Houston Felony DWI Arrests Spike in August

Posted by Doug Murphy | Sep 17, 2018 | 0 Comments

It's not uncommon to see a spike in DWI arrests in the summer. This is certainly true in August when summer begins to come to a close. Last month, Houston police arrested more than 50 people on felony DWI charges alone.

Driving while intoxicated, particularly for first-time offenders, is typically a misdemeanor offense in Houston. Felony charges are typically only applicable when a driver has multiple DWI infractions, causes harm, or puts a young child in danger.

Felony DWI: Multiple DWI Convictions

First and second-time DWIs are generally misdemeanor offenses in Houston. However, once you have two DWI convictions, any subsequent DWIs will be felonies. It doesn't matter how long ago your two prior DWI convictions occurred. Any prior DWI convictions will trigger felony charges for future arrests.

Third DWI: A third DWI is a third-degree felony in Texas, punishable by:

  • Imprisonment: 2 to 10 years
  • Fines: $10,000
  • License Suspension: 2 years

Fourth DWI: A fourth DWI is a second-degree felony in Texas, punishable by:

  • Imprisonment: 2 to 20 years
  • Fines: $10,000
  • License Suspension: 2 years

It is possible for the penalties for your fourth DWI to be aggravated to 25 years to life imprisonment if you have previously served at least two sentences in a Texas state prison.

Felony DWI: Accident Causing Injury or Death

A first or second DWI offense could be a felony if it involves an accident that caused serious bodily injury or death. Accidents causing harm can result in felony charges for Intoxication Assault. Accidents causing death, even of your own passenger, can result in felony charges for Intoxication Manslaughter.

Intoxication Assault: Intoxication assault occurs when a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol causes an accident that results in serious bodily injury to another. A person convicted of third-degree felony intoxication assault in Houston faces between 2 and 10 years in a Texas state prison.

Intoxication Manslaughter: Intoxication manslaughter occurs when a driver under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes an accident that results in the death of another person. The victim's death can be instantaneous or a later result of injuries sustained in the crash. A person convicted of second-degree felony intoxication manslaughter faces between 2 and 20 years in prison.

Felony DWI: Driving With a Minor

It is always a felony to drive a vehicle while intoxicated with a passenger who is under the age of 15. It doesn't matter if it is your first, second, or third DWI. Driving with a child passenger is a state jail felony offense. If you are convicted, you will face between 6 months and 2 years in a state jail facility.

Fight Felony DWI Charges in Houston

Felony DWIs carry incredibly harsh consequences in Houston. It's important to assert your rights and argue any relevant defense. You can increase the odds of a positive outcome when you hire an experienced Houston DWI attorney to handle your defense. Doug Murphy, a Board Certified Houston DWI defense attorney, is prepared to help you fight to protect your future. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. to schedule your free case assessment today and learn more.

About the Author

Doug Murphy

Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas lawyers Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and also in DWI Defense by the National College for DUI Defense, accredited by the American Bar Association and the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.


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