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When does a DWI turn into a felony?

Typically, an individual facing a DWI conviction results in a misdemeanor. When one is a repeat offender or poses a great danger to others, they may face a felony. When does a DWI turn into a felony?

Third offense

A first offense and second offense DWI come with class B and class A misdemeanors, respectively. A third offense DWI conviction comes with a felony charge. Individuals facing this type of charge will also face the following penalties:

  • Fine: Up to $10,000
  • Jail time: Up to 10 years
  • License suspension: Up to two years

DWI with a child

When the police pull over a legally intoxicated individual who is driving with a child under 15 years old, they will face felony charges. The penalties for this type of crime include:

  • Fine: Up to $10,000
  • Jail time: Up to two years
  • License suspension: Up to 180 days

Accident resulting in injury or death

Many incidents of individuals driving while intoxicated end in an accident. Nearly 10,500 deaths occurred due to drunk driving accidents in 2016. If an intoxicated driver hits and kills another person or causes an accident that results in serious injury, they may face either a third-degree felony, called intoxication assault, or a second-degree felony, intoxication manslaughter. The following are the penalties one may face.

  • Intoxication assault: Up to $10,000 in fines, up to 10 years in prison and an annual fee for three years after conviction.
  • Intoxication manslaughter: Up to $10,000 in fines, up to 20 years in prison, and 240 hours of community service.

No one intends to endanger others when they are driving. If this does happen, it is important to know what the outcome could entail and what the penalties could be.

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Cactus Law Office, PLLC
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