DWI or Driving While Intoxicated is one of the most common violation not just in the state of Texas but in the entire country. Hundreds of drivers and travelers are flagged down on different roads every day because of drunk driving while they are traveling. There are thousands of accidents reported every year involving drunk drivers among travelers. Thus, in recent years, the law became more stringent in the punishment for DWI in the hope of decreasing drunk driving.
Many travel lovers often ask whether or not DWI is considered a felony, especially in Texas. The answer to that is yes and no. A DWI conviction may or may not get counted as a felony depending on many different factors. Felony DWI does exist under certain conditions. However, it is best to learn everything you can on the different types of DWI charges to make everything clear.
DWI as Misdemeanor
Under normal circumstances, DWI is considered a misdemeanor and is punished as such. When you are convicted on your first and second time, it is still counted as a misdemeanor. Frequently, your first and second conviction is considered as a Class B misdemeanor, but the punishments differ. For your first offense, you will need to pay a fine of $2000 maximum plus imprisonment of up to six months. On your second conviction, your charges can reach up to $4000 plus imprisonment of a maximum of one year.
DWI as Felony
DWI may be considered as a felony under certain circumstances. It is often dependent on the situation or the severity of the outcome of your drunk driving. There are three conditions when a DWI gets counted as a felony. They are listed and explained below.
Conditions for Felony DWI
For most people, getting convicted for a particular violation once is enough to last them for a lifetime, but for some, it becomes a repetitive thing. Getting charged once is often understandable since no one is perfect. Your second could be justified, especially if you didn’t do it on purpose. However, the third is serious. Thus, the punishment becomes severe and is considered a felony offense. When you drink and drive often, it can cause different accidents which is damaging not just to you and your properties but also on other people. DWI is an offense that can be prevented and save lives.
Severe Bodily Injuries
When your drunk driving caused harm to other people or properties, you can get charged for a felony. It is especially true if proven that you exceeded the acceptable Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) which is 0.08 percent. Causing harm to yourself is not good but causing injury to others or properties is terrible. The official term for this is intoxication assault as written under the Texas Penal Code Section 49.07.
Whether it is accidental or not, killing someone due to drunk driving will land you in prison with a second-degree felony charge. The provisions for this is written under the Texas Penal Code 49.08. The punishment will also follow as written on the code.
As a traveler, you need to be familiar with the things mentioned above to safeguard yourself during your travel, especially in Texas. If you need assistance relating to a DWI case, visit our firm so we can help you sort it out.