When individuals think of the penalties of drinking and driving, what typically comes to mind is DUI and DWI charges. While these are common consequences for those found and convicted of driving under the influence of a drug or while intoxicated from alcohol, it is important to remember that there is a medley of related offenses that Denton citizens must be aware of.
Related DWI offenses may not always be the most thought about crimes, but regardless, they still need to be taken extremely seriously. Convictions for crimes such as public intoxication, resisting arrest, MIP (minor in possession), and other offenses can seriously deter your life and hinder your future.
Related DUI Offenses Defense Lawyer in Denton, Frisco, Lewisville, Flower Mound, TX
If you have been charged with a DUI-related offense in Denton, Lewisville, Flower Mound, Little Elm, or any of the surrounding areas of Denton County, The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy are ready to help you defend yourself in a Denton court of law. Featuring an elite team of law experts with decades of experience, Richard McConathy and his legal team can help you build a strong defense and give you an opportunity to fight for a favorable outcome. Call (940) 222-8004 for a free, confidential consultation with a litigation expert.
Types of Related DWI Offenses
- Common Moving Violations
- DWI and Resisting Arrest
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Open Alcohol Container in Vehicle
- Public Intoxication
Common Moving Violations
Traffic offenses and common moving violations are typically seen as minor infractions that carry minimal consequences. While this is typically true in most cases, many of these common traffic violations are the offenses that provide law enforcement officers with the probable cause they need to investigate you for a DWI or DUI-related offense.
Common moving violations in Texas include:
- Speeding (Texas Trans. Code § 545.351)
- Improper Turn (Texas Trans. Code § 545.351)
- Failure to Drive Within a Single Lane (Texas Trans. Code § 545.060)
- Failure to Signal (Texas Trans. Code § 545.104)
- Following Too Closely (Texas Trans. Code § 545.062)
DWI and Resisting Arrest
Failing to abide by a traffic officer’s commands can lead to serious criminal charges. At times, motorists continue to operate their vehicles even after being signaled to pull over. When this happens, you’ll be increasingly likely to be arrested for either resisting or evading arrest.
Section 38.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines resisting arrest as an individual intentionally and forcefully preventing or obstructing a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest, detainment, or search. Section 38.04 of the Texas Penal Code defines evading arrest as an individual intentionally fleeing from law enforcement attempting to perform a lawful arrest or detainment.
Resisting arrest is generally classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year and a fine of up to $4,000. Punishment for evading arrest is slightly less harsh, as it is typically classified as a Class B misdemeanor, with potential penalties including 180 days behind bars in addition to a fine up to $2,000.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol
Individuals under the age of 21 can be charged with MIP (minor in possession) if they are found to be in possession of an alcoholic beverage. According to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code § 106.071, a minor in possession of alcohol may face penalties such as a Class C Misdemeanor resulting in a fine of up to $500. However, if a minor receives multiple (two or more) convictions of the same offense, the penalties may increase to a jail sentence of up to 180 days and a fine of $250-$2,000.
In addition to jail time and fines, minors who are convicted of possessing alcohol may also be susceptible to other penalties. These punishments include driver’s license suspensions, mandatory alcohol awareness program enrollment, auto insurance denials, and court-ordered community service.
Open Alcohol Container in Vehicle
Commonly known as the open container law, it is illegal in Texas to have an open, unsealed container of an alcoholic beverage. Section 49.031 of the Texas Penal Code defines an open alcohol container like a can, bottle, or any other type of receptacle containing alcohol that has a broken seal, or partially removed contents.
It is against the law for a motorist to knowingly operate a vehicle while possessing an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of their vehicle. Open alcohol containers are typically punishable by a fine of up to $500, but these punishments can greatly increase if other convictions are involved. If you are convicted of a DWI, your open container charge may be upgraded to a Class B misdemeanor with up to 180 days of jail time and up to $2,000 in fines, fees, and court costs.
The Texas Penal Code § 49.02 states that a citizen can be arrested for public intoxication if they are in a public setting and intoxicated to a point where they present a danger to themselves and others.
In general, public intoxication is a class C misdemeanor that results in a fine of up to $500. However, repeat offenders will face harsher penalties if they are found publicly intoxicated. If someone has been convicted of three (3) or more public intoxication or disorderly conduct offenses during the previous 24 months, this conviction may upgrade to a class B misdemeanor according to the Texas Penal Code § 12.43, punishable by fines up to $2,000 and/or 180 days of jail time.
Public intoxication may seem like a small and inconsequential charge, but it is still a conviction that can absolutely stop your life’s progression. Having this on your record may not seem as grand as a DWI conviction, but it can still impede your future. Individuals who are convicted of DWI-related crimes such as public intoxication may have a harder time finding gainful employment and higher learning opportunities.
Resources For Related DWI Offenses in Denton, Texas
Texas Department of Public Safety: Alcohol-Related Offenses – This link takes you to the Texas DPS website, where you can find out more information on potential penalties and punishments for alcohol-related crimes in Texas.
Alcoholic Beverage Code – This link contains Chapter 106 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code. Here, you can learn more about the penalties and punishments that come along with alcohol-related charges against minors.
Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for Related DUI Offenses Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are not the only offenses you need to be aware of. There are related crimes that you may be committing if you are found driving with an open alcoholic beverage, publicly intoxicated to the point of endangerment, or a minor in possession of alcohol. These may not be DWI charges, but they are still extremely serious allegations and charges that need to be handled by quality lawyers.
Make sure you give yourself the best chance at a favorable outcome by calling The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy when you see your DWI-related offenses affecting your life. Time is of the essence when you’re facing charges related to DWIs, so if you’re worried about what you can do to potentially beat your charges, the best thing you can do for yourself is to contact a lawyer. Call our office today at (940) 222-8004 for a free consultation from one of our in-house litigation team members.