If you or a loved one is charged with DWI in Frisco, Texas, it is important to know the possible consequences of a conviction. Although it is one of the most common criminal offenses, a conviction results in severe consequences.
According to Texas Penal Code Section 49.04, you commit a DWI when you are intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. Intoxication means that you either have a BAC of .08 or higher or do not have normal use of your mental or physical facilities due to alcohol or drugs.
The penalties for a DWI vary depending on your criminal history and the circumstances of the case. You could face fines, jail or prison time, and suspension of your driver’s license. You may also be required to complete community service, attend substance abuse counseling, and take part in DWI intervention programs.
First DWI Offense with BAC Under 0.15
First DWIs are classified as Class B misdemeanors if the BAC level is under 0.15 or there are no test results. It is punishable by a county jail sentence of 72 hours to 180 days and a maximum fine of $3,000. If there was an open container in the vehicle, the minimum jail sentence increases to six days. Absent any exceptional circumstances, first offenses are generally granted probation for any confinement ordered. Probation cannot be terminated early.
A first DWI can also result in a driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year by the Administrative License Revocation Program. First offenders may be eligible for an occupation license, which allows you to drive to and from work, school, and other essential locations, such as the pharmacy and grocery store. Before your driver’s license is reinstated, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID). Once you install an IID device, your car will not start if it detects any alcohol on your breath.
First DWI Offense with a BAC Over 0.15
First DWI convictions with a BAC over 0.15 are upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by a county jail sentence of 30 days to a year and a fine not to exceed $6,000. It can also result in a suspension of your driver’s license from 90 days to 1 year.
Second DWI Offense
A second DWI is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by a jail sentence of 30 days to one year and a maximum fine of $4,500. Additionally, your driver’s license can be suspended from 180 days to two years.
Third DWI Offense or Higher
A third or higher DWI offense is a 3rd-degree felony. It is punishable by two to ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Your driver’s license may also be suspended from 180 days to two years. There is no look-back period in Texas. It does not matter how long ago your prior DWI convictions occurred.
DWI with a Child Passenger
You can be charged with DWI with a child passenger if you are arrested for a DWI, and there is another person in the vehicle under the age of 15.
DWI with a child passenger is a state jail felony. It is punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum fine of $10,000. Additionally, your license may be suspended from 90 days to two years.
An individual commits intoxication assault when they cause serious bodily injury to another person while driving intoxicated. Serious bodily injury means an injury that creates a substantial risk of death or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
Intoxication assault is classified as a 3rd-degree felony in Frisco. It is punishable by a prison sentence of two to ten years and a maximum fine of $10,000. Your license may be suspended from 180 days to 2 years.
You can be charged with intoxication manslaughter when a death occurs in an accident where intoxication was the proximate cause of death.
Intoxication manslaughter is a 2nd-degree felony. It is punishable by two to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. Your license may be suspended from 180 days to 2 years.
Speak to an Experienced Frisco Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with a DWI offense, you should immediately reach out to a local Frisco criminal defense attorney. Philip D. Ray is an experienced criminal attorney and former prosecutor who will provide you with a skilled and aggressive defense. He has years of experience defending individuals from DWI charges in Frisco, Texas. Call The Law Offices of Philip D. Ray today at (469) 588-6770 for a consultation.