DWI Involving an Accident, Wreck or Injury Lawyer in Plano

A drunk driving accident, especially if anyone sustained serious injuries, can lead to years in prison and affect you for the rest of your life. In Texas, a DWI involving an accident, severe injury, or fatality may even leave you facing intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter charges. You need a criminal defense lawyer who will represent your interests and protect your rights under the law.

Randall Isenberg spent 30 years in the criminal justice system, including as a felony prosecutor and state district court judge in Texas. Having that experience and insight can be invaluable when you are fighting for your freedom and future. To discuss your case with a DWI involving an accident, wreck, or injury lawyer in Plano, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today for help: 214-696-9253.

What are the penalties for a DWI with accident, wreck, or injury?

Texas laws prosecute this crime based on two elements: driving while intoxicated (DWI) and the consequences of the subsequent accident.

The Texas Penal Code defines intoxication as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above or, based on the arresting officer’s opinion, lacking sufficient judgment and ability to function safely.

The penalties for the DWI portion vary, depending on whether it was your first, second, or third DWI.

First Offense DWI

  • Up to $2,000 in fines
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Potential 1-year driver’s license suspension
  • $1,000-$2,000 annual fee to retain driver license (for 3 years)

Second Offense DWI

  • Up to $4,000 in fines
  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Potential 2-year driver’s license suspension
  • $1,000-$2,000 annual fee to retain driver license (for 3 years)

Third Offense DWI

  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • 2 to 10 years in prison
  • Potential 2-year driver’s license suspension
  • $1,000-$2,000 annual fee to retain driver license (for three years)

If you had a minor child (<15 years old) as a passenger, if you had an open container of alcohol in your car, or if your BAC was 0.15 or above, your penalties will be higher.

DWI with Accident, Injury, or Fatality

If you caused an accident while driving drunk, and if that accident caused a life-threatening or debilitating injury, you will face charges for intoxication assault. If that accident caused a fatality, you will face intoxication manslaughter charges.

DWI with Property Damage

If your DWI led to an accident with property damage, any enhancements to the resulting charges and penalties will depend on the nature and value of the damage. You may face reckless damage or destruction charges. If the damage was extensive or costly, you could face criminal mischief charges, which can be a first-, second-, or third-degree felony.

Intoxication Assault Charges for DWI Involving an Injury Accident

If a DWI involving an accident or wreck causes severe or life-threatening injuries to another person, you may face third-degree felony DWI intoxication assault charges. (The penalties for intoxication assault are the same as those for a third DWI conviction, listed above.) If the accident involved injury to a peace officer, EMT, or firefighter, the state can charge you with a second-degree felony.

A second-degree felony intoxication assault conviction may carry some or all of the following penalties:

  • Prison sentence of 2 to 20 years
  • Monetary fines up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 2 years
  • Court costs and fees
  • Community service
  • Supervised probation
  • Substance abuse counseling or rehab
  • Ignition interlock device

Intoxication Manslaughter Charges for DWI Involving a Fatal Accident

If you drive drunk and cause a fatal accident, you may face intoxication manslaughter charges, a second-degree felony. If the victim was a peace officer or another type of first responder, you may face first-degree felony charges.

A first-degree felony intoxication manslaughter conviction may carry some or all of the following penalties:

  • Prison sentence between 5 and 99 years
  • Monetary fines up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension up to 2 years
  • Court costs and fees
  • Community service (up to 1,000 hours)
  • Supervised probation
  • Substance abuse counseling or rehab
  • Ignition interlock device

Can you successfully fight a DWI involving an accident, wreck, or injury?

Yes, however, because the potential penalties for this crime are so severe, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

The serious nature of these charges means that the prosecution has a high burden of proof. To legally establish that you were driving while intoxicated, the prosecutor must begin by proving each of the following elements:

  • That you were operating a motor vehicle
  • That you were doing so in a public location
  • That you were legally intoxicated at the time

In addition, the prosecution must prove the other elements of your case. For example, intoxication assault charges require that the injuries sustained by the victim constituted serious bodily harm. This means that the victim sustained a permanent disability or that the injuries were life-threatening.

The prosecutor must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your drunk driving caused the accident and that the accident caused serious bodily harm.

If we can disprove any of the elements of the prosecution’s case (e.g., you were not driving in a public place, the other driver caused the accident, you caused the accident but the other driver would not have been injured had he been wearing a seat belt), we may be able to reduce your charges [link to DWI reduction Plano] to a simple DWI.

Your attorney may also find cause to challenge the validity of the chemical BAC evidence. If officers did not conduct testing in accordance with established BAC testing, the evidence may be inadmissible in court.

In some cases, your DWI injury accident lawyer may be able to successfully negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce or even drop your charges.

Schedule a FREE consultation with a Plano DWI accident lawyer today.

With your future at stake, it is imperative that you act quickly to find an attorney to represent you. The earlier your lawyer can begin to examine the evidence against you, the better your chance of a favorable outcome.

Randall Isenberg, of the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, can put his more than 30 years of experience to work on your behalf. Our office provides a free consultation and case review to help you understand your options.

Contact us today to speak with a DWI involving an accident, wreck, or injury lawyer in Plano: 214-696-9253.

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