Driving under the influence or when intoxicated is never a good idea. You could injure or kill someone or find yourself facing serious consequences. Those consequences can vary by state. When you experience a DWI mishap, you need to consider a DWI lawyer to help you out with your case.
Is a DWI a Felony in Texas?
In Texas DWI law, you get three strikes before you’re out. The Texas law allows you to receive two DWI offenses before a subsequent incident raises the charges to felony levels. Thus, your third offense becomes a felony.
Driving while intoxicated falls under Texas Penal Code Section 49.04. This code indicates that driving while under the influence is not permissible by law. Here are the stipulations of intoxication according to the law.
- Not having normal use of your physical or mental faculties due to a drug, controlled substance, alcohol, a dangerous drug, or a combination of two or more aforementioned substances.
- A tested alcohol concentration that exceeds 0.08.
On the first and second offenses, you may be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. However, if you have been charged twice and get pulled over a third time, this is when you have to be concerned about felony charges.
The prosecution will need to be able to prove you were intoxicated through one of the measures listed. They may ask you to complete a field sobriety test, or take a breathalyzer test. In some cases, the officer might also be able to note that they found an open container in the vehicle, or that they noticed the smell of alcohol on your breath.
What to Expect if You are Charged with a Felony DWI
In some cases, a DWI lawyer may be able to help you fight felony charges, or at least receive a reduced sentence, depending on the circumstances. The consequences of the charges could result in hefty fines and incarceration up to 10 years if a felony is charged.
This may depend on the situation as well. For example, if you are deemed responsible for an accident, the fines or incarceration might vary. You might also be subject to recourse from the victims. The same goes for if you cause an accident and someone is killed in the accident. In that case, manslaughter could be sought by prosecution.
The variables of the sentencing will depend on the occurrence, whether people were harmed or injured, and how severe your prior offenses were.
Hiring a Lawyer for DWI Charges
Whether you’re on your first DWI or your third, it’s a good idea to consider hiring a DWI lawyer to take your case. Even when you make a mistake, you shouldn’t have to navigate the process on your own. DWI attorneys are skilled in helping you work through the charges and the court process.