Intoxication assault in Texas is when someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol operates a motor vehicle and then causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury to another person.
Serious injury is defined by the Texas Penal Code Chapter 49, as an 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.” It does not matter if the accident is caused by mistake or with intent, as the charge will still apply in both cases.
In the event of an accident, intoxication assault often accompanies a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. It is usually viewed differently than an ordinary assault in the eyes of the law.
Penalties for Intoxication Assault in Texas
The offense is categorized as a third-degree felony in Texas. Depending on who is injured and the damage they sustain, intoxication assault can be upped to a second- or first-degree felony.
This charge is enhanced when:
- A person causes serious bodily injury to first responders, such as a firefighter, police officer, or emergency medical technician while performing their duties.
- The injury results in severe brain damage, leaving the victim in a wakeful unconscious state that lasts for a prolonged period.
- The accident causes the death of another person.
- The driver has prior convictions of a similar offense.
Penalties range from between two and ten years’ imprisonment for a third-degree felony, and up to 20 years in prison for a second-degree felony. Both charges also include significant fines, in addition to a prison sentence.
If you are convicted of intoxication assault in Texas, and wondering what is involved, you will have a permanent criminal record and could face community service and supervised probation. You may also be required to install an ignition lock device on your car and attend counseling that you may have to pay for out of pocket.
Take Action Immediately If You Are Facing Intoxication Assault Charges
If you are convicted of a felony charge for intoxication assault, you may be facing more than prison time and steep fines. There could be far-reaching effects on your future, as well, especially when it comes to a career, applying for housing, exercising your voting rights, and even owning a firearm.
With so much at stake, having a defense lawyer to support you through this challenging time can be invaluable.
Possible Defense Strategies
Intoxication is determined by a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. In Texas, the legal limit for a person’s BAC level is 0.08. Being under the influence of drugs (both illegal and prescription) can also be deemed a form of intoxication.
To be charged with intoxication assault in Texas, the prosecutor must prove that the accused caused serious bodily injury to another person, such as permanent damage, disfigurement, or death.
There are ways to defend such accusations—a defense lawyer will be able to challenge the charges brought against you.
Working with your legal counsel and building a strong case could help combat the charges against you by proving:
- You were not intoxicated at the time of the accident.
- The injuries sustained by the other party are not considered as “serious bodily injury” as defined by the law.
- The intoxication did not result in the accident or injury.
- Evidence against you was improperly collected or inaccurate.
At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we provide a compassionate, thorough, and aggressive defense for each of our clients, protecting your rights in both the state and federal courts of Texas.
Texas Intoxication Assault Defense Attorneys
If you have been charged with intoxication assault in Texas, you may want to seek the help of a lawyer who has experience in fighting these offenses.
Judges take a tough stance against intoxication assaults so, before securing legal representation, be sure to ask about your defense lawyer’s:
- Legal standing with the Bar and any other professional accolades.
- Experience in defending intoxication charges.
- Use of strategies to lessen DWI charges.
- Procedures for investigating the allegations and evidence against you.
- Negotiating skills with the prosecution.
- Client testimonials.
You do not have to face this legal battle alone. When you work with the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, you can have the peace of mind that a dedicated legal team is putting over 30 years of experience to work for you. Our team is here to help you protect your rights and fight in your corner. If you are facing intoxication assault charges in Texas, call us today at (214) 696-9253 for a free case review.