Your Words Can Make Your Misdemeanor a Felony

Posted by Doug Murphy | May 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

No one likes it when the police pull you over. Just being stopped for a traffic violation can seem inconvenient and bothersome. But if you've caused an accident and you realize the police suspect you of something more, like driving while intoxicated, it can be easy to be snappish, rude, or say something really stupid. That's what a San Angelo woman recently discovered after her accident.

At 2:53 am on January 17, 2021, police were called to the scene after a vehicle collided into a donut shop in the 2200 block of Sherwood Way. A woman was driving a 2006 Ford SUV westbound on the road when it left the roadway and careened into Express Donuts & Kolaches. During the incident, the woman became angry and threatened the medical staff trying to assist her and a police officer.

Retaliation Charges

According to the arrest affidavit, the woman threatened to “cut (an officer's) head off” in retaliation for doing his job. The police arrested her on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, failure to control speed, and retaliation. They release her on an $11,470 bond from the Green County Detention Center the next day. The indictment charged her with “retaliation,” a third-degree felony punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $10,000 fine. 

Don't Antagonize Police

In contrast to the San Angelo woman's third-degree felony charge, a first-time DWI charge is typically a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. A DWI involving an accident can result in a charge for reckless damage or mischief charges. A reckless damage charge is a Class C misdemeanor, while police can charge mischief as either a Class C misdemeanor or a third-degree felony. 

If the woman hadn't threatened anyone in the donut shop incident, she might have simply been charged with a suspected DWI and perhaps reckless damage. Now, she faces felony charges on top of her DWI, making her attorney's job that much more difficult.

What Should You Say?

If the police arrest you for a DWI, you don't have to say anything at all. You have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right, particularly if you believe you'll have a hard time remaining civil. It's also important to try to remain polite and cooperative. You don't have to answer any questions, and you should remain courteous, but the police are not on your side, and you should remember that at all times.

Hire an Experienced DWI Attorney

If you're facing a DWI arrest, the best thing you can do is immediately retain an expert in Texas DWI defense. A DWI expert will be able to assess your legal options and give you the best advice on how to proceed. An attorney well versed in DWI defense can negotiate with prosecutors, or if necessary, take your case to trial.

Attorney Doug Murphy is one of only two Texas attorneys Board Certified in both DWI defense by the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD) and criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Moreover, Doug has a proven track record of successfully defending those facing serious DWI charges with aggravating circumstances like accidents and injuries. Best Lawyers in America also named Doug the “Lawyer of the Year” for 2021 for DWI defense. Call the Doug Murphy Law Firm at 713-229-8333 today to set up a consultation.

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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