If you are facing charges after causing a wreck while driving intoxicated, you risk one or more felony convictions and the potential of years — or even life — behind bars.
A DWI involving an accident, wreck or injury lawyer in Dallas can help you understand your options and how the potential outcome of your case may affect your life. In these dire circumstances, a strong legal defense is critical for protecting your future.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today: 214-696-9253.
What Texas laws address DWI with an accident or injury?
Per Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, officers can arrest you if they find you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or above.
The statutes establish the penalties for a first offense DWI conviction, a second DWI conviction, and for third (or subsequent) convictions. In addition to the basic DWI consequences, Texas law provides for enhanced charges in certain circumstances, such as DWI with an accident, property damage, injuries, or death.
The penalties for intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, or reckless damage or destruction include jail time, probation, fines, and license suspension.
What is intoxication assault in Texas?
If your drunk driving accident caused serious bodily injury to one or more people, you will face felony DWI charges known as intoxication assault.
The statutes define serious bodily injury as any harm involving long-term or permanent impairment or loss of a body part.
Intoxication assault in Texas carries third-degree felony charges unless the injured person was a peace officer, firefighter, EMT, or another first responder. In that case, second-degree felony charges apply.
You will also face second-degree felony charges if the accident resulted in a “traumatic brain injury than results in a persistent vegetative state.”
In Texas, an intoxication assault conviction carries:
- A prison sentence of 2 to 20 years
- Fines up to $10,000
- All associated court costs and fees
- Up to 800 hours of community service
You will also lose your driver’s license for up to 2 years, and you may have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. The judge may also order you to complete a substance abuse education or rehab program.
What is intoxication manslaughter in Texas?
If your drunk driving accident takes someone’s life, you will face intoxication manslaughter charges.
Intoxication manslaughter qualifies as a second-degree felony or, if the victim was a peace officer or first responder, a first-degree felony. Conviction carries a prison sentence of up to 99 years or life and fines up to $10,000. Upon conviction, you may also face community service, probation, loss of your driver’s license, and other penalties similar to those for DWI assault.
If you have to spend the rest of your life in prison, however, these additional penalties will probably not matter.
Will I face charges for property damage?
Most likely, yes. The property damage aspect of a drunk driving accident typically falls under Chapter 28 of the Texas Penal Code, Reckless damage or destruction is a Class C misdemeanor ($500 fine).
If you “intentionally or knowingly” damaged property, you might face criminal mischief charges, which carry felony charges in the first, second, or third degree, depending.
The prosecutor will determine which of these additional charges are applicable in your case.
How can I fight a DWI injury accident, assault, or manslaughter charge?
You need a solid strategy for challenging your arrest. A DWI accident attorney from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can explain your rights under the law and help you explore all potential options.
This may include negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce or drop your charges or entering a not guilty plea and taking your case to trial. Randall will examine your case to determine the best option to protect you and your future.
One tactic our firm uses often is arguing that the court should not allow the presentation of breath, blood, urine, or field sobriety test results.
If, during any portion of your DWI traffic stop, field testing or arrest, officers failed to follow National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) procedures for field sobriety testing or chemical testing for BAC, the results might be inadmissible. In addition, Texas Administrative Code has also set forth breath alcohol testing regulations. Any violation of these guidelines may also offer a potential defense in your case.
For a DWI involving an accident, wreck or injury, your lawyer can work diligently on your behalf, whatever option you choose, and provide critical support throughout the process.
Call Randall B. Isenberg today to protect your future.
Choosing the right attorney for your case can mean the difference between spending years (or decades) behind bars and receiving a lesser sentence or even having your charges dropped.
To help improve your chances of more favorable outcome, choose a local drunk driving accident attorney who will provide a complimentary consultation and case review. Contact the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to schedule an appointment with a DWI lawyer in Dallas: 214-696-9253.