Not every Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) related criminal offense is the same. Information on this page offers an overview of the differing criminal charges related to intoxicated driving. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you may be facing a misdemeanor case, or the more serious felony charge. Regardless of the charges against you Attorney Amber Spurlock will have a number of solutions for you, and a number of strategies for your case.
Various DWI Related Criminal Charges
DWI – First Offense
The first time a person is arrested for drunk driving, and found guilty in the court of law, they’ll face penalties that fall under Class B Misdemeanor guidelines. Penalties include a fine of up to 2,000.00, a Galveston County jail sentence of anywhere from 72 hours to 6 months, and suspension of lawful driving privileges for a period ranging from 90 days to 1 year.
DWI – Second Offense
When a person is arrested for drunk driving a second time the stakes are raised. If convicted, penalties under Class A Misdemeanor guidelines will apply. These penalties include a fine of up to 4000.00, county jail time ranging from 30 days to 1 years, and the dreaded Texas Driver License suspension period which lasts for up to two years.
DWI – Third Offense
Persons with two previous arrests for driving while intoxicated on their criminal record may face a 3rd Degree Felony criminal classification for the crime if arrested for drunk driving a third time. However, with an experienced DWI defense lawyer on your side, and depending on the period of time since your last offense, you may qualify for a criminal charge reduction to that of a State Jail Felony or Class A Misdemeanor criminal classification.
If convicted and assessed penalties under 3rd Degree Felony guidelines, criminal penalties include a prison sentence which can last from 2 to 10 years, a fine assessment of up to 10,000.00, and a mandatory Texas Driver License suspension period which can last from 6 months (180 days) to 2 years.
DWI – Felony Cases
“Felony DWI” generally refers to any drunk driving offenses that carries felony charges. These forms of DUI offenses include drunk driving with a minor present, intoxication manslaughter, intoxicated driving incidents which lead to injury, and habitual DWI offenders. Depending on the circumstances and severity of the incident, a defendant can be prosecuted and convicted under State Jail Felony, 2nd Degree Felony, or 3rd Degree Felony guidelines. People have received life sentences for habitual felony DWI charges. If you’re out on bond, and need to talk with a skilled and savvy DWI defense lawyer, contact Attorney Amber Spurlock as soon as possible.
DWI with Minor Present
Defendants facing drunk driving charges with the added component of a child being present will face State Jail Felony charges regardless of whether or not it’s a first offense or not. If convicted, the defendant will face penalties the fall under State Jail Felony guidelines. State Jail Felony convictions carry a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years, a fine of up to 10,000.00, and that mandatory Texas Driver License suspension period that can last up to two years.
Open Alcoholic Container Offenses
A person can be charged with an open container offense if they have an open or opened alcoholic container in the passenger area of a vehicle that’s on a public roadway. The charge can be applied whether the vehicle is parked or moving. The charge is classified as a Class C Misdemeanor and is a ticketable offense.
A person who causes an injury as a result of drunk driving will face 2nd Degree Felony charges. 2nd Degree Felony charges carry a potential prison sentence of 2 – 10 years, a fine of up to 10,000.00, and driver license suspension for up to 2 years.
DWI Juvenile Cases (DUI)
Underaged drinking is a growing concern of law enforcement and the same is to be said of minors who drink and drive. If you’re the parent of a juvenile who was charged with DUI attorney Amber Spurlock has a number of solutions available. When a minor is arrested for Driving While Intoxicated the charge is applied as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The charge can apply if the minor is impair by alcohol, drugs, or any other concoction that may induce intoxication.
The crime of intoxication manslaughter occurs when a person is killed as a result of the actions of a drunk driver. These are serious felony criminal charges that are classified as 2nd Degree Felony offenses. The penalties for a 2nd degree felony offense includes a fine of up to 10,000.00, a drivers license suspension period which starts after the defendant is released from prison and lasts up to 2 years, and a prison sentence that ranges in length from 2 to 20 years.
You Will Need Experienced Legal Counsel
Driving While Intoxicated, or DWI for short, is a serious criminal offense in Galveston making the need for steadfast criminal defense paramount for the accused. Not everyone who is charged DWI is guilty, and certainly not all of them were drunk at the time of arrest. However, Galveston County prosecutors still manage to get convictions from juries on people who probably could have beat their DWI charge. This is due to a number of factors including, but not limited to, subpar legal counsel, poor evidentiary review, or the defendant being scared into taking a deal.
If you’ve been charged with drunk driving in Galveston and are in need of experience DWI defense counsel, contact Attorney Amber Spurlock immediately.