TX Penal Code Ch 49.07 – Intoxication Assault

In addition to strict laws against driving while intoxicated (DWI), Texas also has unique laws to hold drunk drivers accountable for the injuries they cause in a DWI accident. This includes intoxication assault, defined in TX Penal Code Ch. 49.07. If a passenger in the drunk driver’s car or occupant of another vehicle dies from their injuries, the driver could face intoxication manslaughter charges instead.

Understanding TX Penal Code Ch. 49.07

Under TX Penal Code Ch. 49.07, a driver commits intoxication assault when:  

  • Operating a vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or amusement park ride while intoxicated due to drugs or alcohol, or assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated; and
  • Causes an accident where someone else suffers serious bodily injury.

The statute defines “serious bodily injury” as an injury that puts the person at a significant risk of death or causes permanent impairment or disfigurement.

In general, intoxication assault is a third-degree felony. However, more significant charges are possible in some cases. These situations include:

  • If the victim of the accident was an on-duty firefighter or emergency medical services personnel, prosecutors may charge you with a second-degree felony
  • If the victim was a police officer, another peace officer, or judge working in an official capacity at the time of the accident, prosecutors may charge you with a first-degree felony.
  • If the victim suffered a traumatic brain injury or another injury that resulted in a persistent vegetative state, prosecutors may charge you with a second-degree felony.

Possible Penalties After a Texas Intoxication Assault Conviction

Under Texas law, you could face significant time in prison and have to pay a large fine if convicted of intoxication assault. According to TX Penal Code Ch 12, potential penalties associated with an intoxication assault conviction include:

Conviction of a Third-Degree Felony Intoxication Assault

  • Between 2 and 10 years in state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000.

Conviction of a Second-Degree Felony Intoxication Assault

  • Between 2 and 20 years in state prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000.

Conviction of a First-Degree Felony Intoxication Assault

  • Life in state prison, or a sentence of between 5 and 99 years
  • A fine of up to $10,000.

As you can see, avoiding a conviction or getting the charges against you reduced may be the only way to avoid time behind bars when local police accuse you of intoxication assault and prosecutors press charges. We recommend reaching out to a Texas criminal defense attorney familiar with DWI cases and intoxication assault defense as soon as possible after your arrest. In the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you can reach our team at 214-696-9253.

Get Help with Your Intoxication Assault Defense Today

If the police arrested you for causing a DWI accident and either your passenger, the occupant of another car, or a pedestrian suffered serious injuries, you could face allegations of intoxication assault. While a DWI can cause you to lose your driver’s license and lead to a short stay in the county jail in some cases, intoxication assault is a much more serious felony charge.

At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, our team knows what it takes to fight this type of accusation. Attorney Randall Isenberg has more than 30 years of experience in criminal defense, having served as both a former prosecutor and Texas state district judge. He and his team will aggressively pursue a more favorable outcome in your case. This could include:

  • Stopping the prosecutors from filing intoxication assault charges.
  • Getting intoxication assault charges reduced or dropped.
  • Negotiating a plea bargain for a DWI charge.
  • Presenting a strong defense on your behalf in court.
  • Working with the court to negotiate a more favorable sentence.

If you face allegations or charges of intoxication assault, you do not have to try to navigate this process on your own. The team from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg is here to help. Let us review your case and go to work building a solid defense on your behalf today.

Talk to a Texas DWI and Intoxication Assault Attorney About Your Case

At the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, we serve those accused of drunk driving and many related charges in Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and surrounding areas. If your DWI case turns into accusations or charges of intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter, we can help you fight for a more favorable outcome based on the facts of your case.

Call us today at 214-696-9253 to learn more about our services or to get started right away.

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