The experience of driving along and seeing the blue lights in your rearview can be jarring, and the concern of what comes next is all the more stressful. When you are pulled over and the police suspect you might have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the officer might conduct a variety of tests to determine your sobriety or level of intoxication. If the officer has probable cause to arrest you, the prosecutor will likely file charges of driving while intoxicated (DWI).
Generally speaking, a DWI charge in Texas is a misdemeanor offense. This is still a serious matter, however, as it can mean jail time, fines, and the loss of your license. However, in some situations, the charges can escalate and DWI can be a felony offense.
Connect with Sugar Land criminal defense lawyer Jamie Jordan, PLLC, to explore the options for defending your DWI case today. We can work to prevent a DWI charge from becoming a lasting felony on your record that could limit your options in the future.
Texas DWI Laws Determine the Level of the Offense
In most cases, a first offense DWI is a misdemeanor, and a second offense also remains a misdemeanor, though with enhanced penalties. Texas law allows a prosecutor to issue felony charges for DWI if they allege one of the following situations:
- You have two prior DWI convictions on your record, as a third offense can be a third-degree felony.
- You caused serious bodily injuries to someone else in the course of your DWI, which is an offense called “intoxication assault” and is a third-degree felony.
- You caused the death of another person in the course of your DWI, which is an offense called “intoxication manslaughter” and is a second-degree felony.
- You had a child as a passenger in your vehicle during the DWI, which is charged as child endangerment and is a state jail felony.
If you are facing any of the above allegations, your DWI case just became significantly more concerning, and you need aggressive criminal defense help.
Potential Felony DWI Penalties
If you are convicted of a felony DWI offense, the potential penalties will depend on the level of a felony charge in question. Some maximum penalties include:
- State jail felony – 180 days to two years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines
- Third-degree felony – Two to ten years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
- Second-degree felony – Two to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
Because the possible penalties can be so harsh, it is critical that you have the proper defense representation.
Connect with a Sugar Land Criminal Defense Lawyer Now
Are you facing a felony DWI charge – or any DWI charge for that matter? You need criminal defense assistance from an experienced attorney who will not back down. To discuss the options in your case with a Sugar Land criminal defense lawyer, schedule a consultation with the legal team at Jamie Jordan, PLLC, today.