Felony DWI Defense
Houston Felony DWI Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Multiple driving while intoxicated (DWI) violations in the state of Texas could result in felony DWI charges. It’s never wise to sit back and let the legal process take its course. The potential criminal and civil penalties for felony drunk driving charges are substantial. A Houston area DWI attorney knows how to fight DWI charges and avoid the serious consequences of another conviction.
What is Felony Drinking and Driving?
Felony drinking and driving charges can result from two or more DWI convictions or an auto accident that causes death or injury. Police officers are always on the alert for erratic driving patterns such as driving too slowly or frequently changing lanes. If the driver is physically or mentally incapacitated or fails an administered field sobriety test, they can be arrested. According to the Texas Penal Code, the allowable blood alcohol content (BAC) in the state is 0.08 or less.
A second DWI conviction may not result in a felony charge, but the odds of being charged with felony DWI increase with each and every violation. The Texas judicial system assumes that anyone with two or more DWI convictions has a serious substance abuse problem. Such persons are regarded as threats to the safety and well-being of other drivers. The representation of a skilled felony DWI attorney will be required to avoid incarceration time in such instances.
Felony Driving While Intoxicated Penalties
The available punishment for a second DWI conviction is roughly twice what a defendant would typically receive for an initial DWI violation. The following felony charges and penalties can be imposed:
- State jail felony (driving with a child under the age of 15 as a passenger): Six months to two years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000
- Third-degree felony: Up to ten years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000
- Second-degree felony (DWI manslaughter): Up to 20 years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000
Depending on the prior criminal record of the defendant and the nature of the offense, the following civil penalties may also be imposed:
- License suspension or revocation
- Installation of an ignition interlock device
- Treatment for controlled substance abuse
Defending Against Felony DWI Accusations
A knowledgeable DWI lawyer will challenge the weakest elements of the prosecution’s case. A thorough investigation will reveal if there was probable cause to conduct a traffic stop, the validity of the blood alcohol test and whether the officer was properly trained to administer a field sobriety test. It may be possible to have the DWI charges reduced or dismissed.
Ask for Help From a Felony DWI Lawyer in Houston, TX
A Houston defense lawyer will do everything possible to help his client avoid incarceration time or the loss of driving privileges. It should never be assumed that conviction is inevitable. Schedule a free case evaluation with The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp to learn about your legal options.