DWI with Serious Bodily Injury

Driving while intoxicated is very dangerous and can lead to severe legal consequences. A DWI accident can result in enhanced penalties. If you were drinking and caused an accident that resulted in serious bodily injury, you may face felony charges. Texas law refers to this offense as intoxication assault. 

A DWI with serious bodily injury carries harsh legal consequences. An alleged offender may have to pay expensive fines and even serve possible prison time. In addition, the offender may be labeled as a felon in society which can hinder employment and housing opportunities.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI involving serious bodily injury, it’s vital that you seek a practiced criminal defense attorney. 

Brownsville Attorney for Intoxication Assault in Texas

Texas law is not kind to those convicted of DWI, especially if it results in a deadly accident. An intoxication assault charge can result in a felony conviction. It’s imperative that you are informed and ready for what the courts throw at you. Find trusted legal representation with The Gracia Law Firm.

Attorney Johnathan Gracia understands the intricacies of Texas criminal laws. He has represented numerous clients in felony-level DWI cases. The Gracia Law Firm will use all available defense techniques and strategies to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case. Start the first steps to your defense with Johnathan Gracia.

The Gracia Law Firm defends clients charged with DWI in the greater Brownsville area including Los Fresnos, Harlingen, Rio Hondo, and San Benito.

Call us now at (956) 504-2211 for a free consultation.

Overview of Intoxication Assault in Texas


Elements of Intoxication Assault in Brownsville, Texas

If a DWI accidents leads to serious bodily injury, the alleged offender will be charged with intoxication assault. Texas Penal Code states that an alleged offender can be charged with intoxicated assault if he or she:

  • Is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or working an amusement ride; and
  • Causes serious bodily injury to another because of the intoxication; or
  • The alleged offender caused serious bodily injury due to assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated. 

A person must be intoxicated to the point of impairment to be charged with a DWI. In court a person is intoxicated if their mental or physical abilities are impaired or if they have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Any person with a BAC of 0.15 may face elevated penalties. 

The term “serious bodily injury” is defined under Texas Penal Code § 49.07 as an injury that creates a substantial risk of death, loss of impairment of any bodily member or organ, or causes serious permanent disfigurement to the victim. Losing a limb or permanent facial disfigurement are two possible examples of serious bodily injury 


Texas Penalties for DWI with Serious Bodily Injury

A conviction for intoxication assault may result in a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony is punishable with a maximum prison sentence 10 years, and a possible fine of up to $10,000. In addition to the standard felony penalties, the alleged offender may have to face the consequences of a standard DWI. 

The following are the possible penalties for a first-time DWI in the state of Texas.

  • Driver license suspension for up to one year;
  • Court and administrative expenses;
  • Attendance to DWI classes;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device;
  • Up to 200 hours of community service;
  • Pay an annual fee of $1,000 or $2,00 for three years to retain license;
  • Drug and alcohol evaluation; and
  • If eligible, required participation in an alcohol or drug education program.

Aggravated Factors for DWI Assault in Cameron County, Texas

The penalties for a DWI with serious bodily injury are dependent on the injury and who the offense was directed towards. If the alleged offender commits DWI assault to a on-duty firefighter or emergency medical personnel, the offense will be a second-degree felony. In addition, if the assault results in an injury that leaves the victim in a vegetative state the crime will be classified as a second-degree felony.

The maximum legal penalties for a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to 20 years in prison; and
  • A possible prison sentence of up to $10,000. 

If the alleged offender commits intoxication assault against a peace officer or judge, he or she will face a first-degree felony. The following are the legal consequences for a first-degree felony.

  • A minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 99 years or life imprisonment; and
  • A possible fine of up to $10,000 

Intoxication Manslaughter Charges in Texas

In cases where a DWI accident leads to another person’s death, the alleged offender may be charged with intoxication manslaughter. A conviction for intoxicated manslaughter is classified as a second-degree felony. The penalty for a second-degree felony is a maximum of 20 years in prison, and a possible fine of up to $10,000.

An intoxication manslaughter charge can be elevated based on the profession on the victim. If the alleged offender’s DWI accident results in the death of a firefighter, emergency medical personnel, peace officer, or judge, the crime will be typified as a first-degree felony. The legal ramifications of a first-degree felony include a maximum of life imprisonment, and a fine of up to $10,000. 


Additional Resources

Texas DWI Laws – Visit the official website for the Texas Penal Code, a collection of state laws and legislation. Find more information regarding flying while intoxicated, boating while intoxicated, and driving while intoxicated offenses. 

In-Person DWI Recovery Program – Visit the official website for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Find more information surrounding the In-Person DWI Recovery Program, how a person can be qualified, and the contact information of Dr. Pam Carey, the director of the program.  


Cameron County Lawyer for DWI Assault in Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI with serious bodily injury, it’s important that you gain skilled legal representation. An experienced attorney can advocate for you in pre-trial and trail negotiations and collect evidence for your case. Contact Johnathan Gracia at The Gracia Law Firm and talk to a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Johnathan Gracia is a strategic attorney who has a strong focus in criminal defense. He has the skill, experience, and perseverance necessary to fight your DWI charges. The Gracia Law Firm defends those accused of driving while intoxicated throughout the greater Cameron County area and surrounding counties including Willacy County and Hidalgo County. 

Call us now at (956) 504-2211 for a free consultation today.


This article was last updated on November 5, 2018.