Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Harris County, Texas. Under the state’s laws, even a first-time offender for DWI could serve time in jail and pay a substantial fine. However, these aren’t the only reasons to fight a DWI charge in Harris County. There are administrative penalties that can have a similar impact, such as suspension or revocation of your driver’s license and lengthy probation period. Plus, even a first-time DWI can remain on your record for a lifetime. Certain, DWI offenses are considered to be more grave and serious than others. These DWI are charged as felonies in Harris County. The possibility of conviction for a felony DWI in Harris County could be devastating, but a Harris County felony DWI lawyer can help.
Our team at Greco Neyland has extensive experience with felony DWI cases in Harris County and Houston. We are attentive and reliable throughout your felony DWI case, and strive to provide the most cost-effective defense.
What Is a Felony DWI in Harris County?
Throughout Texas, drunk driving offenses, most often referred to as DWI are charges for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. You might also be charged with DWI if you drive a car or other vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance. Most DWI and drunk driving offenses in Harris County are misdemeanor offenses.
Unless there are extreme or aggravating circumstances, a first-time and second-time DWI offender is charged with a misdemeanor. These charges can be serious, including the possibility of serving time in jail and loss of your license, if convicted. When charges for DWI rise to the level of a felony, the situation becomes more complex and complicated to handle without a felony DWI lawyer in Houston.
There are several instances under Texas law when a DWI is a felony offense in Harris County.
- Third Offense for DWI: A third offense for DWI could result in felony charges. Even if there aren’t any aggravating or extenuating circumstances, the law in Texas states that a third, fourth, or subsequent DWI is a felony.
- Passenger under 15: Throughout Texas, it is a felony offense to commit DWI while a minor under the age of 15 is a passenger in the vehicle.
- Intoxicated Assault: When DWI results in serious bodily harm to another individual, whether as a result of a car accident or otherwise, it is a third-degree felony in Harris County.
- Intoxicated Manslaughter: When DWI results in the death of other individuals, whether as a result of a car accident or otherwise, it is a second-degree felony in Harris County.
While a Harris County felony DWI lawyer may have experience with some or more of these charges, the case is rarer than misdemeanor DWI in Harris County. You want to ensure the Harris County or Houston criminal lawyer you hire for your case has to experience with cases similar to yours, including the reason you are charged with a felony.
What Is the Criminal Punishment for Felony DWI?
Not all felony DWI charges are the same. There are several different degrees of felony offenses in Texas. Charges for felony DWI could be more or less serious, depending on the degree of felony. The punishment for a felony DWI conviction is similarly tied to the circumstances of your case and the degree of the felony with which you are charged.
- When DWI is a state jail felony: Charges for a state jail felony are unique to Texas. This is a felony offense because the maximum sentence exceeds one year, but the term of incarceration is served in a jail, not state prison or penitentiary. The maximum punishment for a state jail felony is two years and a fine of $10,000.
- When DWI is a third-degree felony: The maximum sentence for a third-degree felony is 10 years in prison and a criminal fine up to $10,000.
- When DWI is a second-degree felony: The maximum sentence for a second-degree felony is 20 years in prison and a criminal fine up to $10,000.
Finding an Experienced Felony DWI Lawyer
Greco Neyland has experience with all severity and complexity of DWI charges. Our past cases span the most serious offenses for intoxicated manslaughter to misdemeanor charges for a BAC of 0.09%. We take each of these cases very seriously and dedicate time and in all instances dedicate the needed time and attention to your defense.
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