In Texas, driving while intoxicated (DWI) will constitute a misdemeanor crime for most first-time and second-time arrests. For this reason, most DWI charges in the state are just misdemeanors, as many people do not reoffend more than once. However, with this said, there are certain ways that a DWI charge can be escalated up to a felony crime, which will bring about severe consequences upon conviction and usually more tenacity on part of the prosecution.
A DWI in Texas can trigger felony charges if the drive is charged with:
- The third DWI offense on his or her criminal record.
- A DWI after being in an accident that caused someone serious bodily injury (intoxication assault).
- A DWI after being in a car accident that resulted in the death of another person (intoxication manslaughter).
- A DWI while there is a passenger under the age of 15 within his or her vehicle.
All of the felony DWI crimes in Texas can include a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Most prison sentencing for DWI felonies will also include at least two years of incarceration but some charges can include a sentence up to 20 years. License suspension is also all but guaranteed in a felony DWI case in Texas, triggering suspensions that can last from six months to two years.
Felony charges are also notoriously more difficult to expunge or hide on a criminal record. Pursuing certain careers, educational opportunities, and even applying to some living quarters will be a challenge so long as a person has a felony of any kind viewable in his or her history.
Fight Back to Save Your Good Name & Reputation
If you are being charged with a felony DWI in Texas, you need to be willing to challenge it as you would a misdemeanor charge. The state may try to act as if there is no fighting a felony charge or claim it has unwavering evidence to use against you but with the help of Tyler Flood & Associates, you will know better.
Our law firm is led by Houston’s top DWI lawyer: Mr. Tyler Flood. With a Board Certification in Criminal Defense law in Texas and an intentional focus on DWI cases, he has become the go-to name for people all throughout Houston and the surrounding greater metropolitan area. Do not risk your future, finances, and driving privileges by counting on anyone else. Contact our firm as soon as possible to discuss your options during a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.