Felony DWI Attorney in Houston: Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris & Montgomery Counties
In almost all cases involving a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge, a first-time offense is classified as a class B misdemeanor. Most second-time DWI offenses are classified as class A misdemeanors, but a third DWI charge can be prosecuted as a felony. Additionally, every DWI charge after the third conviction can be prosecuted as a felony.
There are several ways in which a DWI charge can be listed as a felony. As mentioned above, any DWI charge after the second conviction can be classified as a felony, but there are other ways for a charge of this nature to be upgraded. For example, if someone is arrested for DWI while a minor under the age of 15 is a passenger in the car, a charge of felony DWI can be applied. Also, if a drunk driver kills someone else or causes serious injury of another driver, they can be charged with a felony.
Felony DWI Penalties
The legal penalties for felony drunk driving convictions reflect the perceived seriousness of the circumstances of the crime. These circumstances can include the level of the driver’s intoxication, the presence of any minors in the driver’s vehicle and any damage or injury caused by intoxicated driving. Some penalties are:
- A third conviction for DWI in which no one else was injured and no minors were present can result in a fine up to $10,000, two to 10 years in prison, up to 600 hours of mandatory community service and up to two years of license suspension.
- In DWI cases that involve the death of another driver, the driver may face an intoxication manslaughter charge. This charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The minimum prison sentence for this charge is two years.
- A person who is convicted of DWI with a minor under 15 as a passenger in the vehicle may be charged with a state jail felony. The sentence for this charge can include 180 days up to two years in jail, a fine of up to $10,000 and insurance penalties and driving restrictions.
DWI Felony Defenses
Many felony DWI lawyers know that prosecuting DWI cases takes a lot of effort on the part of the state. Felony DWI lawyers can use this fact to a client’s advantage by searching for discrepancies in the state’s case. This could include improperly administered field sobriety tests, a lack of probable cause for a traffic stop or incorrectly completed paperwork. A felony DWI attorney who is able to prove such errors may be able to have felony drinking and driving charges reduced or dropped.
Get the Help You Need From a Felony DWI Attorney in Houston, TX
A felony DWI allegation is a very serious matter. To learn more about felony DWI and its possible legal defenses, schedule a free case review with Greg Tsioros by calling (832) 752-5972.