Felony DWI With A Child Passenger in Texas
Imagine this scenario: you're out for dinner with your spouse and kids. You have a few glasses of wine to take the edge off a long, tiring work week. As 9 o' clock rolls around, it's time to get the kids home and tucked in bed. On the commute back, you're a touch sleepy and still have a little wine in you. You want to get home and dive into bed as soon as possible - your foot gets a little heavier and you pick up speed. You pass that one corner notorious where officers are on the look out.
Suddenly, the dreaded red and blue lights are flashing behind your car and you find yourself pulling off to the shoulder, reaching for your registration, the children fast asleep in the backseat. The officer becomes suspicious from the smell of wine on your breath and asks you to step out for field sobriety tests. You've been up since 6 am, you're exhausted, and had a little Riesling at dinner. You stumble during the one leg stand and are asked to blow into the breathalyzer. And just like that, a simple family dinner has generated a felony charge. This is one of the countless possible scenarios.
No one can foresee the circumstances that will lead to them driving with a child after drinking. So, what happens when you are charged with a DWI with a child passenger in Texas?
Charges and Penalties for DWI With A Child Passenger
A DWI with a child passenger is a separate charge from a DWI. While a DWI is a Class B misdemeanor, a DWI with a child passenger is a state jail felony. If convicted, a state jail felony, or SJF, can carry a sentence ranging from 180 days all the way up to 2 years in a Texas State Jail facility. The associated fine could be as high as $10,000. For the purposes of this offense, a child is defined as anyone 15 years of age or younger.
A DWI charge is a serious matter with harsh penalties. A DWI with a child passenger is an even greater offense and could warrant harsher penalties if convicted. This crime is considered a form of child endangerment. Because of this, there is a chance that the child could be removed from your custody by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Additional penalties from a conviction can include the loss of several fundamental rights, such as government assistance, gun ownership, and voting rights. A criminal conviction can also affect other things like employment and housing opportunities.
Seek Legal Representation Right Away
SJF's carry stiff penalties that could threaten your career, reputation and livelihood - not to mention your ability to provide for the livelihood of your kids. It is imperative that you speak to an experienced Houston, Texas DWI attorney and fight your DWI with a child passenger charge. Doug Murphy is devoted to providing a powerhouse defense in your DWI case. Experienced Houston DWI attorney Doug Murphy will use all the applicable and appropriate legal means available to help you fight this charge, so you are free to move on with life. Do not let a Texas DWI with a Child Passenger charge put your rights in jeopardy. Get the skilled legal counsel you need and contact Doug Murphy today.