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Can You Face Other Criminal Charges after a DWI Accident?

Updated: Apr 24, 2024 @ 12:18 am

Less than 1 minute Reading Time: Minutes

Getting arrested for a DWI accident is bad enough. Depending on your criminal history, you could spend up to a decade in prison for seriously injuring someone. However, the state could also throw additional criminal charges on you, all based on this one accident. You will need to defend yourself against every charge if you hope to stay out of jail.

Call Tad A. Nelson and his legal team today. Tad is a leader in DWI defense in Texas and can also defend you from other criminal charges. You should thoroughly review all charges you face to better understand the penalties you face. Below, we look at the criminal charges you will possibly face for a DWI accident. Reach out to our firm if you’d like to talk to a lawyer one on one.

Intoxication Assault

You’ll face intoxication assault charges (Penal Code § 49.07) if you injure someone in your crash. The state only needs to prove you were operating the vehicle while intoxicated and caused serious bodily injuries. These injuries include permanent disfigurement, or long-term loss or impairment of a bodily function or organ.

This is a third-degree felony if this is your first offense and there are no enhancements. That would mean up to 10 years in prison for a conviction.

Intoxication Manslaughter

If someone unfortunately dies in a crash, then you could face charges for intoxication manslaughter. This is the most serious DWI charge in Texas. The state can convict you if you were intoxicated and caused a death in a collision at the time. You can get hit with a second-degree felony, which carries up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Failure to Stop and Render Aid

This is another common charge for hit and run drivers (Transportation Code § 550.021). State law is clear that you must do the following after a crash:

  1. Stop immediately,
  2. Return immediately if you did not stop at the scene
  3. Determine whether someone needs aid, and
  4. Stay at the scene until an ambulance arrives or you give them a lift to the hospital.

If you don’t fulfill these duties, you can face criminal charges. If someone died, you could face second degree felony charges, with a maximum 20 years in prison.

If they sustained a serious bodily injury, then you are facing third degree felony charges. All other accidents causing injury could result in imprisonment or confinement in jail.

Attempting to Flee Arrest or Elude Police

Imagine if, as you flee from the scene, you fail to stop for an officer who has his lights on. This is a crime in Texas (Transp. Code § 545.421). Typically, fleeing arrest is a Class B misdemeanor in Texas, but because you are intoxicated, it will be charged as a Class A misdemeanor, with penalties up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

Drug Possession

Many intoxicated motorists are high on illegal drugs, and Texas law explicitly states you are intoxicated if you have a controlled substance in your bloodstream.

You can face drug possession charges if you have drugs in the vehicle with you or on your body. Texas is aggressive at prosecuting drug possession. The penalties will depend on what drug you are caught with, as well as the amount.

Possession cases come in many shapes and sizes. It’s possible to face Class B misdemeanor charges for small amounts of some drugs, or all the way up to a life sentence. We can review the charge with you.

You Need Expert Legal Defense

Tad Nelson is the right DWI defense lawyer to call after a crash. He is one of the most experienced, certified DWI lawyers in Texas, with thousands of satisfied clients. He can identify the best defense to raise to any drunk driving or drugged driving charge.

Our firm also has an extensive criminal defense practice. We handle the full range of criminal cases, so we can also defend against Failure to Render Aid, drug possession, or another charge. We are a one-stop shop for all your legal needs.

There is a risk that a judge could stack your criminal sentences, meaning they will run consecutively. This is a particular risk with intoxication manslaughter cases. We are attuned to this possibility and consider it when settling on a defense strategy. Our goal is to always win, but we have also fought these cases at trial.

Need Help?

We’re A Phone Call Away

No one should try to handle their own DWI defense on their own. Call Tad Nelson & Associates to connect with a seasoned defense lawyer who can fight to keep your license and your freedom.

Houston DWI Lawyer Tad A Nelson is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the TBLS.

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