Drinking and driving is a serious crime, and it is taken seriously in Texas. Whether your DWI in Houston is considered a felony or a misdemeanor depends on a few factors. Ordinarily, your first and second offenses would be considered misdemeanors, with a third conviction counting as a felony. If, however, you injured someone else while driving under the influence, you will be charged with a felony called “intoxication assault,” even if it is your first or second offense. This charge can result in penalties of incarceration for anywhere from two to twenty years and fines up to $10,000. Other instances that could result in a felony DWI charge regardless of how many prior DWI charges you’ve had include DWI with a Child Passenger (if you had a passenger under age 15), or being convicted of any kind of DWI for a third time.

What Happens if I’ve Had More Than One DWI Conviction?

For a third DWI offense, you will be charged with a felony and could face up to ten years of incarceration and a $10,000 fine. If you receive a third DWI charge and have also been previously incarcerated in a Texas state prison for any offense—not just DWI—you could face incarceration for up to 20 years, and for a third DWI plus two previous incarcerations, the penalty rises to 25 years to life plus the $10,0000 fine, if convicted. Whether this is your first DWI charge or not, you need competent legal representation for your defense. Call the Law Offices of Michael H. Pham today at 713-236-7791.

Are There Any Other Consequences for a Felony DWI in Texas?

In addition to possible fines and incarceration, a felony DWI conviction in Texas can result In several restrictions on your behavior even outside of prison. You may be required to have a breathalyzer interlock installed on your car, which requires you to blow into it and prove that you are not intoxicated before you start your car. A court can also order that you not drink or use any controlled substance without a prescription anymore, whether driving or not.

Do I Need an Attorney for a DWI Charged as a Misdemeanor?

Yes, even a misdemeanor charge for DWI can have serious consequences, including up to six months in jail and fines up to $3000.If your blood alcohol level was .15 or higher, the maximum penalties rise to 12 months in jail and up to $6000 in fines. In both cases, your license will be suspended. Contact Michael H. Pham’s Houston office at 713-236-7791 today for help in minimizing consequences for your DWI, whether charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony.