A DWI charge in Texas is a serious matter as it can have long-lasting consequences for your life. But when you are charged with a DWI child passenger Texas offense, it is considered a felony DWI and the penalties are likely to be much more severe. Transporting a minor passenger below 15 years, while you are intoxicated can result in this state jail felony charge with enhanced penalties and fines.
Another legal consequence of this charge is that the state Department of Family and Protective Services may investigate the welfare of your child. This could lead to an additional charge of child endangerment with a potential loss of child custody rights.
Collateral consequences for convicted felons in Texas may include loss of gun ownership, loss of voting rights, and limitations in applying to certain types of jobs or educational institutions. Your best bet in these cases would be to hire the services of a top-rated DWI attorney in Texas as soon as possible after your arrest.
DWI Child Passenger Texas – Penalties
According to the Texas Penal Code, a DWI with child passenger conviction will result in penalties, which include incarceration for 180 days to two years, and/or up-to $10,000 in fines. Apart from these punishments, you may also face the following additional penalties:
Restriction or loss of driving privileges (driver’s license suspension will be automatically triggered unless you request an administrative hearing within 15 days)
Community supervision or probation
Completion of a DWI education program
Community service of up to 1,000 hours
Having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle as per court orders
A 3-year DWI surcharge to be paid annually as imposed by the state Department of Safety
You should be aware that the court may impose stronger penalties depending on your prior criminal history and DWI record and the level of your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determined at the time of your arrest. If the child passenger or another person gets injured while you were driving intoxicated, you will face multiple charges, including intoxication assault.
Although the penalties are extremely harsh in Texas for DWI with a child passenger, you can only be convicted if the charges are proved. This is why you need a focused and passionate DWI attorney in Texas who will fight tooth and nail in the court to protect your rights.
A conviction for a DWI child passenger Texas offense will also have significant collateral consequences. These are separate from the penalties imposed by the court, and sometimes can have a long term impact. These consequences may include:
Loss of firearm ownership or possession rights
Loss of the right to vote
Denial of employment in certain professions where convicted felons are forbidden to work
A criminal background check will show a prior felony conviction, which could lead to loss of some education and employment opportunities (you will not be eligible for expungement of the record with a felony conviction)
Seek Legal Help from a Dedicated DWI Attorney Texas
Felony convictions such as DWI with a child passenger in Texas can have devastating legal consequences for you. Flood-Lewis & Associates is one of the most trusted and dependable DWI defense law firms. Our attorneys will fight to ensure you can obtain the best possible outcome in your case. Call us at 713.224.5529 to request a free consultation or contact us online for a free case review.