Drunk driving is the primary cause of many road accidents in the United States. It has been a pressing problem for decades. Although many drivers are careful in driving and are abiding by the law, there are also some who makes mistakes. Drunk driving often causes damages to properties and humans. And the worst thing is, it’s the innocent ones who get injured or killed during these accidents. Therefore, stricter laws and regulations are being implemented in the entire country to lessen these incidents.
A lot of people want to know is getting a DWI a felony? When you get charged for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), the punishment may be simple especially if there are no damages or it is your first time. It is a misdemeanor, but there are four instances in the state of Texas where a DWI charge becomes a felony.
DWI third is the most common type among the four. It happens when you have two prior DWI charges already, and this is your third time getting convicted. However, you have to take note that specific changes took place when it comes to this. In the past, if your last DWI conviction was ten years from the third one, it gets considered as a new charge and gets treated as a Class B Misdemeanor. However, the legislature made some changes and made it ten years from the date the accused got released from probation, parole or jail. At present though, these were abolished, and the government implemented that all DWI charges in the past get counted, including the ones committed in another state.
DWI with Child Passenger
DWI with a child passenger is the most recent type of DWI felony. This new law is under Section 49.045 of the Penal Code. It states that even a first time DWI charge can turn into a felony if there is any child inside the vehicle you are driving while intoxicated who is less than fifteen years of age. It falls under State Jail Felony. And furthermore, it doesn’t matter whether it is your very first time to get charged for any crime, as long as there is a child involved, it will elevate into a felony.
Intoxication assault is under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code. Whether the victim got injured by mistake through accident or any other reason, as long as you were drunk and you caused severe bodily injury, it will count as a felony. There are several instances though when intoxication assault may not continue as a felony. The most common Is when the court proves that your intoxication was not the cause of the accident or injury and when the injuries do not fall under severe bodily harm as per the law.
Intoxication manslaughter is the worst DWI felony. It is under the Penal Code in Section 49.08. It happens when your intoxication and driving results in the death of someone. It is a severe case and usually involves tedious processes and hearings before the conviction.
Do you need assistance regarding a DWI case? Do not hesitate to visit our office so we can help you out.