If you cause an accident while driving drunk, you can expect to face serious charges — likely a felony — that will send you to prison for years or even decades. This is especially true if the accident caused serious injuries or death, in which case the prosecutor will likely pursue intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter charges.
Do not handle this alone. Get help from a DWI involving an accident, wreck, or injury lawyer in Grand Prairie. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review.
What Are the Penalties for DWI Injury Accident Charges?
In Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, the statutes define DWI as operating a motor vehicle in a public place with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above.
If you cause an accident while driving drunk, and if the accident causes damage, the prosecutor may pursue charges for both driving while intoxicated and for causing damage in an accident. If your accident led to injuries, or a fatality, you may face a different set of charges — typically intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter.
The basic penalties for a first or second DWI conviction include the following:
- Fines between $2,000 and $4,000
- Jail time between 3 days and 1 year
- Installation of an ignition interlockdevice
- License suspension of up to 2 years
The penalties are much harsher for a DWI that involves an accident:
DWI Accident with Property Damage
If you caused an accident while driving drunk, the prosecutor will add additional charges to the basic Grand Prairie DWI penalties.
For a minor amount of damage, the prosecutor may pursue class C misdemeanor charges (a fine of $500).
However, if you caused major damage, you will likely face criminal mischief or reckless damage charges, which will involve either a first-, second-, or third-degree felony, depending on the circumstances of your accident and the resulting damage.
DWI Accident with Injuries
If your accident led to physical injuries, the prosecutor will likely pursue intoxication assault charges, a third-degree felony.
However, if your DWI accident injured a first responder — law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, etc. — those charges elevate to a second-degree felony.
A conviction will put you in prison for 2 to 10 years. You will pay a fine of up to $10,000 and lose your driver’s license for up to 2 years. You will have to pay court costs and fees and between $1,000 and $2,000 per year for 3 years to reinstate your license.
The judge may put you on probation, assess up to 1,000 hours of community service, and require you to install an ignition interlock device on your car. You may also have to attend rehab or substance abuse counseling.
DWI Accident with Fatality
If your DWI wreck leads to fatal injuries, you will face intoxication manslaughter charges, which are a second-degree felony. If the victim was a first responder, you will face first-degree felony charges.
A conviction will put you in prison for up to 20 years (99 for a first-degree felony), with a $10,000 fine. You will also face probation, community service, ignition interlock devices, and all court costs and fees.
You will lose your driver’s license for two years and have to pay up to $2,000 per year for three years to reinstate your license.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me After a DWI Accident?
Unless you are prepared to go to prison, you have no choice but fight your DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter charges.
Prosecutors may push you to plead guilty, with the assurance that it will minimize your penalties. However, it is critical that you not make any decisions, answer questions, or give any statements until you talk to a DWI accident lawyer. Neither the police nor the prosecutors have your best interest in mind — they only want a conviction, whatever it takes. Convincing you to plead guilty makes things easy for them, not you.
A DWI lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will, first and foremost, ensure the protection of your legal rights. We will explain your options and how each one may affect your future, allowing you to make an informed decision about your future. We will be at your side through every part of the process, ensuring that you have someone to rely on for guidance and counsel.
Our team will also examine all the evidence in your case, looking for potential weaknesses or violations of your rights. These weaknesses can provide leverage for negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce the DWI charges against you.
If the prosecutor will not agree to reducing your charges, your lawyer can get to work building a strong case on your behalf, and defend you at your criminal trial. The prosecutor must meet a high burden of proof to prove your guilt, and we can call on a variety of legal strategies to help establish reasonable doubt in the mind of the jury.
Call a DWI Accident Injury Lawyer in Grand Prairie Today for Help
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will provide a free case review, to answer your questions and help you decide on your next step.
Attorney Randall Isenberg brings more than 30 years of experience in the criminal justice system to your case, including time spent as a chief felony prosecutor and state judge. This level of insight and understanding will help him build a strong case in your defense.
If you want to fight for your future, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253.