Copperas Cove Felony DWI Defense Attorneys
Experienced legal advocacy for drunk driving charges in Central Texas
A DWI (driving while intoxicated) conviction in Texas can having lasting and negative consequences on your life, no matter what type of charge. However, the state takes felony DWI charges extremely seriously and penalties can be harsh. Individuals may face felony DWI charges if they are a repeat offender, or a person is harmed or killed due to the DWI.
The Copperas Cove criminal defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm have over two decades of experience representing the people of Central Texas. We know that a felony DWI conviction can result in adverse consequences that can follow you for the rest of your life. When we take your case, we dedicate ourselves to negotiating felonies down to misdemeanors, proving when your Constitutional rights were violated and, when possible, working to have the charges dropped altogether. We can help.
I have a great deal of respect for the Harrell Law Firm and her associates. They saved my life, hands down. They actually gave me a better way of looking at life. Her staff member, Teresa, was wonderful in helping me with questions about the case and giving me the support I needed. The money I spent on this law firm was very well spent because she got my case dismissed. I give thanks to Ms. Harrell and Teresa for my life because that what they gave me back. I will tell everyone I know to come to this firm.
-TR ~ Killeen, TX.
What types of DWI cases does your Copperas Cove firm handle?
Texas breaks down drunk driving into different types of charges, depending on the situation. We handle a wide variety of charges in Copperas Cove and Coryell and Bell Counties, including:
As an Army wife and mom, Mary Beth Harrell understands the unique challenges of post-military life. We work with veterans charged with DWI, helping place vets into veteran treatment courts, rather than putting them through the criminal justice system. These programs help with substance abuse issues and, in many cases, can result in dropped charges after successful completion.
Intoxication Manslaughter Defense
If an individual kills another person while they are operating a vehicle while intoxicated, they can be charged with a crime called intoxication manslaughter. The Texas Penal Code defines this as when a person “operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and are intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.” These types of charges require serious legal defense.
Intoxication Assault Defense
Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony and occurs when the driver of a motor vehicle (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) operates that vehicle while intoxicated in a public place and causes serious injury to another person. Texas Penal Code clarifies that serious injury is defined as “injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.”
Multiple and Repeat DWI Defense
Texas takes every DWI offense seriously, but multiple DWI charges mean higher and more severe penalties. Third and fourth DWIs can lead to felony convictions, jail or prison time, ignition interlock devices on their vehicles, and other collateral consequences. The defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm understand how to fight these charges and protect your rights.
Breathalyzer and Breath Test Defense
Breath tests are the most common way people are charged with DWI here in Texas. They work by measuring the blood alcohol content (BAC) of the driver. If a test reads .08 percent or higher, the driver can be arrested for drunk driving. However, breath tests aren’t as reliable as authorities would have you believe, and our DWI defense attorneys know how to challenge breath test results. We also provide legal representation when you refuse to take a breath test.
Challenging Field Sobriety Tests
If you are pulled over for suspicion of DWI, the officer will typically request you to submit to a field sobriety test. This test consists of three parts – a horizontal gaze nystagmus test (which looks at your eye movements), a walk-and-turn test, and a one-leg stand test. We work to challenge the admissibility of field sobriety tests and whether your rights were violated at any point in the process, starting with the initial reason you were pulled over.
Frequently asked questions about felony DWI in Copperas Cove
- When is a DWI a felony in Texas?
- What are enhanced DWI offenses?
- What are the penalties for felony DWI in Texas?
- What BAC levels result in a DWI charge?
- Can I challenge breath test results?
- What if I refuse to take a breathalyzer test?
When is a DWI a felony in Texas?
Driving while intoxicated is typically a misdemeanor until the third offense, upon which it becomes third-degree felony. Felony convictions come with much steeper penalties, including at least two years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. You will also lose your license. In addition to third offenses, a DWI will also be upgraded to a felony when you’re charged with enhanced DWI offenses.
What are enhanced DWI offenses?
Enhanced DWI offenses can take a charge that may have normally been a misdemeanor into a felony crime. Examples of enhanced DWI offenses under the Texas Penal Code include:
- Flying while intoxicated if you have two prior DWIs
- Boating while intoxicated if you have two prior DWIs
- Assembling or operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated if you have two prior DWIs
- A DWI with a child passenger
What are the penalties for felony DWI in Copperas Cove, TX?
Texas has severe penalties for conviction of a felony DWI. A state jail felony can result in 180 days to two years in jail and fines up to $10,000. A third-degree felony comes with prison time of two to 10 years and fines of up to $10,000. Second-degree felonies range from two to 20 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. Our attorneys fight aggressively against these DWI charges.
What BAC levels result in DWI charges?
The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level that triggers a DWI arrest in Texas depends on your age and your particular situation. These levels are as follows:
- For all drivers nationwide, the legal BAC limit is .08
- For commercial drivers (like truckers), the legal limit is .04
- For drivers under 21, the legal limit is .02
- Upgraded DWI charges apply for any driver with a BAC .15 or over
Our attorneys work to defend your case, either by showing results of your breath test were inadmissible, that the officer had no reason to pull you over, or other strategies.
Can I challenge breath test results?
Yes. There are a variety of issues with common breath test machines and procedures, including the Intoxilyzer 9000, used by the state of Texas. Our DWI defense lawyers can review and challenge all aspects of the breath test process, including:
- Any health problems interfering with test results
- Whether the officer who administered the test was properly certified
- Whether the breath test machine was calibrated and working properly
- Whether the test was administered properly
- Whether the officer had the right to pull you over
What if I refuse to take a breathalyzer test?
You may refuse to take a breath test; however, that choice comes with consequences. Texas has an implied consent law, which means that by virtue of having a driver’s license, you will submit to a breath test. Refusing a breath test results in an administrative license suspension, and this can cause you to lose your driver’s license for 180 days. However, you can contest this suspension at an administrative hearing with the help of an attorney from the Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm.
Dedicated felony DWI defense attorneys in Copperas Cove
A drunk driving conviction, especially a felony DWI, can have life-altering consequences. In addition to serving prison time and paying out fines, you will have a criminal record. The DWI defense attorneys at the Mary Beth Harrell Law firm fight aggressively and strategically for our clients, and we can help you, too. Contact us today at 254-680-4655 or by filling out our contact form. We have offices in Killeen Copperas Cove, and handle in-custody visits for clients who cannot come to us. We also serve Coryell, and Bell Counties.