A person who is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) will face misdemeanor charges that can result in some very stiff consequences. However, if an allegedly intoxicated motorist causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury to another person, then that driver could be charged with the felony offense of intoxication assault.
While most drivers in these cases certainly did not intend to cause injuries to other parties, prosecutors take the charges very seriously and pursue the maximum punishments. For this reason, it is critical to seek the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you have been arrested for this offense.
Intoxication Assault Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX
If you have been charged with causing serious bodily injury to another person because you were driving under the influence, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today. You need to request an administrative license suspension hearing within 15 days to get your driver’s license back if you either refused to submit to chemical testing or failed a breath or blood test.
Our firm fights for clients all over the Lewisville area, including Flower Mound, Denton, and Grapevine. Call (940) 222-8004 right now to set up a free, confidential consultation that will let us review your case and discuss all of your legal options.
Denton County Charges for DWI Assault
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.07, a person commits this offense when he or she, by accident or mistake, operates a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated and by reason of the intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another party. For the purposes of this law, serious bodily injury is defined as an injury that “creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
This crime is classified as a third-degree felony, but there are aggravating factors that may trigger enhanced charges and penalties. The offense may be classified as a second-degree felony in either of the following scenarios:
- The alleged offender caused serious bodily injury to a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of an official duty
- The alleged offender caused serious bodily injury to another in the nature of a traumatic brain injury that results in a persistent vegetative state
It is extremely important to understand that these cases do not necessarily need to involve multiple vehicles. People are commonly charged with this offense in single-vehicle accidents resulting in serious injuries to a passenger who might be a friend or family member of the driver. Even if the alleged victim does not want to press charges, the decision to pursue a DWI assault case is actually made by the state.
Texas Penalties for Assault While Driving Drunk
If a person is convicted of DWI assault, the possible punishments are fairly severe. Depending on the specific classification of the offense, some of the consequences can include:
- Third-Degree Felony — Punishable by up to 10 in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and up to 600 hours of community service
- Second-Degree Felony — Punishable by up to 20 in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and up to 600 hours of community service
In addition to the penalties listed above, the court may also impose additional punishments that could include any of the following:
- Suspension of driver’s license
- DWI education class
- Random drug or alcohol testing
- Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment program
- Installation of deep-lung device (DLD) or ignition interlock device (IID)
- Electronic monitoring
Related Intoxication Assault Offenses in Denton County
In addition to being arrested for DWI assault, an alleged offender may also be charged with additional crimes. A few examples of common offenses that often accompany these assault charges include:
- Reckless Driving, Texas Transportation Code § 545.401 — If an alleged offender drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property, this is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $200 and/or up to 30 days in county jail.
- Driving While License Invalid, Texas Transportation Code § 521.457 — It is a Class A misdemeanor if an alleged offender operates a motor vehicle while his or her driver’s license is canceled, suspended, revoked, or expired and causes or is at fault in a motor vehicle accident that results in serious bodily injury.
- Leaving the Scene of Accident or “Hit and Run,” Texas Transportation Code § 550.021 — It is a third-degree felony if an alleged offender is involved in an accident resulting in serious bodily injury and does not:
- immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible
- immediately return to the scene of the accident if the vehicle is not stopped at the scene of the accident
- immediately determine whether a person is involved in the accident and if a person is involved in the accident, whether that person requires aid
- remain at the scene of the accident until the operator exchanges information and/or renders aid
Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for Intoxication Assault Charges | Law Office of Richard C. McConathy
Have you been charged with DWI assault in Denton County? You should immediately seek the help of experienced criminal defense attorneys Richard C. McConathy and Brian A. Bolton.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents clients accused of various drunk driving offenses in Lewisville and nearby areas such as Little Elm, The Colony, and Westlake. Our firm can review your case when you call (940) 222-8004 to take advantage of a completely free consultation.