Are you facing driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas? If so, it’s only natural to wonder, “When is DWI a felony?” In Texas and across the nation, DWI is referred to as a “wobbler offense,” which means it can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case.
Usually, a first or even a second DWI is a misdemeanor under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code, but that is not always the case. On occasion, a first DWI can be prosecuted as a felony offense. Continue reading to learn when a DWI is a felony in Texas.
A Texas DWI is a felony when:
- It is a third or subsequent DWI offense.
- Someone else was seriously injured as a direct result of the intoxicated driving.
- Someone else was killed as a direct result of the drunk or drugged driving.
The penalties for a third (felony) DWI include a $10,000 fine, between 2 and 10 years in prison, up to two years’ driver license suspension, and an annual fee up to $2,000 to keep one’s driver license.
If you seriously injure another person while under the influence, you commit the offense of intoxication assault under Section 49.07 of the Penal Code, a felony of the third degree.
If you take someone else’s life while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you can be charged with intoxication manslaughter under Section 49.08 of the Penal Code, a felony of the second degree.
To see the penalties for second and third degree felonies in Texas, click here.
If you are facing felony DWI charges and you are a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), then the charges can affect your immigration status. They can lead to removal proceedings and bar you from gaining U.S. citizenship.
Related: Effects of a Texas DWI
Need a Dallas DWI lawyer to fight your charges? Contact Attorney Peter Barrett 24/7 at (214) 307-8667 right away!