Intoxication Assault Lawyer in Fort Worth

In Fort Worth, you may face intoxication assault charges if you cause a car accident while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The combination of DWI and a car wreck can have deadly consequences. If someone else suffers serious bodily injury — and the prosecutor can prove your drunk driving was the cause — you will face an extended prison term and a substantial monetary fine.

If you are facing charges after an accident that involved an injury, an intoxication assault lawyer in Fort Worth can help protect your legal rights.

Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today: 214-696-9253.

What is intoxication assault under Texas law?

The Texas Penal Code defines intoxication assault as any offense wherein an individual, “while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another.”

Although this part of the statute provides a broad description of this offense, Fort Worth intoxication assault charges typically involve a DWI car accident that results in serious injuries to someone other than the allegedly drunk driver.

You can face charges regardless of whether the injured party was in your car or another car.

What are the penalties for intoxication assault?

Upon conviction for intoxication assault (a third-degree felony), you will face the following penalties:

  • Prison term of 2 to 10 years
  • Monetary fine up to $10,000
  • Mandatory driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years
  • Community service of up to 600 hours
  • Completion of state alcohol education program
  • Installation of ignition interlock devices on all owned vehicles

In addition to these penalties, you must pay for all court costs and fees. The judge may impose supervised probation or periodic alcohol testing, in addition to the prison sentence.

For a second-degree felony intoxication assault conviction (e.g., if you injured a peace officer, EMT, or firefighter in the “actual discharge of an official duty”), the potential penalties increase substantially. You face:

  • A prison term of up to 20 years
  • Monetary fine up to $10,000
  • Mandatory driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years
  • Community service of up to 800 hours
  • Completion of state alcohol education program
  • Installation of ignition interlock devices on all owned vehicles

Depending on the circumstances of the accident, the prosecution may also stack on additional charges. Property damage, having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, having a minor passenger in your car, or a BAC over 0.15 can elevate penalties.

What are your options for Fort Worth intoxication assault charges?

Once the prosecutor has filed intoxication assault charges against you, you have three options. You can:

  • Plead guilty to the charges as filed
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor for lesser charges or dismissal
  • Fight the charges in court

We can explain your options in greater detail, especially as they relate to your circumstances. The first option — pleading guilty — is rarely the preferred course of action. If we can identify any potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, we will begin fighting the charges.

What weaknesses might your firm exploit in my intoxication assault case?

The penalties for a Fort Worth intoxication assault conviction are severe enough to warrant a potential challenge in court. We might fight your case on the following:

Extent of Bodily Injury

For an intoxication assault conviction, the Texas statutes require someone to have sustained “serious bodily injury” in the accident. Texas Penal Code Section 49.07 defines serious bodily injury as, “injury 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.”

In many cases, prosecutors may attempt to succeed with intoxication assault charges even when the sustained injuries do not meet the standards of the statute.

Level of Impairment

To obtain a Texas DWI conviction, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant was operating the vehicle in a public place while impaired under the relevant statutes. Even if you registered above the legal BAC limit in chemical testing, this does not necessarily prove that you were impaired.

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) have established guidelines and regulations for BAC chemical testing. If any part of the process failed to comply with the NHTSA BAC testing standards or the breath alcohol testing regulations, we may be able to get the evidence thrown out.

Establishing Fault

Involvement in an accident, regardless of impairment level, does not automatically indicate fault. And, even if the prosecution can argue convincingly in court that your negligence caused the accident, it must also provide that the accident caused the other party’s injuries.

Establishing fault in a car accident requires proving negligence. The four-part legal test for negligence means that the prosecution must prove that:

  • You had a duty of care to other motorists on the road.
  • You violated that duty by driving while intoxicated.
  • Your intoxication caused the resulting accident.
  • Someone suffered serious injuries as a result of the accident.

If the prosecution proves that you caused the accident, we will work to prove that the injuries occurred in another way. For example, we might work to prove that the other party’s injuries resulted from another incident or occurred because that party was not wearing a seat belt.

We will look into your case and determine which approach might work best.

Call a Fort Worth intoxication assault lawyer today.

Based on the seriousness of intoxication assault charges and the high cost of a conviction, it is critical that you find a Texas DWI lawyer to assist you as soon as possible. In addition to making sure that you understand your options and the potential consequences, an attorney can provide critical support through the entire process.

Your lawyer can scrutinize all available evidence to identify potential weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. Your lawyer will also have access to expert witnesses who can help to reconstruct the accident and determine exactly what occurred.

The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg offers free consultations and case reviews for Texas DWI clients. Contact our office today to speak to an intoxication assault lawyer in Fort Worth: 214-696-9253.

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