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Drunk driving charges in Texas already carry harsh penalties. However, if a person is accused of causing serious injury to another in a crash while under the intoxication of drugs, alcohol or a combination of substances, the drunk driver could face intoxication assault charges. These charges often are more severe — often felony charges — and can result in jail time, fines or both.
DWI charges can have a serious impact on your life, especially intoxication assault charges. The DWI defense attorneys at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr have years of experience representing those accused of driving under the influence of drug or alcohol. They are committed to helping ordinary people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system.
If you were arrested for the serious felony offense of intoxication assault in San Antonio or other areas throughout Bexar County, contact an experienced DWI attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr. The lawyers can help you fight the charges, all while making sure your rights are represented. Call 210-226-1463 for a free case evaluation.
Intoxication Assault can occur if a person who is intoxicated operates a motor vehicle on a public road and causes serious bodily injury to another person as a result of the intoxication, according to Texas Penal Code Annotated § 49.07. Even if the injury was not intentional and happened in an accident, the driver still could face charges.
Under the intoxication assault statute, the term serious bodily injury means any injury that “creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
The Texas Penal Code does not define the term “operated.” However, the courts have interpreted this term to mean whether the defendant “exerted personal effort to cause the vehicle to function,” according to Denton v. State, 911 S.W.2d 388, 390 (Tex.Crim.App.1995).
As with most DWI charges, there can be serious penalties and punishments for this offense. Intoxication assault under Texas Penal Code Annotated § 49.07 is a felony of the third degree, punishable by between two and 10 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, a fine of up to $10,000 fine or both.
If a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical personnel sustained the injury, the alleged offender could be charged with a felony of the second degree. The charge also could increase if a person has “traumatic brain injury that results in persistent vegetative state.” A second-degree felony also could include between two and 10 years in prison, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
In addition to these penalties, people convicted of felony DWI also could face a driver’s license suspension, DUI School, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, counseling, the installation of an ignition interlock device and whatever other penalties the court chooses to impose. A convicted felon also would not be allowed to carry a firearm.
If a person causes the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on a public road, he or she could be charged with intoxication manslaughter. This charge is more serious than intoxication assault, although it is similar in the sense that even if it was an accident, a person still could be charged.
For example, if a person is under the influence of alcohol and gets behind the wheel then strikes a pedestrian, the driver could face criminal charges. If the person dies as a result of the crash, whether it is immediately or days later from injuries sustained in the crash, that person could face intoxication manslaughter charges.
This offense is punishable by a felony of the second degree. If the driver causes the death of a peace officer, firefighter or emergency medical personnel, the alleged offender could be charged with a felony of the first degree, which is punishable by between five and 99 years in prison, a fine up to $10,000 or both.
If you have been charged with intoxication assault or another DWI crime in Texas, contact a criminal defense attorney at Goldstein, Goldstein, Hilley & Orr to discuss your rights with a skilled drunk driving defense attorney. The sooner we get involved in defending the case, the more options we have to minimize the potentially devastating consequences of the accusation. Call 210-226-1463 for a free initial consultation and a case analysis to every prospective client.