A conviction for felony DWI carries much stiffer penalties than a conviction for a first or second offense. According to the Texas Penal Code, individuals who have been convicted of a third-degree felony stemming from a DWI are subject to:
- Jail Time – Depending on the facts of your case, you may face between two and ten years incarceration in the state prison system if convicted of a felony DWI.
- Fine – A felony DWI conviction also carries a fine of up to $10,000.
- License Suspension – The Texas Department of Public Safety may choose to suspend your driver’s license for a minimum of 180 days and a maximum of two years.
- Community Service - You may also be required to perform community service as a condition of your sentencing. Under Texas law, you can receive between 160 and 600 hours for a third-degree felony DWI.
- Ignition Interlock Device – Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may have to have your vehicle fitted with an ignition interlock device. This device requires you to submit a breath sample before the vehicle will start.
- Rehabilitation – In addition to these penalties, you may also be required to under drug/alcohol counseling or rehabilitation treatment either during your incarceration or following your release.
The penalties for Intoxication Assault are the same as listed above. Texas law does not prescribe any increased sanctions for DWI convictions beyond the third offense. Typically, a fourth or subsequent DWI conviction would carry the maximum imprisonment term without parole.
If you face an additional charge of Intoxication Manslaughter stemming from a DWI, the penalties are much more severe. Under Texas law, Intoxication Manslaughter is classified as a second-degree felony and if convicted, you could face the following:
- Incarceration – Texas law allows an individual convicted of Intoxicated Manslaughter to receive a sentence of 2 to 20 years imprisonment in the state prison system.
- Fine – You may be assessed a fine of up to $10,000.
- Community Service – Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be sentenced to anywhere from 240 to 800 hours of community service.
The penalties listed above do not include the civil penalties you may face stemming from a Felony DWI. Under Texas law, if you cause serious injury or death to someone else through carelessness, recklessness or negligence, you may be held financially liable for their injuries. The victim and/or their family may choose to seek damages against you in civil court through a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.