An intoxication assault charge can be terrifying and puts the brakes on your entire life. Do not risk having to pay thousands in fines or spending a decade in jail. Call an intoxication assault lawyer in Dallas, TX at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today: 214-696-9253.
What is “intoxication assault”?
Per Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code, “serious bodily injury” is an “injury that creates substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
For example, Margaret suffered spinal cord injuries after being hit by an intoxicated driver. Her injuries and the resulting damage mean Margaret will be wheelchair-bound for the rest of her life. She has suffered a serious bodily injury.
What is “legally intoxicated” under Texas law?
In Texas, you are legally intoxicated if:
- You do not have the “normal use of [your] mental or physical faculties” because of “alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance;” or
- You have an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.
What are the penalties for intoxication assault?
Intoxication assault is a felony of the third degree, unless there are reasons to impose enhanced offenses and penalties. For the offense of intoxication assault, a person could face:
- Loss of driver’s license (a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2 years)
- A 2-year minimum prison sentence, can face up to 10 years
- $10,000 in fines
- Alcohol highway safety school
- Drug or alcohol rehabilitation
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
If you injure more than one person, your charges might double. For example, if you injured a pedestrian and the driver of another car, you face $20,000 in fines and up to two decades in prison.
When might I face enhanced penalties for intoxication assault?
Texas law provides enhanced offenses and penalties under certain circumstances, enumerated in Section 49.09 of the Texas Penal Code.
- If you caused serious bodily injury to a first responder (e.g., peace officer, firefighter, EMT, etc.) who was performing his official duties at the time, the state will elevate the offense from a felony of the third degree to a felony of the second degree.
- If the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury that resulted in a persistent vegetative state, the state will also increase the offense to a felony of the second degree.
In Texas, second-degree felonies carry a range of penalties including a minimum of 2 years in prison (a maximum of 20 years), fines up to $10,000, and a license suspension.
We will work to disprove the circumstances above and shield you from any enhanced penalties.
Does the state have a valid case against me?
To convict you of intoxication assault, the state must prove three essential elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- You were operating a motor vehicle in a public place; AND
- You were legally intoxicated at the time; AND
- You (because of your intoxication) caused serious bodily harm to a person.
Our team will investigate your case to see if we can disprove any of those three elements.
How can a lawyer help me with my intoxication assault charge?
Intoxication assault is a serious charge that can impact your wallet, your job, and even your freedom. An intoxication assault lawyer at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg will investigate your case and explore all reasonable possibilities of a defense. We will look for grounds to create reasonable doubt about the elements of the charge.
We might explore any of the following:
- We might attempt to determine whether the victim’s injuries were his own fault. For example, if the victim was riding a bicycle without a helmet when he was involved in the accident, we might be able to prove that his injuries resulted from his lack of helmet. This would allow us to lessen your charges to a DWI, which is a misdemeanor, not a felony.
- We might also be able to prove that the injured party caused the accident, not you. Consider our example above: if our bicycle rider was riding at night and was not using a front or rear light or reflector, we could prove that the cyclist caused the accident, not you.
- We will also look into the chemical testing done at the scene of the accident. Breathalyzers are difficult to calibrate and administer. If there are any doubts about the administration or calibration, we will exploit those doubts. If the officer who calibrated the breathalyzer was not properly trained or certified, the results might be inadmissible.
- Because the results are based on an officer’s opinion and observation, field sobriety tests are subjective. If you failed your field sobriety tests, we can argue that your failure was not due to intoxication. For example, if you were unable to stand on one leg for 30 seconds, we can argue that it was due to balance issues you have. If you failed the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, we can argue that you failed because of an eye condition, not intoxication.
Fighting intoxication assault charges is an uphill battle, but the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help. Randall has decades of experience as both a Senior Chief Felony Prosecutor and a State District Trial Judge. This gives him insider knowledge on how the state operates and how it goes after people charged with intoxication assault.
Call us today at 214-696-9253.