If you're charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas, more often than not, the charge will be a misdemeanor that carries less severe penalties. However, there are certain situations and circumstances that can cause your DWI charge to be a felony, meaning you are faced with harsher penalties if you end up being convicted.
Here is what you need to know when you are faced with a felony DWI charge in Texas.
When is a DWI Considered a Felony?
There are four main instances in which a DWI will be charged as a felony in Texas.
You Have Two Previous DWI Convictions
If you are charged with a third DUI after having two previous convictions on your record, the charge will be considered a third-degree felony rather than a misdemeanor. Multiple DWI is punishable by up to:
10 years in state prison
$10,000 in fines
A two-year revocation of your license
You Have a Minor in the Car
If you’re pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving and you have a passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle, you may be charged with DWI with a child passenger, a state felony. This is punishable by up to:
At least 180 days in a state jail
$10,000 in fines
Your DWI Results in Intoxication Assault
If your DWI results in serious bodily harm inflicted on another person you can be charged with a felony intoxication assault charge. If you’re convicted, not only can the injured party civilly sue you for damages, but this is criminally punishable by:
At least two years and up to 10 years in prison.
Up to $10,000 in fines
Mandatory DWI education courses
The installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
Your DWI Results in a Death
A DWI that results in the death of another person can be charged as second-degree felony manslaughter. On top of fines and community service, you may face up to 20 years in state prison if convicted.
DWI Defense Lawyers Serving Dallas County and Collin County
You can trust your felony DWI case in the hands of Hamilton Grant PC. With our aggressive representation, you may avoid long-term imprisonment and the heavy fines that are associated with a felony conviction. Contact our firm for an initial meeting to discuss your case!