Intoxication assault is a serious crime that often escalates a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge to a felony in Texas. If convicted, you may face a hefty prison sentence, fines costing thousands of dollars, and a permanent criminal record. There are also potentially severe consequences for your future when it comes to career opportunities, the ability to apply for housing, exercising your voting rights, and even owning a firearm.
You may be worried about what you can do at this difficult time or who is best-suited to help you. A Fort Worth intoxication assault lawyer can be an invaluable ally when it comes to building a solid defense to mitigate the consequences of the allegations against you. Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at (214) 696-9253 for a free consultation.
Intoxication Assault Is Classed as a Third-Degree Felony Offense
Intoxication assault is an enhanced penalty that often accompanies a DWI charge after an accident, where the collision results in serious bodily harm to another person. Intoxication is defined under Texas law TX Penal Code § 49.01(2) as:
“Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances . . . or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.”
To be convicted of intoxication assault, the state must prove that a person operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated from alcohol or drugs in a public place, and caused serious bodily injury to another by accident or mistake. Serious bodily injury is defined under TX Penal Code § 49.07(b) as bodily harm that:
“Creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
How Texas Law Classifies Intoxication Assault
Intoxication assault is classed as a third-degree felony; however, it can be enhanced or upped to a second-degree felony if:
- The accident causes a fatality.
- The accident causes serious bodily harm to first responders while they are in the line of duty.
- The accident results in a victim experiencing severe brain damage that leaves them in a prolonged wakeful unconscious condition (also referred to as a vegetative state).
- The driver has persistent prior convictions of a similar offense.
Penalties for Intoxication Assault Charges Involving Serious Bodily Injury
Under Chapter 12 of the TX Penal Code, the charges for intoxication assault involving serious bodily injury in Texas could see you facing the following consequences:
- Third-degree felony charges:
- 2 to 10 years in state prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony charges:
- 2 to 20 years in state prison
- A fine of up to $10,000
If you are convicted of such charges, you could also face any of the following:
- License suspension of 3 months to 2 years, depending on whether you have any prior DWI convictions
- Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
- Permanent criminal record
- Mandatory participation in drug or alcohol rehabilitation counseling
- Supervised probation
- Community service
With your future in the balance, it is vital to secure legal representation from a Fort Worth intoxication assault lawyer sooner rather than later, so they can quickly begin to work on defense strategies to minimize the potentially devastating impact of the accusation on your life.
An Intoxication Assault Attorney Can Build Your Defense
There are several aspects of intoxication assault that the state is required to prove to obtain a conviction. Having representation from a defense attorney who understands all the factors involved in such cases can provide you with a strong defense with the aim of:
- Presenting a solid argument for case acquittal
- Negotiating lesser charges
- Negotiating for a more lenient sentence
- Having the charges dropped entirely in some instances
A Fort Worth intoxication assault lawyer from our firm can build defense strategies by challenging the evidence the state has against you.
Potential Defenses Against Intoxication Assault Charges
Your lawyer will be able to thoroughly investigate the accident and examine any evidence brought against you, including police and witness statements and test results.
They will also be able to examine the equipment used for testing to check for functionality and maintenance. In addition, they can verify that all procedures, training, and methods were correctly followed during the process of bringing the charges against you. Any discrepancies found could indicate:
- You were not intoxicated at the time of the accident.
- There were errors with the field sobriety tests.
- The results of the chemical test were inaccurate.
- Protocols were not followed correctly during the arrest.
You do not have to struggle with this legal battle alone. With the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at your side, you can be confident your case is receiving the dedication and resources required for developing a robust defense. Our firm services Texas communities with over 30 years of experience. Talk to us today at (214) 696-9253 for honest, practical, and trusted advice.
What to Do When You Are Charged With Intoxication Assault
There are several other steps you can take in addition to retaining an attorney, including the following:
Gather and Document Everything You Can to Help Build a Strong Defense
Prosecutors will, undoubtedly, collect all the proof they possibly can to support their claims against you. Your defense will involve gathering more evidence that can negate the validity of the prosecution’s argument.
The more details you provide to your attorney, the easier it will be to determine which legal approaches will work in your favor. Write down as much information as possible from the incident and provide specific details. For example, consider questions like:
- Who was in the vehicle with you?
- What were you doing before the incident?
- When did the incident occur?
Also, note any legitimate medication you took or the things you noticed about the victim may hold the key to a solid, strategic defense.
Fort Worth Intoxication Assault Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
Be On Your Best Behavior
While awaiting litigation, try to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble. Evidence of more wrongdoings may be used against you in court. For example, if there is any question regarding if you drove while under the influence again, the battle against prosecuting attorneys and their claims will be much more difficult.
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Take Action Sooner, Not Later
Even if you have already been charged with intoxication assault, you may not be aware of the extent of the victim’s injuries. Damages that initially present as mere “bodily injury” could turn into a “serious bodily injury” down the road.
Gather the proper documents and reach out to a Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. If you wait, documentation may get misplaced, and you will have less time to build a strategy that can help you avoid the most severe penalties.
Related Vehicular Assault Offenses
A person can be charged with intoxication manslaughter and taken into custody (TX Penal Code § 49.08) if they are believed responsible for the death of another individual while operating a vehicle while intoxicated. This crime is punishable by a second-degree felony. However, if the person causes the death of law enforcement, emergency medical technician, firefighter, or other first responders, the offender could be arrested and charged with a first-degree felony.
Under TX Transp. Code § 550.021, a person can be arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an accident, often a third-degree felony, if they fail to do the following after an accident involving injuries or death:
- Stop their vehicle at the scene immediately or as close to the accident location as possible
- Immediately stop while avoiding interference with more traffic than necessary
- Return to the accident location as soon as possible if the driver does not immediately stop at the accident’s location
- Remain at the accident’s location until specific statutory provisions have been met
A driver can also be arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter, according to TX Penal Code § 19.04, if they carelessly cause the death of another individual while operating a motor vehicle.
Fortunately, our experienced intoxication assault attorneys can also handle cases involving other serious charges, including manslaughter.
Protect Your Future With a Fort Worth Intoxication Assault Lawyer at Your Side
If you have been arrested for intoxication assault and are unsure how to proceed or how to find legal representation that is best suited to your circumstances, doing a little research beforehand is time well spent. Positive indicators to check for when considering a defense attorney include:
- Legal standing with the bar association and any other professional accolades
- Experience in defending intoxication assault charges
- Use of strategies to lessen charges and sentences
- Procedures for investigating the allegations and evidence against you
- Negotiating skills with the prosecution
- Client testimonials of similar cases
- License to practice before a federal court
Reach Out to Our Firm for a Free Consultation
If you are facing intoxication assault charges in Fort Worth, it is vital to act quickly and secure legal representation. The sooner your attorney can begin to examine the evidence against you, the better.
Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg at (214) 696-9253 to discuss your case at no obligation today and benefit from the help of a board-certified former Senior Chief Felony Prosecutor and State District Trial Judge with 30 years of experience.