Austin, TX- A DWI is a common offense in Texas. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), over 99,000 people were charged with DWI in 2013. The majority of people with a DWI are facing misdemeanor charges but there are circumstances that can lead to aggravated or felony DWI charges in Texas, which our team of DWI lawyers will discuss.
Each state has different laws pertaining to aggravated DWI charges. In the Lone Star State there are several mitigating circumstances than can elevate a simple DWI to a felony DWI. You can be charged with an aggravated DWI in Texas if:
- Your blood alcohol content exceeded .015
- You have been convicted of two prior DWIs and are facing your third
- You had a minor child under the age of 15 in your car at the time of your arrest, and
- You caused and accident that involved serious bodily injury or death while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If your DWI arrest involved any of those circumstances, police can charge you with aggravated/felony DWI which will greatly increase the penalties you face if you are convicted. Felony or aggravated DWI offenders face anywhere from 6 months in jail up 20 years. Aggravated DWI with a child passenger carries a jail sentence anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. If it is your third offense, you face a minimum of two years and up to 10 years in jail. If your aggravated charges arose out of a fatal accident, a convicted offender can face up to 15 years in jail. Fines of for aggravated DWI can total close to $10,000 and that doesn’t account for costs to install ignition interlock devices, reinstate your driver’s license and pay your legal fees.
Fair warning for those individuals facing aggravated/ felony DWI charges, Texas prosecutors and courts are typically eager to give offenders the worst of the penalties. For that reason, USAttorneys strongly urges you to contact a DWI lawyer in Austin or other Texas location to get the best possible defense.
Making matters worse for an aggravated DWI offender is the fact that Texas DWI statutes don’t allow offenders to seek a plea bargain. That means your defense has to be convincing and effective and your attorney must be able to demonstrate why you deserve leniency.
Whether you are facing a simple DUI or felony DWI charges, you need knowledgeable legal counsel on your side. The consequences of a DWI are immediate and long-term. A conviction means you could face costly fines and will have a criminal record that can plague you indefinitely. As soon as you are able, contact USAttorneys and we will connect you with a DWI defense attorney near your Texas location who can provide you with a strong and, hopefully, unbeatable defense. Legal help is your best bet at avoiding conviction so don’t delay action any longer.