Those who are involved in car accidents and who were drinking prior to their crash often face serious allegations of intoxication assault if someone else was injured in the collision. This is true even for drivers who don’t exceed the .08 percent legal limit.
Intoxication assault charges should be taken seriously, as conviction comes with serious jail time and fines. Fortunately, drivers who have been accused of this offense are guaranteed the right to prove their innocence. To get started on your own DWI defense, call a Houston intoxication assault (DWI accident) lawyer today.
DWI Charges vs. Intoxication Assault Allegations
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and intoxication assault are two separate criminal charges that come with their own individual penalties for those who are convicted. They do, however, share a few elements that prosecutors must be able to prove before a person can be convicted of this offense, including that:
- The accused was driving a vehicle at the time of the crash;
- The accused was intoxicated; and
- The accident occurred in a public place.
A conviction for intoxication assault also requires additional evidence proving that the accused caused someone else to suffer a serious bodily injury. Prosecutors do not, however, have to prove that the injuries were caused intentionally, by accident, or by mistake in order to obtain a conviction.
Proof of a Serious Bodily Injury
Demonstrating that a person was driving at the time of an accident is often achieved through eyewitness testimony. Proving that someone suffered a serious bodily injury is, on the other hand, more difficult for the state, who will need to demonstrate that someone sustained an injury that:
- Created a substantial risk of death;
- Caused serious permanent disfigurement; or
- Caused the protracted loss or impairment of an organ or body part.
To satisfy this element, prosecutors will need to provide specific information about the nature of the other party’s injury by presenting evidence of medical bills, treatment records, and expert testimony.
Proof of Causation
Besides proving that someone else suffered a serious bodily injury in a DWI accident, the state will also need to demonstrate causation by showing that there was a direct link between the accused party’s intoxicated driving and the other party’s injuries.
This means that a person cannot be convicted of intoxication assault if the accident in question wasn’t actually the defendant’s fault.
To demonstrate such a link, prosecutors will need to provide evidence that the defendant was driving erratically before the crash or that the accident would have been avoidable if the accused hadn’t been intoxicated. This can be an uphill battle, especially when a defendant has experienced and skilled legal representation.
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To get started on your own DWI defense, please call the experienced Houston intoxication assault (DWI accident) lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates. You can set up a consultation by reaching out to a member of our legal team by phone at 713-802-1631 or online message.