Anytime you are facing charges for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, it is essential to have an aggressive Texas DWI defense attorney on your side. Yet when the charges occur in connection with a serious motor vehicle collision, the consequences of a conviction can be much more severe. Indeed, you could face a sentence that includes decades in prison. You need to understand the consequences of a DWI conviction after a car accident so that you recognize the seriousness of the situation and the need for an experienced defense lawyer. Without a defense attorney on your side, it can be difficult to understand potential defense strategies that may be applicable to your case, and you could end up with a life-altering sentence upon conviction.
Learning More About Charges You Can Face for Intoxicated Driving in a Car Crash
Before we discuss the specific consequences of a DWI conviction in relation to a motor vehicle crash, it is critical to learn more about the particular types of charges you can face under the Texas Penal Code after a crash. General DWI charges for the offense of “driving while intoxicated” become much more serious—and you should remember that misdemeanor charges for a DWI are already very serious—when the driver is involved in an accident and somebody gets hurt.
Under Section 49.07, a person can face charges for “intoxication assault” if, by accident or mistake, the drunk driving harms another person. The Texas Penal Code defines serious bodily injury as injury that nearly leads to death or that causes serious disfigurement or long-term disability.
Under Section 49.08, a person can face charges for “intoxication manslaughter” if that person operates a vehicle while intoxicated and causes the death of another person by accident or mistake.
Penalties for Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter
The penalties for intoxicated driving are ordinarily the penalties for a Class B misdemeanor for a first-time offense, and a Class A misdemeanor for a subsequent offense or an offense with additional or aggravating elements such as a particularly high BAC of 0.15 or higher.
However, a conviction for “intoxication assault” carries penalties for a third-degree felony, and it can be a second-degree or first-degree felony offense in certain circumstances. Even a third-degree felony conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years. A conviction for “intoxication manslaughter” will result in penalties for a second-degree felony, and may be a first-degree felony in some circumstances. Even a second-degree felony conviction can result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years.
Seek Advice from a Texas DWI Accident Defense Attorney
If you were involved in an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury or death and you are accused of driving under the influence at the time of the crash, it is critical to seek advice from our Texas DWI accident defense attorneys as soon as possible. Contact The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates today for assistance with your defense.