A conviction for a first-time DWI in Texas results in a jail sentence of up to 180 days, a maximum $2,000 fine, and license suspension for up to one year. However, even a first offense can result in increased penalties—and even a felony charge—if certain aggravating factors are apparent.
The following are several aggravating factors of a DWI charge:
- High blood alcohol content (BAC) – In Texas and most states in the country, the legal limit is a BAC of .08 percent. If a person has a BAC of at least .15, which is nearly two times over the legal limit, the DWI offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor, rather than a Class B misdemeanor. That means a conviction can result in a maximum one-year jail sentence, fines of up to $4,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to two years.
- Repeat offense – Since a past offender should’ve learned the lesson not to drive while intoxicated, having a previous conviction on your record is an aggravating factor. Although a second offense is still a misdemeanor (with increased penalties), a third offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by a maximum ten-year prison term, fines of up to $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to two years.
- Driving with a child passenger – When a DWI arrest involves a child passenger who is under 15 years old in the vehicle, it is a state jail felony offense, which carries a maximum two-year state jail sentence. You could also face a child endangerment charge in addition to a DWI charge.
- Drunk driving accident – If a DWI offense involves a collision that resulted in property damage, you could be charged with a separate Class C misdemeanor or face felony reckless destruction charges if the damage is extensive. If a drunk driving accident causes injuries, it is considered intoxication assault, which is a third-degree felony. If a drunk driving accident causes death, it is intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony that carries a maximum 20-year prison term, fines of up to $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years.
If you have been arrested for an aggravated DWI in Dallas, contact the Law Offices of Robert Gregg today at (214) 891-7536 and schedule a free consultation.