Is a DWI a Felony in Texas?

Sullo & Sullo Attorneys Defend Felony DWI Cases in Texas. We Can Help.

If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas it is very important that you contact experienced Houston DWI Attorneys as quickly as possible. While a DWI in Texas First Offense is generally a Class B misdemeanor, there are some situations where it can become a felony in the state of Texas. If you want to avoid Harris County Criminal Records and especially Harris County Jail following your Harris County Arrest, it is much better to have your Houston Criminal Lawyers deal with the Harris County District Attorney on your behalf. As noted, you will likely only be charged with a Class B misdemeanor for a DWI in Texas First Offense—although this is also a very serious charge. The situations where you might find yourself facing a DWI felony include the following:

  • You drove while impaired with a minor in your vehicle who was under the age of 15 (state jail felony);
  • Your impaired driving resulted in a car accident in which another person suffered serious injury (3rd degree felony);
  • This is your third DWI offense (3rd degree felony), or
  • You committed intoxication manslaughter, meaning a person died as a result of your intoxication which caused the accident (2nd degree felony).

Penalties Associated with DWI in Texas - If you are convicted of intoxication manslaughter, the most serious DWI felony, you could face from two to 20 years in prison and, a fine as large as $10,000. If your vehicle was driven in such a way that made it a “deadly weapon,” you could be sentenced to an additional penalty, which essentially prohibits early release from prison based on good time credit, until at least half of your sentence has been served.  If you are convicted of a DWI in Texas with a child passenger, you could be confined to a Texas state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days. You could also be fined as much as $10,000. If your impaired driving caused injury to another person (intoxication assault), you could serve from two years to 10 years in jail, with a fine as large as $10,000. You could also be sentenced to community service for any of these felony DWI conviction.

Any DWI Conviction is Serious - Being convicted for DWI in Texas is a serious criminal charge, even if you are not being charged with a felony. If this is your DWI in Texas First Offense, and your BAC was not higher than 0.08 percent, you will face a misdemeanor charge, however you could still pay significant fines and fees, and could even spend some time in jail, depending on the circumstances. Even a misdemeanor DWI in Texas can be difficult to get past, as it can make it difficult for you to find employment. A felony DWI can cause even more problems as your Harris County Criminal Records can keep you from being hired, from obtaining a professional license, from obtaining a government student loan, and, in some cases, even from obtaining housing. With a felony conviction on your Harris County Criminal Records, you may not even be able to own a gun or to vote.

A misdemeanor DWI in Texas can cost you significant amounts of money for a long time to come, and may make it difficult—if not impossible—for you to obtain auto insurance. The type of charge you may face will depend on many factors. Typically, a first or second DWI in Texas offense will be charged as a misdemeanor, however if you receive a subsequent DWI in Texas, the courts are unlikely to look too kindly on you, considering you a repeat offender. If you have one DWI in Texas, and your second DWI in Texas results in any level of bodily harm to another person, the Harris County District Attorney may seek to charge you with a felony. With either misdemeanor or felony DWI charges there could be extenuating circumstances which prompt the Harris County District Attorney to have your vehicle impounded, or a judge to order you to have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle for a certain period of time—which you will be required to pay for.

Administrative License Revocation - Not only must you deal with the criminal penalties associated with your DWI in Texas, as your Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers will tell you, you also have to deal with a potential administrative license revocation (ALR). You will be required to schedule an administrative license revocation hearing within 15 days from the date you were arrested. If you fail to schedule an ALR Hearing Texas within this window of time, you driver’s license will automatically be suspended. When it is time to attend your ALR Hearing Texas, your experienced Houston DWI Lawyers will review the charges against you, and will challenge the evidence presented against you. It is important that you be legally represented by Houston DWI Attorneys during your ALR Hearing Texas. It is very difficult in our mobile society to be left without a driver’s license. You will have to figure out how to get to and from work or school with no vehicle, and even how to run your normal errands, such as grocery shopping, with no vehicle.

How Knowledgeable Houston DWI Attorneys Can Help - When faced with charges for DWI in Texas, do not leave your future to chance. Sullo & Sullo has Houston Criminal Defense Lawyers with Payment Plans and can help you when you find yourself in such a difficult position. Our Houston DWI Attorneys understand your situation, and know that good people can make a mistake. We want to ensure this one mistake does not irrevocably alter your future, and to that end offer you Houston Criminal Lawyer Free Consultations. We have been helping those who have experienced a Harris County Arrest for a DWI in Texas for many years, and we can help you, both with your Harris County Criminal Court case and with your ALR Hearing Texas. We will work hard to help you avoid Harris County Jail, and believe our Houston DWI Lawyers have significant knowledge of Texas DWI Laws, which we will always try to use to your advantage.

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