Felony DWI Lawyer in Plano

In Texas, you will face felony DWI charges upon your third or subsequent drunk driving arrest. Intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter offenses also qualify for felony charges. A felony DWI charge can mean decades in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.

Having a strong defense is paramount to ensuring your freedom and your future. For help from a felony DWI drunk driving lawyer in Plano, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg: 214-696-9253.

DWI alcohol and keys

What is a Texas felony DWI or drunk driving charge?

In most cases, Texas drunk driving charges are misdemeanors. For felony DWI charges to apply, you must have either:

  • Two previous convictions for DWI; or
  • Committed Intoxication assaultor intoxication manslaughter; or
  • DWI with a minor (under age 15) passenger in your vehicle

What are the penalties for felony drunk driving in Texas?

The penalties you can expect depend on the type of charge you are facing. For example, if you face a third DWI charge or intoxication assault charges, you can expect third-degree felony charges. Intoxication manslaughter brings second-degree felony charges. Below, we detail what penalties you can expect for each felony.

First-Degree Felony

  • Mandatory prison sentence of 5 to 99 years or life
  • Monetary fines of up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years
  • Civil penalties of up to $2,000 per year to retain your license

Second-Degree Felony

  • Prison sentence of 2 to 20 years
  • Monetary fines of up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years
  • Civil penalties of up to $2,000 per year to retain your license

Third-Degree Felony

  • Prison sentence of 2 to 10 years
  • Monetary fines of up to $10,000
  • Driver’s license suspension of up to 2 years
  • Civil penalties of up to $2,000 per year to retain your license

The state may also require you to:

  • Attend an alcohol education program and possibly go to counseling
  • Complete felony DWI school
  • Install an ignition interlock on every vehicle you own
  • Consent to supervised probation
  • Perform 1,000 hours of community service

Will I have to go to an ALR hearing for felony DWI?

Every Texas drunk driving arrest prompts an administrative license revocation (ALR), even if the state drops the charges or the court finds you not guilty. You will also face license suspension if you refuse to submit to chemical testing for BAC.

The Texas  ALR program is a civil proceeding administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS), separate from the criminal component of your case. Upon arrest for felony drunk driving, the officer will issue you a notice of driver’s license suspension. From the date of your arrest, you have 15 days to formally request an ALR hearing. If you fail to request a hearing, your license suspension automatically becomes effective on day 40.

In a felony DWI case, the ALR hearing is critical for more than just preserving your driver’s license. This hearing provides your attorney with his first opportunity to review the evidence against you. This can assist your lawyer in identifying weaknesses in the case that he can use to negotiate the dismissal or reduction of your pending charges.

What defenses might apply in my Plano felony DWI case?

Some potential avenues of defense against felony DWI include challenging the legality of your traffic stop and the officer’s probable cause for arresting you.

For a traffic stop to be legal, the officer must have had a reasonable suspicion that you were legally intoxicated while driving in a public place. During the stop, the officer must have followed established protocols for conducting field sobriety tests, as set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Failure to adhere to these standards may invalidate the officer’s decision to require chemical testing.

Likewise, any breath, blood, or urine testing must have complied with NHTSA’s BAC chemical testing standards. Otherwise, the results of that testing may be inadmissible in court.

Your attorney may also call on expert witnesses and subject matter experts to provide testimony on your behalf.

Speak with a Plano felony DWI lawyer for FREE.

Before you make any decisions about your case, it is imperative that you speak to a DWI attorney. Making the wrong choice can land you in prison with the prospect of a serious criminal offense on your permanent record.

The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg assists clients with DWI and criminal defense in Plano. Randall has 30 years’ experience as a chief felony prosecutor and a state district judge. This inside knowledge of how the system works can help him get a better deal in your case.

To help you make an informed choice, we offer complimentary consultations and case reviews. Do not put your future at risk by attempting to fight your drunk driving charges alone. Call us today to schedule an appointment: 214-696-9253.

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