If you are being accused of a felony DWI crime, it’s crucial that you seek the counsel of an experienced felony criminal defense attorney. If convicted you could have your license taken away and spend up to 20 years in prison.
You will also be faced with the social stigma and guilt if you injured another person while under the influence. It’s possible to avoid conviction if you speak with a felony criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Texas Felony DWI Attorney
The Benken Law Firm has proven experience defending felony DWI charges in Harris County courts. Brian Benken is certified criminal defense attorney with over 30 years of experience who will strive to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Call The Benken Law Firm today at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a time to speak with Brian Benken, or submit your information in the online contact form. The Benken Law Firm represent clients in every community across Harris County and surrounding counties such as Houston, Bellaire, Piney Point Village, West University Place, Galena Park and many others.
Overview of Felony DWI in Harris County, TX
The first two DWI convictions in Texas are considered misdemeanors while the third is classified as a third-degree felony. Texas has strict penalties regarding a third DWI offense. Under the section 12.34 of the Texas Penal Code, the punishments for a third-degree felony include the following:
- At least two years and up to 10 in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Up to 10 years of probation or community supervision with 160 to 600 hours of community service.
- An ignition interlock device that will require a breath sample before the vehicle can start
- A suspended driver’s license for six months to two years
DWI with Serious Bodily Injury
DWI with serious bodily injury is defined as intoxicated assault under Texas law. The crime is considered a third-degree felony, and if convicted, you could face the following penalties:
- A required prison term of no less than two years, but the court can impose a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
- A minimum of 30 days in county jail, which must be served as a condition of probation.
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- At least 160 hours of community service but the court can impose up to 600 hours
DWI with Minor in the Vehicle
Operating a vehicle while under the influence with a minor in the vehicle who is under 15 is considered a felony in Texas. If found guilty of the crime you could be charged with a state jail felony and face 180 days and up to two years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You may also be required to attend DWI school and have and have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle.
The charge can also be upgraded to a third-degree felony if it can be proven that:
- The offender used a deadly weapon while committing the offense
- The offender had been previously convicted of a felony; or
- The offender had been convicted to two or more state jail felonies
When a drunk or intoxicated person operates a motor vehicle and causes the death of another person, it is considered intoxicated manslaughter. Texas law requires the court to impose mandatory penalties for those convicted of the crime that includes:
- A mandatory sentence of two years, but no more than 20 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- 240 hours of mandatory community service for any probation term, but the court has the authority to impose up to 800 hours.
Those who drink and drive have the intention of making it home without harming or killing another person. Unfortunately, though, some people get into a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they injure or kill someone. To protect yourself from the damage of a felony DWI; it would be in the best interest to contact an experienced DWI defense attorney.
Collateral Consequences of Felony DWI in Texas
Getting a felony DWI conviction in Texas can have consequences far beyond fines and jail time. An offender might be sentenced to imprisonment, have to pay hundreds of dollars in fines, and they may have to figure out how to get to work without a driver’s license for months to come.
Additional collateral consequences that an offender can face after their conviction include:
- Loss of voting rights
- Loss of professional licenses
- Loss of a current job
- Eligibility for housing
- Loss of the right to possess a gun
- Community service
- Vehicle restrictions
- Difficulty in citizenship and naturalization (for immigrants)
Additional Resources for Felony DWI
Texas DWI Laws– Follow this link to the Texas Statutes and Constitution website to familiarize yourself with the DWI laws in Texas. The statue defines the state’s legal limit as well as what is considered driving while intoxicated.
Texas Felony Punishments– Familiarize yourself with how each felony is punished in Texas. You can also learn how habitual felony offenders are punished as well as misdemeanors. The penalties can be read in chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code.
Texas Department of Transportation: DWI – Access the official website for the Texas Department of Transportation to read information regarding impaired driving and penalties.
Houston Felony DWI Attorney | Harris County, TX
If you are being investigated for a felony DWI in Harris County, it could be in your best interest to contact The Benken Law Firm as soon as possible. Brian Benken has over 30 years experience as a felony criminal defense attorney, and he will do everything in his power to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.
Call The Benken Law Firm today at (713) 223 - 4051 to schedule a free case consultation. Brian Benken represents clients in every community in Harris County and surrounding counties. Some of these communities include but are not limited to, Houston, Bellaire, West University Place and Galena Park.