A first DWI in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to 180 days, driver’s license suspension that lasts up to a year, and a maximum $2,000 fine (not including court costs). However, if certain aggravating factors are apparent, a first offense can result in increased penalties and even a felony charge.
The following are several types of aggravated DWI in Texas:
- High BAC – Although the legal limit in the state is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least .08 percent, if your BAC is .15 percent—nearly double the legal limit—or higher, a first DWI offense is considered a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum $4,000 fine. The driver’s license suspension period remains up to one year.
- Child passenger – If there was a child passenger younger than 15 years old at the time of a DWI arrest, a first DWI offense can be a state jail felony, which carries a maximum two-year state jail term, driver’s license suspension for up to two years, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Serious injury – If a DWI arrest involves another person suffering a serious bodily injury, a first offense can be charged as intoxication assault, which is a third-degree felony that punishable by a prison term of up to 10 years, driver’s license suspension for up to two years, and a maximum $10,000 fine. A serious bodily injury is defined as lengthy loss of a body part, serious permanent disfigurement, or substantial risk of death.
- Death – If a DWI arrest involves another person’s death, a first offense can be charged as intoxication manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, driver’s license suspension for up to two years, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
If you have been arrested for an aggravated DWI in Fort Worth, contact Goza & Carreras, Attorneys at Law today at (817) 402-2188 and schedule a free consultation to learn about your legal options.