Driving under the influence of alcohol is something that many Texas residents have been accused of doing. Some have dealt with misdemeanor charges as a result and others have ended up facing felony level charges. Those who face the latter have a lot to lose if convicted.
What makes a DUI a felony DUI in Texas? What are the penalties? Is there any way to fight this type of charge?
A DUI only reaches felony status for specific reasons. One would be that you stand accused of being a repeat offender. Those with multiple DUIs on their records receive the label of being a danger to the public. By pursuing a felony charge, prosecuting attorneys have the ability to seek lengthy prison terms and the permanent loss of your driving privileges. A few other reasons you may face felony DUI charges include:
- You hurt someone in a DUI-related accident
- You killed someone in a DUI-related accident
- You were driving while impaired with children in your car
- You were operating a vehicle with an extremely high blood alcohol level
The state simply does not take any of these actions lightly. If you stand accused of any of these things, fighting the charges in court will not prove an easy feat.
The penalties for felony level DUIs run the gamut. They include jail time, imprisonment, revocation of driver's license, and fines — among others. Punishments are ordered on a case-by-case basis. It will all come down to the details of the crime and if plea negotiations take place. Generally speaking, though, the consequences of conviction can have a drastic impact on your life.
Do not go it alone
If charged with a felony DUI, how you fight your case matters. The defense you choose and the way your case gets presented in court can all make a difference in whether you achieve a case dismissal or are successful at minimizing the consequences associated with a conviction.
When fighting your case in a Texas criminal court, you do not have to go it alone. You have the right to have experienced legal counsel there to represent you. With legal counsel at your side, it will be easier to navigate the criminal court system and be sure that you are doing everything possible to protect yourself along the way.