Aggravated DWI in Texas
In Texas, a first DWI offense is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum 180-day jail sentence, a fine not exceeding $2,000, and driver’s license suspension for one year. Yet, if certain aggravating factors exist, a first-time DWI can result in harsher penalties and even a felony charge.
Common aggravating factors of a Texas DWI include:
- Blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .15 – If your BAC level is nearly double the legal limit in the state, a first-time DWI is a Class A misdemeanor, instead of a Class B misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum $4,000 fine.
- Repeat offender – If you were convicted of a DWI prior to your arrest, you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
- Minor in the vehicle – If there was a child passenger under 15 years old in the car at the time of your arrest, a first-time DWI will be charged as a state jail felony, which is punishable by a jail sentence of up to two years and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Open container in the car – If you were driving with an open container of alcohol prior to your arrest, it could lead to a mandatory minimum six-day jail term.
- DWI causing an injury – Also known as intoxication assault, causing a serious injury while drunk driving is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- DWI causing a death – Also known as intoxication manslaughter, causing another person's death while drunk driving is a second-degree felony, which results in a maximum 20-year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been arrested for an aggravated DWI in Fort Worth, contact The Clark Law Firm today at (817) 435-4970 for a complimentary consultation.