A typical arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI, also known as DUI or drunk driving) in Texas will result in a misdemeanor charge, with both criminal and civil penalties if an alleged offender is convicted.
The situation is much more serious, however, when an alleged DWI incident results in serious bodily injury to another person, which may lead to a charge of Intoxication Assault (or DWI Assault) under Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code. Intoxication Assault without aggravating circumstances is a third-degree felony in Texas.
An accident while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may result in not only the loss of a person's driver's license, but also the loss of his or her freedom.
That is because a conviction for any felony in Texas requires an offender to spend time in jail or prison — as well as the possibility of paying heavy fines and several other penalties — even though most drivers charged with Intoxication Assault did not intend to harm anyone. (Intention is not an element that must be proved.)
If you were charged with Intoxication Assault for causing serious bodily injury to another person as a result of driving under the influence (DUI), it is very important that you seek the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after your arrest.
The knowledgeable DWI attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy want you to know that you must request an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing within 15 days of arrest in order to retain your driver's license if you either refused to submit to a chemical test for alcohol or if you failed a breath or blood test.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represents clients throughout Collin County, including Plano, Garland, McKinney, Frisco, Carrollton, Richardson, and Allen, as well as clients in Rockwall and Grayson counties. Call us at (972) 805-8855 right now to schedule a free, confidential consultation, where we can review your case and explain your legal options.
The Texas Penal Code, Title 10, Chapter 49, § 49.07 states that a person commits the offense of Intoxication Assault if he or she, by accident or mistake:
The Intoxication Assault Law defines "serious bodily injury" as an 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 other terms related to Intoxication Assault are defined in the Texas statutes, including motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, amusement ride, mobile amusement ride, intoxicated and alcohol concentration.
Texas defines a "motor vehicle" as "a device in, on or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a highway, except a device used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks," such as railroad cars (Texas Penal Code, Title 7, Chapter 32, Subchapter C, § 32.34(2)). Motor vehicles include cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats, water scooters, airplanes, helicopters and even riding lawn mowers, but not trains.
"Aircraft" is defined in the Texas Transportation Code, Title 3, Chapter 24, § 24.001(1) as "a device that is invented, used, or designated for air navigation or flight, other than a parachute or other device used primarily as safety equipment."
A "watercraft" is defined in § 49.01(4) of the Texas Penal Code as any of the following:
"Amusement ride" means "a mechanical device that carries passengers along, around, or over a fixed or restricted course or within a defined area for the purpose of giving the passengers amusement, pleasure, or excitement" (Texas Occupations Code, Title 13, Subtitle D, Chapter 2151, Subchapter A, § 2151.002(1)).
In addition, a person must have "actual physical control" of a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride in order to be "operating" the vehicle.
"Mobile amusement ride" means "an amusement ride that is designed or adapted to be moved from one location to another and is not fixed at a single location" (Id., § 2151.002(6)).
"Intoxicated" is defined under the Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2) as:
Under Texas P.C. § 49.01(1), "alcohol concentration" (also known as blood-alcohol concentration or BAC) means the number of grams of alcohol per:
Intoxication Assault is classified as a third-degree felony, but aggravating factors may elevate the charge to a second-degree felony, with enhanced penalties. Intoxication Assault may be punished as a second-degree felony if it is shown at trial that the offender:
A charge of Intoxication Assault may result from any type of motor vehicle or boating accident. Even if only one car or boat is involved, the prosecutor may proceed with charges against the vehicle or vessel operator even if a family member or friend refuses to press charges.
Criminal punishment for Intoxication Assault is harsh, depending on the severity of the offense:
In addition to the penalties listed above, the additional civil (administrative) punishments may include any of the following:
Other criminal charges often accompany a charge of Intoxication Assault. Some of these include:
Note: A related offense, Intoxication Manslaughter, is second-degree felony detailed in the Texas Penal Code, § 49.08. A person commits the offense of Intoxication Manslaughter if he or she:
Texas Penal Code — Intoxication Assault — Read the Texas state laws related to Intoxication Assault and other statutes that address intoxication-related crimes.
Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) — Alcohol Related Offenses — The Texas DPS offers information about DWI and related matters on its website, including driver’s license suspensions and reinstating a license after an intoxication assault offense.
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) — Crash Reports — Access crash reports at the TxDOT website, which also has statistics about alcohol-related accidents and crashes. A Collin County office is located at:Collin County TxDOT Office
If you were charged with Intoxication Assault in Plano, Texas, or in Collin County, Texas or anywhere north or northeast of Dallas, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
The experienced DWI attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy know the laws related to intoxication assault and we will evaluate your case and help you devise a strategy to defend yourself. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy serves clients throughout Collin County, including Plano, Garland, McKinney, Carrollton, Frisco, Richardson, and Allen, as well as Rockwall and Grayson counties.
Our skilled lawyers may be able to find problems with the prosecution's case, flaws in the DWI tests that were conducted, or with the arrest itself, which may result in a reduction or dismissal of charges. You have little time to lose in order to retain your driving privileges, so contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 805-8855 about your case.