Is a DUI a Felony in Texas?

Harrell & Paulson

Whether guilty or not, a DUI charge can have severe implications that impact the rest of your life. Not only can you face criminal charges, but this crime can tarnish your reputation and stain your record. When going up against the law, ensuring you understand the charges you face is essential. Keep reading to learn more about this crime and discover how a Kaufman County, Texas DWI lawyer can fight for you.

Is a DWI Different Than a DUI?

In Texas, a DWI is different from a DUI. The penalties for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) tend to be much harsher than for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).  However, this does not mean the penalties for a DUI should be taken lightly. For your first DUI, which is considered a Class C Misdemeanor in Texas, you will face a $500 fine. However, for subsequent charges, you can also face jail time.

A DWI, on the other hand, carries heavier consequences. If convicted of a felony DWI, you can face a $10,00 fine, a minimum of two years in prison, and a license suspension.

What Constitutes a DUI?

Driving under the influence occurs when a driver is operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol when it impairs the ability to drive. For example, if someone is under the legal limit but is still affected by the drinks they had, they would be considered to be driving under the influence.

Also, anyone under 21 caught drinking and driving will face a DUI in Texas. An under-21 DUI will always be a misdemeanor charge, regardless of how many times they are charged. If you have any detectable alcohol in your system and are caught driving, you face a DUI charge since it is illegal for anyone under 21 to consume alcohol.

A DWI charge is issued when the driver of a vehicle has a blood alcohol concentration at or greater than 0.08%, which is considered the legal limit.

When Is a DWI a Felony in Texas?

You can face a felony DWI in Texas in many different situations. In this state, a person’s first two DWIs are considered misdemeanor charges. However, the third and any subsequent charges are then considered a felony.

A DWI felony is also issued when the driver is consuming alcohol with a child under 15 in the car. This is charged as DWI with a child passenger and is considered child endangerment.

Another instance you would face a felony is if you hit and injure or kill someone with your car when driving while intoxicated. It is considered intoxicated assault when someone sustains severe injuries and intoxication manslaughter when someone dies as a result of the accident.

If you’re facing any DWI charge, ensuring you reach out to a competent and seasoned attorney for representation is crucial. Harrell & Paulson, LLP are experienced lawyers ready to fight for you to help you receive the best outcome for your situation.