5 Most Common Elements that Elevate a DWI Charge
Driving While Intoxicated, also called DWI in Texas are a serious criminal offense that can have far-reaching consequences. It is important for those dealing with a DWI charge to know what can make it worse. In the United States, law enforcement and the legal system take a strong stance against drunk driving. Therefore, it is important for people to know the common factors that can make their DWI charges worse.
Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Levels
Driving with a BAC over the legal limit can increase a DWI charge. The Texas Penal Code, Section 49.01(1)(B), establishes the blood alcohol content limit at 0.08%. Understanding the significance of BAC levels is essential for anyone dealing with a DWI charge in Texas.
Driving with a BAC above 0.08% is an offense in the State of Texas. This statute clearly defines the maximum permissible BAC level for drivers. Law enforcement officers use breathalyzer tests or blood samples to measure a driver’s BAC. Texas has implied consent laws, which mandate that offenders must submit to BAC testing when lawfully arrested for DWI.
Prior DWI Convictions
Prior DWI convictions exert a huge influence on your ongoing DWI case in Texas. The state’s legal system is strict with repeat offenders, so it’s important to understand how previous convictions affect your current situation.
Having a history of DWI convictions weighs significantly in Texas courts when determining the penalties for your present charges. The law in the state recognizes the seriousness of repeat DWI offenses. If you have a previous conviction for DWI, the next charges can result in more severe consequences.
Your first offense should most likely be a class B misdemeanor. The court can make you pay a fine of $2,000 and spend 3 to 180 days in jail. The second offense is a class A misdemeanor, and if someone commits a third offense, it becomes a third-degree felony. This punishment includes a fine of up to $10,000 and a sentence ranging from two to ten years in jail.
The court may also order the mandatory use of an ignition interlock device.
Open Container Violations
Open container violations can add a level of difficulty to DWI charges in Texas. It can potentially elevate the seriousness of the offense. Texas, like many states, has laws regarding open containers of alcohol in vehicles. Having an open container in your vehicle can elevate the legal issues you face with DWI charges.
Having an open beverage container while operating a motor vehicle on a public road is illegal in Texas. Such violations can escalate a standard DWI charge to a more complex legal problem, with potential additional penalties.
Being caught with an open container of controlled substances while driving can be a big factor in a DWI case. The combined consequences of both DWI and open container violations can lead to more severe penalties. Generally, these penalties can include more fines and an extended suspension of your driver’s license.
Involvement in Accidents or Injuries
In Texas, if you cause accidents or injuries while driving drunk, it can make the punishment for DWI worse. Understanding the legal implications of accidents and bodily injuries related to DWI in Texas is crucial for those facing such circumstances.
Accidents and injuries related to DWI often lead to more complex legal scenarios. In Texas, you may face additional charges if your intoxicated driving results in an accident. These charges can include Intoxication Manslaughter or Assault which depends on the outcome.
Intoxication assault is a second-degree felony in Texas. It can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison term ranging from 2 to 20 years in county jail.
Having Minors as Passengers
According to Texas laws, the presence of minors in your vehicle while driving while intoxicated (DWI) can worsen your charges. Having minors as passengers while under the influence is a serious offense. This act can lead to more dire consequences. It’s essential to be aware of these laws and the potential implications.
When minors are in your vehicle during a DWI incident, you may face enhanced charges and more penalties. Not only that, but it could also include child endangerment charges. These charges can lead to more significant fines, an extended license suspension, DWI education programs, and even the possibility of imprisonment.
Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!
Having a good criminal defense lawyer can greatly change how your case goes if you are charged with unlawful use of deadly force. Texas Criminal Defense Group comprehends the seriousness of your situation and commits to offering robust legal assistance. Our skilled lawyers will handle your case carefully and with expertise, ensuring the best outcome for your future.
Navigating the complexities of the legal system can be daunting, especially when confronted with the possibility of imprisonment. A good lawyer not only aims to win but also puts in effort to provide you with the best defense possible. They utilize their knowledge to fight the accusations against you.
Our skilled attorney will fight for your rights, negotiate deals, present evidence, challenge procedures, and work to minimize consequences.