Most DWI charges in Texas involve misdemeanors. However, under some circumstances, you will face felony charges connected with DWI. This becomes a much more serious situation due to the heavier penalties imposed by the courts. A conviction in these cases will also leave you with a permanent criminal record containing a felony that can be problematic in finding future employment and taking advantage of other life opportunities.
If you are facing felony DWI charges, the smartest move you can make is to bring in a competent and proven DWI defense lawyer. At The Law Office of RC Pate, you can work with an attorney who has focused much of his practice on DWI, has earned the rare designation by the American Chemical Society as a lawyer-scientist, and thus has an advanced understanding of all the DWI factors, including blood science as it pertains to the intoxicating substances found upon chemical testing. For a truly comprehensive defense strategy when facing this serious charge, we strongly urge you to turn to our firm to seek the representation you need.
Request a free initial consultation with our San Antonio felony DWI attorney to learn more about your case and options. Contact The Law Office of RC Pate via online message or at (210) 757-4373.
DWI is charged as a felony under the following circumstances:
- You have two or more prior DWI convictions
- You were driving while intoxicated with a minor under the age of 15 in the vehicle
- You caused an accident in which someone was seriously injured
- You caused an accident in which someone was killed
Texas does not use a “look back” period for determining whether a DWI is a second or subsequent offense. This means that if you were ever convicted of a DWI at any time in the past, it will count if you repeat this offense. It doesn’t matter if your prior DWI was two years ago or 10 years ago.
A third DWI felony charge is punishable by the following:
- Two up to 10 years in prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- A license suspension of 180 days up to two years
These penalties also apply to driving while intoxicated with a minor in the car.
Seriously injuring someone else due to driving while intoxicated is known as intoxication assault. A conviction of this felony will also result in the same penalties with a minimum jail sentence of 30 days.
Finally, driving while intoxicated which results in the death of another person is referred to as intoxication manslaughter. It is charged as a second-degree felony with more serious penalties. Prison sentences can range from two to 20 years with fines of up to $10,000. You may also be required to serve up to 240 hours or more of community service while on probation after serving your sentence and paying fines.