Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is one of the most popular violations in the United States. There are a lot of drivers, even the best professionals, who tend to drive after drinking. Most of the time, they are not able to gauge on their alcohol intake and think that they are fine. However, there are many instances wherein this improper lack of judgment causes a lot of trouble. There are thousands of car accidents reported every year which has been created by a drunk driver. The sad thing about them is that most of the time, it is the innocent people who suffer. How many times have you heard that a drunk driver hit someone and caused severe injury if not death?
Similarly, how often is it that a driver lost control of his vehicle and died due to drunk driving? It is for these reasons that laws on DWI have become stricter over the decades. Here are the following penalties for different levels of DWI charges you should know about as a driver.
If you get convicted for the first and second time, they are often counted as misdemeanor charges. However, it is also dependent on several factors especially on the damages that resulted from your violation. For your first DWI conviction, it is considered as a class B misdemeanor and is fined with a maximum of $2000 plus a prison time of a maximum of six months. On the other hand, while the second offense is still counted as a class B misdemeanor, its punishment is more severe than the first one. You can spend a maximum of one year in jail plus a fine of up to $4000.
So, you might be wondering, when is getting a DWI a felony? Well, there are three instances when a charge is counted as a felony in the state of Texas.
Getting convicted once or twice for DWI may be acceptable, but the third one is too much. Thus, in the state of Texas, your third conviction for DWI is already a felony. Your penalties will include jail time for a maximum of ten years plus fines of up to $10,000 and a maximum of two years suspension for your license. In case you want to retain it, you may need to pay up to $10,000 in annual charges.
Serious Bodily Injury
If it is proven that your drunk driving has significantly injured anyone, your charge may get converted to a felony. It is especially true if your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) exceeds the acceptable 0.08. The term used for this is intoxication assault as written under the Texas Penal Code Section 49.07.
Intoxication manslaughter is under the Texas Penal Code Section 49.08. When you are found guilty of DWI which resulted in death, then you will get charged with a second-degree felony. Therefore, you will get charged according to the penalties under second-degree felony in the state.
If you need any help or assistance for any DWI charges, visit our firm so we can help you out.