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What Penalties Can I Face if a Texas DWI Results in Injury or Death?

Posted on in DWI

Collin County criminal defense attorney DWI

Drunk driving is illegal, and a person can face criminal charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) by alcohol or drugs. In many cases, DWI charges occur because of a lapse in judgment or because a person believed that it was safe to drive without realizing that he or she was above the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC). 

Being convicted of DWI in Texas can have a variety of serious consequences, including driver’s license suspension, thousands of dollars in fines, time in prison, probation, community service, participation in DWI education programs, and the requirement to use an ignition interlock device (IID). In many cases, a person will face DWI charges after being pulled over by a police officer, but unfortunately, some cases involve serious car wrecks that may result in the injury or death of others. In these cases, a person who is being charged with DWI should be sure to understand the charges that may apply and the potential penalties he or she could face.

Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter

Typically, a first-time DWI or second DWI is charged as a misdemeanor under Texas law. However, DWI charges may be elevated to a felony if a person caused serious harm to someone else. These charges will depend on the extent of the victim’s injuries, and in some cases, the identity of the victim may also lead to more serious felony charges.

A person may be charged with intoxication assault if he or she caused serious bodily harm to someone else because of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Serious bodily harm may include injuries that put someone at substantial risk of death, cause permanent disfigurement, or lead to the loss or impairment of body parts or internal organs. Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony, and it can be punished by 2-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If the victim was a firefighter or emergency medical technician, the charge can be elevated to a second-degree felony, and a first-degree felony can be charged if the victim was a police officer.

Intoxication manslaughter may be charged if a person accidentally killed someone while driving when intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. This is typically charged as a second-degree felony, which can be punished by 2-20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. If the victim was a firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical technician, the charge may be elevated to a first-degree felony, which can be punished by 5-99 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Contact Our Plano Felony DWI Defense Lawyers

All Texas DWI charges are serious, and an alleged offender should be sure to obtain representation from a skilled defense lawyer. At the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C., we can help you determine the best defense strategy against felony DWI charges involving allegations of causing great bodily harm or death. Contact our diligent and dedicated Frisco criminal defense attorneys today at 469-333-3333 to arrange your free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.12.htm

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm

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