If you have been accused of causing a wreck while driving intoxicated, you risk one or more felony convictions and the potential of years – or even life – behind bars.
Some of the potential charges you may face for a drunk driving accident include DWI property damage, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter.
In these circumstances, a strong legal defense is critical for protecting your future. After a DWI involving an accident, wreck, our Dallas criminal defense lawyers can help you understand your options and choose a course of action that may protect you from serious penalties.
How Can I Fight a DWI Injury Accident, Assault, or Manslaughter Charge?
You need a solid strategy for challenging your arrest. A Dallas DWI accident attorney from Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can explain your rights under the law and help you explore all potential options. These options may include:
- Negotiating with the prosecutor to reduce or drop your charges, or entering a not guilty plea and taking your case to trial
- Arguing that the court should not allow the presentation of breath, blood, urine, or field sobriety test results due to police error, misconduct, or lack of probable cause
- Examining other evidence against you and/or collecting fresh evidence of our own
- Seeking a way to keep this charge and/or conviction off your criminal record (such as via deferred adjudication), or helping you expunge your record after the fact
- Preparing to represent you in the courtroom by submitting trial exhibits or writing up oral arguments
- Presenting the strongest possible case to a judge and jury for their consideration
For a DWI involving an accident, wreck or injury, a lawyer at our Dallas, Texas office can work diligently on your behalf and provide critical support throughout the process by:
- Keeping you updated about new developments or progress in the case
- Helping you to understand the legal process and decide which course of action is best for you
- Responding to all of your questions in a timely manner and explaining all of your legal rights and options
- Offering a professional perspective that would be difficult for you to achieve on your own, given your proximity to the case and lack of legal expertise
There are many ways to fight a DWI accident charge. We can examine your case to determine the best option to protect you and your future.
What Texas Laws Address DWI with an Accident or Injury?
Per TX Penal Code § 49.08, officers can arrest you if they find you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above.
State 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 issues enhanced charges in certain circumstances, such as DWI involving:
- An accident
- A child under 15 in the car
- An open container of alcohol
- Property damage
What is Intoxication Assault in Texas?
If your alleged drunk driving accident caused serious bodily injury to one or more people, you may face felony DWI charges known as intoxication assault.
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- or even first-degree felony charges apply. First-degree felonies are the most serious of all charges, aside from a capital felony.
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 two 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 alleged drunk driving accident takes someone’s life, you could 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.
What is Criminal Mischief in Texas?
If you “intentionally or knowingly” damaged property, as TX Penal Code § 28.03 puts it, you could face criminal mischief charges. These carry felony charges in the first, second, or third degree. Which classification you are charged with depends on the circumstances of the case, the strength of the evidence against you, and so forth.
If convicted of criminal mischief, you could face fines of varying amounts, depending on:
- How much damage was done
- How that damage affected the property owners
- What type of property was affected (e.g., interfering with a public water supply or someone’s livestock may result in stricter charges and penalties)
The prosecutor will determine which of these additional charges are applicable in your case.
How DWI Accident Penalties Affect Your Life
The penalties for intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, or reckless damage or destruction include:
- Prison time
- Fines, fees, restitution, and other expenses
- License suspension
- Mandatory attendance of an alcohol awareness or other type of course
- Installation of an interlock ignition in your car
These penalties can have serious, long-term consequences for yourself and your loved ones. For example, you could:
- Lose your job and have trouble finding a new one
- Get kicked out of the place you live in now, either by a landlord or a relative, and struggle to find a new place to live
- Lose a great deal of money due to fines or the inability to find a job
- Struggle with mental health problems caused or worsened by lengthy prison terms
Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg can help you fight DWI charges that may result in such penalties and consequences. This way, you do not have to worry about taking on the legal system by yourself.
Call Us Today to Protect Your Future
Choosing the right lawyer 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. Contact Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today to get a free consultation from our Dallas office: (214) 696-9253. We represent many types of criminal cases, including DWIs involving an accident, wreck, or injury.