If you or a loved one are facing aggravated DWI charges in Texas, you need to know the potential penalties of your charge and the difference between a DWI and an aggravated DWI. The following is a basic explanation of the aggravating factors involved in an aggravated DWI and its range of punishment.
What Is the Difference Between DWI and Aggravated DWI?
To be charged with DWI in Texas, a person must operate a motor vehicle on a public road while mentally or physically impaired due to a controlled substance or alcohol. In order to be convicted, that person’s blood alcohol content must be 0.08% or higher.
A charge for aggravated DWI means there were special circumstances that existed in addition to the standard DWI charges. Some of the most common aggravating factors for an aggravated DWI are as follows:
- A blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher
- A prior conviction for DWI
- An open container in the vehicle
- A child in the vehicle
- Causing an accident while impaired that resulted in serious injury or death
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated DWI in Texas?
A first-time DWI charge in Texas is a Class B misdemeanor. A conviction for a Class B misdemeanor is prison for up to 180 days. There is also a $2,000 fine and a driver’s license suspension for one year.
Aggravated DWI increases any penalties an offender may face. The range and severity of punishment depend on which of the aggravating factors led to the charge.
For a blood alcohol content of 0.15% or higher at the time of the charge, an offender is charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor can also result from a second DWI charge. A Class A misdemeanor carries a one-year jail term and a fine of up to $4,000.
If an offender has two prior DWI convictions, they will be charged with a felony. Should they cause an accident that resulted in a serious injury while driving impaired, they will be charged with a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony offense carries ten years in prison time and a $10,000 fine.
If someone dies as a result of the drunk driving accident, it is a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony results in twenty years of prison time and a $10,000 fine.
Contact a Texas Attorney for Help Today
If you have specific questions about DWI’s or aggravated DWI’s in Texas, contact an experienced San Antonio DWI attorney right away like those at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC. Our criminal defense attorneys will go to battle for you or your loved one and be an invaluable asset in your legal defense.
Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda, PLLC, is a full-service criminal defense firm. We handle all aspects of your case while not allowing the state or prosecutors to take advantage of you. Learn more about your rights and options for defense by calling us at our offices in San Antonio.