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Texas DWI Intoxication Assault FAQs - Part 1

 Posted on June 14, 2024 in Uncategorized

Texas DWI LawyerIf someone got hurt, your DWI is probably going to be treated as a felony offense. Our state’s laws against driving while intoxicated are meant to protect the public from being injured by drunk drivers. Although the term “assault” usually means intentionally attacking someone, you do not need to have meant to hurt anyone to get charged with intoxication assault. Most drunk drivers do not intend to cause an accident and truly believe that they will reach their destination safely. If you are up against intoxication assault charges, you need an experienced Houston, TX DWI defense lawyer.

What is Intoxication Assault? 

Under Texas Penal Code Section 49.07, intoxication assault is the felony crime of causing, by reason of intoxication, the serious bodily injury of another, while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. In plain terms, intoxication assault is what Texas calls the DWI crime when the intoxication causes serious injury to another. If you seriously hurt someone in a DWI motor vehicle accident, you may face an intoxication assault charge.

Texas Penal Code Section 49.04 defines the basic DWI crime not involving another's serious injury. Several other Texas penal code sections elevate the basic DWI crime for things like intoxicated driving with a child passenger, intoxicated driving causing death, or second, third, or fourth offense DWIs. Intoxication assault is one of those elevated DWI crimes.

Can I Face Both DWI and Intoxication Assault Charges? 

No. The basic Texas DWI crime under Texas Penal Code Section 49.04 is a lesser included offense of a Texas intoxication assault charge under Texas Penal Code Section 49.07. A lesser included offense means that the prosecutor would have to prove all the elements of that offense to prove the higher charge. Both the basic DWI crime and intoxication assault require the prosecutor to prove (1) operating (2) a motor vehicle (3) while intoxicated (4) in a public place.

The intoxication assault crime just adds the element of the intoxication causing another's serious bodily injury. Because the DWI crime is a lesser included offense of the intoxication assault crime, for a prosecutor to charge and convict you of both the DWI crime and intoxication assault would constitute double jeopardy, violating your constitutional rights. You should only face the potential for conviction under one of the two charges, not both, although the prosecutor may pursue the option of charging either one of the two crimes.

Contact a Houston, TX Intoxication Assault Lawyer 

Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. focuses its practice primarily on DWI and felony DWI cases. Dedicated Harris County, TX intoxication assault attorney Doug Murphy has extensive experience handling felony DWI cases. Contact us at 713-229-8333 for a complimentary consultation.

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