An incriminating Facebook Live video is working against a Houston resident who was charged with DWI after Christmas. The individual was arrested for driving while impaired following a car accident involving a Houston Police Department patrol vehicle. The patrol car caught on fire following the crash, trapping two police officers inside the vehicle and resulting in burns for both officers.
The Houston district attorney's office plans to introduce into evidence a Facebook Live video that shows the defendant next to a vehicle with beer cans stacked on the hood of the car several hours before the wreck. The defendant attempted to flee the scene of the accident but was later arrested after being found in his apartment complex.
What is Intoxication Assault?
Texas law states that a person commits intoxication assault when a person (a) operates a motor vehicle (b) in a public place (c) while intoxicated and (d) causes serious bodily injury to another person. For purposes of the statute, a serious bodily injury is any:
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 organ.
In other words, if you are involved in a car accident that causes injuries to another person--whether a passenger of your vehicle or someone in another vehicle--and are suspected of driving while impaired at the time of the accident, you can be charged with intoxication assault.
Penalties for Intoxication Assault
Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony charge. If you are found guilty of intoxication assault, you can face the following penalties:
- Imprisonment between two and ten years;
- A fine of up to $10,000;
- Court-mandated community service; and
- A suspension of your driving privileges for up to one year for a first offense or two years for a second offense.
In certain circumstances, aggravating factors can lead a charge of intoxication assault to be enhanced to a second-degree felony. If the person injured is a police officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel in the line of duty, as in the example above, then the charge is enhanced. For second-degree intoxication assault charges, the penalties are more harsh, with a possibility of up to twenty years in prison.
Facing a Charge of Intoxication Assault? Call Doug Murphy Today
If you've been arrested for intoxication assault following an accident in Houston which caused serious bodily injury to another person, you are faced with serious consequences upon conviction. The best decision that you can make after an accident involving alcohol is to turn your case over to a seasoned DWI defense attorney who knows Texas DWI law backward and forward.
Doug Murphy is one of only two attorneys in Texas to be Board Certified in DWI defense and criminal law and is determined to help his clients receive the best possible chance of a successful outcome. Don't try to fight your intoxication assault charge on your own--to speak with a member of our legal team about your charge, fill out an online contact form or call (713) 229-8333 today.