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When does a DWI change from a misdemeanor to a felony?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2022 | Drunk Driving

You have been arrested for driving while intoxicated, but it is not your first rodeo. You have a couple DWIs under your belt and you are familiar with the legal process in such cases. The penalties for a first and second DWI can be costly and inconvenient, but you were able to cope with them. Now, however, it is your third DWI arrest, and the stakes are much, much higher if you are convicted.

Felony DWI

Under Texas law, a third DWI offense is a felony crime, unlike a first or second DWI offense, which are only misdemeanors. If you have two DWIs in the past, your third DWI is a third-degree felony.

If you are convicted of your third DWI, you could face a fine of $10,000, a prison sentence of two to 10 years, and you could lose your driver’s license for as many as two years. You will be subject to state fines at well, which can be in the thousands.

Other felony DWI crimes

There are other DWI crimes that are considered felonies. Two of them are intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter.

You can be charged with intoxication assault if you accidentally injure someone seriously because you were drunk driving. This is a third-degree felony.

Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony. You can be charged with intoxication manslaughter if you accidentally kill someone because you were drunk driving.

Felony DWIs can seriously impact your life

Multiple DWIs should always be taken seriously. While a misdemeanor DWI conviction can certainly be stressful and challenging, a felony DWI conviction can impact your life significantly for many years to come. If you are facing felony DWI charges, there are defenses that can help you have the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether.