can help you today.

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