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The Law Office of H. Alex Fuller PLLC
Best D 2023
Rated By Super Lawyers | H. Alex Fuller | Selected In 2023 Thomson Reuters

Call His McKinney Office To Request A
Free, Confidential Consultation

What elevates a DWI to an aggravated DWI?

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense in Texas. On the other hand, an aggravated DWI carries even heavier penalties and consequences. Understanding what constitutes an aggravated DWI and its ramifications can help individuals facing DWI charges grasp the severity of this crime.

A DWI becomes aggravated when additional circumstances are present during the offense. These factors include having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or higher, causing an accident that results in serious bodily injury or death. It can also include driving with a child passenger under the age of 15 or having prior DWI convictions. Each of these elements elevates the severity of the offense and results in more stringent penalties.

BAC of 0.15% or higher

A standard DWI charge in Texas applies when a driver’s BAC is 0.08% or more. However, if the BAC is 0.15% or higher, the charge escalates to an aggravated DWI. This heightened charge can result in higher fines, longer jail sentences and extended driver’s license suspensions.

Accidents resulting in injury or death

The driver can receive an intoxication assault charge if a DWI incident leads to an accident that causes serious bodily injury. An intoxication assault charge is a third-degree felony. If the accident results in a fatality, the charge can escalate to intoxication manslaughter, a second-degree felony. These charges carry significant prison time, heavy fines and lasting criminal records.

Driving with a child passenger

Driving under the influence with a minor under 15 years old in the vehicle is considered a state jail felony in Texas. This can lead to a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to two years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Prior DWI convictions

Repeat offenders face harsher penalties. A second DWI conviction is a Class A misdemeanor, while a third becomes a third-degree felony. Each subsequent offense increases jail time, fines and other consequences. The severe penalties reflect the high risk and potential harm of aggravated DWI. Awareness and adherence to the law are crucial for ensuring personal safety and the safety of others on the road.

 

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