Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense that carries harsh penalties. In cases where a DWI leads to an accident the penalties may be enhanced. Even if the accident doesn’t lead to serious injuries, the damaged property may lead to worse penalties.
Texas is not kind to those convicted of a DWI. If property damage is included, you may have to face an additional civil case. It’s possible you may have to pay court fines, restitution, and even face incarceration. It’s important that you are aware of what may happen next in your case.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI with property damage, it’s important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Brownsville Attorney for DWI with Property Damage in Texas
A driving while intoxicated charge can result in severe penalties. The situation can be even more complex when an accident occurs. Any person who has been charged with a DWI involving property damage must gain legal representation immediately.
Johnathan Gracia is a knowledgeable attorney who is passionate about criminal defense. He understands the extraordinary stress that accompanies a criminal trial. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. will do whatever it takes to build a strong defense for you and help you retain your peace of mind. Start the first steps of your defense today with The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. .
Attorney Johnathan Gracia accepts clients throughout the greater Brownsville area including Harlingen, La Feria, Palm Valley, Los Fresnos, and San Benito.
Call us now at 956-504-2211 for a free consultation surrounding your case.
Overview of DWI with Property Damage
DWI with Property Damage Under Texas Law
Texas has no specific statute surrounding DWIs with property damage. Instead if an accident with property damage occurs the alleged offender will be charged with an additional crime referred to as reckless damage or destruction.
Texas Penal Code § 49.04 states that a person who operates a vehicle intoxicated is committing a DWI. The law considers a person to be intoxicated if their mobilities are impaired or if they have a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more. In some cases, the penalties may be enhanced. For example, if the alleged offender has a child in the car during the offense, has a blood-alcohol concentration of .15 or an open-container is in the car.
If an accident occurs and damages to property is caused, the alleged offender will have an additional charge for reckless damage or destruction. Texas Penal Code § 28.04 states a person is committing reckless damage or destruction if he or she recklessly damages or destroys the property of another.
Texas Penalties for DWI with Property Damage
Since there is no specific statute for a DWI with property damage, Texas adds reckless damage or destruction as an aggravating factor. This means an alleged offender will face additional penalties on top of what the judge sentenced for their DWI conviction.
When property damage happens as a result of a DWI accident, the court may file an additional charge for reckless damage or destruction of property. A person convicted of reckless damage or destruction may face a class C misdemeanor, which is punishable with a fine of up to $500.
For a DWI with property damage charge, the court may order restitution to the owner of the damaged property. Civil penalties may also be included in the standard statutory penalties.
A first time DWI offender may face a class B misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a possible fine of up to $2,000.
Take note, a DWI charge requires a minimum confinement of 72 hours in jail. In the case that an open container is in the car, the alleged offender will be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of six days in jail.
Certain aggravating factors can elevate the penalties of a DWI. If the alleged offender’s blood-alcohol concentration is 0.15 or higher, then theymay face a class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class A misdemeanor include up to 12 months in jail, and a possible fine of up to $4,000.
If a child under the age of 15 is in the car during the offense, the charges will be enhanced to a state jail felony. The maximum penalties for a state jail felony include up to 24 months in jail and a possible $10,000 fine.
Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code, a collection of state laws and find more information surrounding DWIs in Texas. Learn more regarding boating DWIs, flying DWIs, their possible penalties, aggravating factors, and more.
Driving While Intoxicated – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Transportation. Find more information surrounding DWI laws, penalties for subsequent offenses, and tips on how to stay safe from drunk drivers.
Lawyer for DWI with Property Damage in Cameron County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI with property damage, it’s vital that you seek an experienced DWI attorney. A skilled attorney can file motions, challenge incriminating evidence with experts, and do whatever it takes to help battle your charges.
Johnathan Gracia is an accomplished attorney who is dedicated to defending his client’s rights. With his extensive knowledge and resources, Johnathan Gracia will formulate a strong defense for you. Don’t enter this legal battle without trusted representation. Call Johnathan Gracia at 956-504-2211 for a free consultation today.
The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. represents those accused of family violence in Cameron County and surrounding counties including Hidalgo County and Willacy County.
Call us now at 956-504-2211 for a free consultation today.
This article was last updated on November 5, 2018.