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What Happens If You Hit Someone When Driving While Intoxicated?

blue car rear ended black car, smoke coming from collision

Any type of DWI charge is serious and needs immediate attention, but especially so if the incident involved an accident. If you hit someone or something when driving while intoxicated, there are many different ways your case could go. Let’s discuss some of these scenarios in further detail.

Were you involved in a DWI accident and are now facing criminal charges? Contact our Dallas DWI team at Deandra Grant Law today.

What Is Considered ‘Driving While Intoxicated’ in Texas?

Each state has its own laws regarding driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). In Texas, you may be charged with DWI if you are driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. However, you may also be charged with any amount of alcohol or drugs in your system if it appears to be affecting your driving. In other words, if you’re under the legal limit but seem to be impaired due to alcohol or drugs, you could still be charged.

Types of DWI Accidents

There are a few different types of DWI accidents that will lead to different potential outcomes. Let’s discuss some common examples.

DWI Accident Causing Property Damage

The least serious type of DWI accident would be one involving damaged property. In some states, DWI accidents causing property damage can increase the severity of the DWI charge. In Texas though, the driver will likely face two separate charges. First, they would face charges for DWI. Then, they would face a separate charge for the accident/damage. Most often, this would be a reckless damage charge.

A DWI accident causing property damage will result in two misdemeanor charges in most situations. However, it’s also important to note that this is generally only true for a first offense DWI. If the driver has a prior record and then causes a DWI accident with property damage, their DWI can be enhanced.

Reckless damage is a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine. DWI can be a Class B or A misdemeanor, which is punishable with a more expensive fine and a possible jail sentence. Additionally, the driver may be required to pay for the damaged property.

DWI Accident Causing Injury

Thousands of people are injured in DWI crashes each year. If you’re the driver who caused this type of accident, the potential penalties are quite severe.

DWI causing injury, also called intoxication assault, occurs when someone suffers serious injury from being hit by an intoxicated driver.

Intoxication assault is punishable by:

  • At least two years in prison, up to 10 years
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Driver’s license suspension for up to two years

Additionally, the driver may be liable to cover the monetary costs of the accident, including property damage costs, medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.

DWI Accident Causing Death

This offense is called intoxication manslaughter in Texas. This is when a driver causes a DWI accident resulting in someone’s death. Intoxication manslaughter is a homicide crime and is a second-degree felony.

The at-fault driver faces:

  • Up to 20 years in prison
  • Up to $10,000 in fines

If multiple people were killed in a DWI crash, these potential penalties apply for each individual person. For example, if two people passed away in the accident, the driver can face up to 40 years in prison.

Take Action After A DWI Accident in Texas

If you were involved in any type of DWI accident, you should contact a defense attorney right away. If someone was injured or killed and you are accused of being responsible, you need aggressive defense by your side to advocate for you.

Deandra Grant Law is a nationally recognized DWI law firm that has the experience and knowledge needed to help you fight your DWI intoxication or manslaughter charges. Contact us by phone at (214) 225-7117 or online to discuss the accident during a case consultation. Once we learn more about your charges, we can provide guidance on your next best steps.