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Is a basic DWI charge a misdemeanor in Texas?

On Behalf of | Dec 3, 2023 | DUI

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges are some of the most common criminal offenses in Texas. People who would never dream of stealing or assaulting someone can occasionally misjudge whether they are sober enough to drive home. The vast majority of DWI cases involve technical infractions, which tend to result in lesser charges, yet more significant charges may be levied under certain circumstances.

Some people get arrested for a DWI after causing crashes or hurting other people. Obviously, such situations often lead to more serious charges against the allegedly impaired motorist. Texas state prosecutors can pursue felony charges against those who injure others or cause a death due to drunk driving in Texas. They can also charge someone for a felony if they had a young child in the vehicle at the time of a DWI arrest.

Repeat offenders could face a felony charge

A technical or per se DWI offense is usually a misdemeanor in Texas. However, prosecutors can and sometimes will bring felony DWI charges against those accused of intoxication at the wheel. Repeat offenses can lead to felony charges without any other aggravating factors.

If someone has already had two DWI convictions, then their third DWI will likely lead to felony charges. Third and subsequent DWI offenses will carry harsher penalties and result in a felony criminal record that can significantly reduce someone’s opportunities in life. The only sure way to avoid felony DWI charges is to prevent a third or subsequent DWI conviction.

Successfully defending against DWI charges can both eliminate the risk of criminal penalties and reduce the possibility of felony prosecution in the future.