Felony DWI in Texas

Typically a driving while intoxicated offense is a misdemeanor. However, there are circumstances where a DWI can become a felony. If you are charged with a felony DWI is imperative you retain an experienced and skilled Travis County DWI attorney to fight your case.

Driving While Intoxicated

It is illegal in Texas to operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Texas defines intoxication as:

  • Not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body; or
  • having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more.

Officers use field sobriety exercises as a tool to show a person does not have the normal use of mental or physical faculties. Officers use breath and/or blood tests to prove an alcohol concentration is greater than 0.08.

When is a DWI a Felony in Texas?

Third DWI

If you have previously been convicted of at least two DWIs, the third DWI arrest will be filed as a felony. A DWI 3rd carries a punishment range of 2 – 10 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

DWI w/ Child Passenger

If you are arrested for DWI with a child under 15 years old in the car, you will be charged with a State Jail Felony. A state jail felony carries a punishment range of 180 days to 2 years in a state jail prison facility and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

Intoxication Assault & Intoxication Manslaughter

Two other scenarios where intoxication crimes become felonies are intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter. Intoxication assault occurs when a driver is suspected of DWI and injury occurs to another person. Intoxication manslaughter is similar, except death occurs to another person. Intoxication assault is a 3rd degree felony (see Third DWI above). Intoxication manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony with a punishment range of 2 – 20 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine.

If you have been charged with a felony DWI it is important to contact an attorney quickly. The sooner the attorneys can get on the case, the sooner they can investigate and preserve evidence to assist in defending your felony DWI. To learn more contact the DWI attorneys at The Adamo Law Firm.