Texas DWI with Intoxication Assault

When you get caught driving drunk in Texas, it’s usually a less severe problem, like a misdemeanor. But if your drunk driving creates a substantial risk of someone getting seriously hurt, it becomes a bigger deal. They call it “Intoxication Assault” or “DWI Assault” in Texas law, and it’s a serious crime.

Intoxication assault is way more serious than a regular first-time DWI charge in Texas when nobody gets hurt. In Texas, the first-time DWI offense is spelled out in Section 49.04 of the Penal Code. But there are other parts of the law that make DWI more serious if you do it multiple times, have a child in the car, or if someone dies because of it. Intoxication assault is one of these more serious DWI crimes.

Intoxication Assault VS. DWI

There are two serious charges in Texas: one is for driving while intoxicated, and the other is for intoxication assault. If you drive a vehicle while intoxicated, you can get a DUI/DWI charge. But if you’re driving under the influence and you get into substantial risk of death to anyone, you can also get charged with intoxication assault.

Intoxication Assault is a bit like a DWI but more serious. It can happen if there’s an accident involving your vehicle in public and someone else gets badly hurt, whether it is your passenger or a person on the street. Just like a DWI, the police will test you with some sobriety tests and check your breath or blood for alcohol. If you fail, they’ll take away your driver’s license right away. After that, you only have 15 days to ask for a hearing to keep your license before the state takes it away.

Defining Intoxication Assault in Texas

Texas Penal Code (Chapter 49) defines Intoxication Assault as happening when someone gets really hurt because of an accident or mistake while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a public place.

Most of the time, it’s about getting in a car crash while being drunk or high. But in some cases, it can also be if you are operating an amusement ride while intoxicated or operating something like a boat or a plane, and it causes someone else to get hurt. It doesn’t matter if the injured person is in your own vehicle or a different one; you can still be charged with Intoxication Assault.

To nail a conviction for Intoxication Assault in court, you gotta prove a few important things. Some of the most challenging ones to establish include:

  • To determine if you could be convicted of Intoxication Assault, evaluate whether you were drunk according to Section 49.01 of the Texas Penal Code
  • Whether your intoxication directly caused harm, and
  • Whether you were driving the vehicle.

Understanding if your actions might result in an Intoxication Assault charge can be challenging. Therefore, it’s vital to have an attorney who fully understands all aspects of an Intoxication Assault case to represent you.

Penalties for Intoxication Assault

In Texas, if you’re found guilty of intoxication assault, there are specific punishments and penalties you’ll face, including:

  • Convict – Third Degree Felony
  • Jail Time – After an intoxication assault conviction, the court has to give you at least a two-year prison sentence in the Texas State Prison. They can also decide to give you up to 10 years in prison.
  • Fine – You can be fined up to $10,000.00 as part of your punishment.
  • Probation – If you are convicted of drunken assault, your probation must include at least 30 days in the county jail.
  • Community Service – You’ve got to put in at least 160 hours of community service while you’re on probation. The court can also make you do up to 600 hours of community service.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If charged with Intoxication Assault (serious injury due to driving under the influence), it’s vital to consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Try to reach out as soon as possible after your arrest.

When in trouble, reach out to a skilled DWI attorney to lessen charges and build a strong defense. They’ll fight for your rights, talk to the prosecutors, and represent you in court.

At Texas Criminal Defense Group, we’ll analyze your case and create a tailored defense plan for you. We’ll handle discussions with the other side and protect your rights throughout the legal process.