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When Can A DWI Be Charged As A Felony in Texas?

Driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs are typically misdemeanor crimes in the state of Texas. This is often the case for first-time offenders who do not have any extenuating circumstances involved. However, when certain factors are involved in a DWI case, drivers can be charged with more serious crimes. This means they’ll face a less savory criminal record, increased repercussions, and stiffer penalties.

Under Texas law, you can face felony DWI charges for the following:

  • Third DWI offense – In Texas, a third DWI is a 3rd Degree Felony. There is a time frame for multiple offenses and our team can help you understand how it may play a role in your case. Typically, drivers facing charges for a third DWI face penalties that include 2 to 10 years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, loss of driver’s license for 2 years, annual license fees, lengthy probation, and more.
  • DWI with child passenger – Texas makes it a felony offense to drive while intoxicated with a child passenger under the age of 15. This offense is punishable by 180 days to 2 years imprisonment, fines up to $10,000, license penalties, lengthy probation, and other repercussions.
  • DWI causing injury – Motorists who cause accidents while driving under the influence of drugs or while intoxicated that cause injury to others also face felony charges. Known as intoxication assault, this crime in punishable by 2 to 10 years imprisonment, up to $10,000 in fines, license penalties, mandatory community service, probation, and more.
  • DWI causing death – The most serious DWI offense involves accidents resulting in the death of another person. Referred to as vehicular homicide or vehicular manslaughter, this offense poses serious and life-altering penalties. Legal representation is essential in these cases.

If you or someone you love has been charged for DWI, it’s crucial you understand the severity and nature of the charges. Although any criminal charge is a serious matter, felonies can have a negative long-term impact on your life, as they pose lengthier terms of imprisonment, heftier fines, and longer periods of license suspension and probation.

There are also numerous on-going costs associated with these elevated charges, as well as other long-term repercussions. Having a felony conviction on your criminal record, for example, can place a number of limitations and restrictions on your personal and professional life.

Contact Scott H. Palmer, P.C. if you or someone you know has been charged for felony DWI. Our attorneys are available 24/7 and offer FREE consultations.

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