Is a DWI a Felony in Texas?

Is a DWI a Felony in Texas? Texas courts are tough on DWI no matter how they are charged, but first-time offenders are much more likely to get a forgiving sentence than repeat offenders. 

Whether your DWI case will be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony DWI depends on the specifics of your case, but going up against either charge without skilled and aggressive representation is a risk you should not take. Even a misdemeanor DWI can severely damage your reputation and affect your life. 

Javier Guzman, a relentless Laredo DWI attorney and ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, is here to guide you through how a DWI charge is prosecuted in Texas, and what you can do to beat it.

What kind of crime is a DWI in Texas?

A DWI in Texas can either be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the situation. 

First-time offenders will likely be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor if no aggravating factors are present, and second-time offenders can expect a Class A Misdemeanor. High blood alcohol content (BAC) and previous alcohol-related convictions including intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault are some aggravating factors that can upgrade Class B Misdemeanor charges to Class A or Class A Misdemeanors to felonies. 

While a conviction for a misdemeanor carries less severe penalties than a felony conviction, avoiding conviction altogether is the ideal outcome. First-time offenders should still pursue an aggressive Laredo criminal defense lawyer, as the punishments for misdemeanors are not limited to 180-day sentences and fines, and often include things like ignition interlock devices and license suspension or revocation.

When does a DWI become a felony?

A DWI becomes a felony if you already have two prior DWI convictions. All additional offenses following the second DWI will be charged as felonies in Texas, which means third and fourth DWIs are all but guaranteed to be felonies, the penalties for which are exceedingly harsh. 

There are also circumstances under which a first or second DWI could be charged as a felony. 

Other types of DWI felony charges

There are a number of ways in which a first or second offense that would normally be classified as a misdemeanor are upgraded to a felony charge: 

  • Intoxication assault is a 3rd degree felony if the accident you were involved in resulted in the serious injury or disfigurement of another party.
  • Intoxication manslaughter is a 2nd degree felony if the accident you were involved in resulted in the death of another party.
  • Driving under the influence with a child passenger is a state jail felony if you drove under the influence with a passenger under the age of 15 in your vehicle. 

Felony charges can follow you for the rest of your life. Failing background checks can prevent you from landing a job or a home equity loan, and felony convictions can mean forfeiture of your constitutional rights — which means you have to act fast. Hire an experienced and relentless DWI lawyer in Laredo, TX at Guzman Law Firm to begin preparing your defense today.

How to fight a DWI in Texas

Fighting a DWI is a complicated process. The outcome’s high stakes can make it even more stressful to wait out your attorney navigating the legal and bureaucratic red-tape, let alone the science involved, in DWI convictions. 

With the right lawyer, the science behind blood alcohol concentration — that has historically been used to put people in jail — can actually keep you out of jail. However, in order to examine the flawed science behind things like breathalyzers and field sobriety tests, you need incredible knowledge in your corner, like that of Javier Guzman, the only ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist currently in Laredo, TX

Finding someone that you can trust to fight for your freedom is made even more important by Texas’s lack of a lookback period, which can be thought of as a statute of limitations for compounding DWI charges. In Texas, it does not matter how far apart your DWI convictions occurred — regardless if you were found guilty 20 years ago or 20 days ago, those convictions will still be considered when determining your present charge. Who you hire to represent you for a DWI charge matters. Your reputation, livelihood, and future are all on the line.

Accused of a Felony DWI? Hire a Relentless DWI Attorney like Javier Guzman to Fight for You.

So, is a DWI a felony in Texas? Often the answer is yes which is why you need a qualified attorney with a passion for justice to prepare your felony DWI defense.

Javier Guzman is a Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, the highest form of scientific recognition available for lawyers as designated by the Chemistry and Law Division of the American Chemical Society. He is the only DWI defense attorney to have this designation in Laredo, uniquely qualifying him to examine the circumstances and science of a DWI case for a more complete defense. 

His knowledge in mass spectrometry, chromatography, and forensic crime lab best practices could be the difference between guilty and not guilty. Schedule a consultation with Guzman Law Firm or call 956-333-3977 today.

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.