Killeen Felony DWI Defense Lawyers
Strong advocacy for clients in Harker Heights, Waco, Copperas Cove, and throughout Central Texas
DWI offenses are felonies when there is an extra dimension to the offense. The extra dimension can be a record of repeat offenses, offenses because of a serious injury or death, or for other reasons. In felony cases, the penalties are also more severe. There’s more jail time, larger fines, longer driver license suspensions, and other consequences.
At Mary Beth Harrell Law firm, our Killeen DWI defense lawyers understand how life-changing a felony DWI conviction can be. We fight aggressively to suppress evidence of intoxication or any statements you made in violation of your Constitutional or legal rights. We work to negotiate felonies down to misdemeanors when possible. We have the experience and resources to assert your right to a fair and just trial.
What are felony DWI crimes in Central Texas?
According to the Texas Penal Code, the following DWI offenses are considered felonies in Texas.
- 07. Intoxication Assault. This offense applies to anyone who operates a car or other vehicle, an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride while they are intoxicated – if they are operating the vehicle/device in a public place and they cause someone a serious injury. A serious bodily injury is a precise legal term that means an injury which “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.” Unless an enhanced penalty applies, this felony DWI offense is a third-degree felony.
- 08 Intoxication Manslaughter. This felony DWI applies for operators of motor vehicles, watercraft, aircraft and amusement park rides – if the operator is intoxicated and the intoxication causes death. No intent is required. A driver can be charged with intoxication manslaughter if the death is due to an accident or mistake. This DWI offense is a second-degree felony unless an enhanced penalty applies.
- 09 Enhanced Offenses and Penalties. Prior convictions. The following offenses can be considered felonies:
- Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger
- Flying while intoxicated if you have two prior DWI convictions.
- Boating while intoxicated, if you have two prior DWI convictions.
- Assembling or operating an amusement park ride while intoxicated if you have two prior DWI convictions.
- An intoxication assault DWI becomes a felony of the second degree if the injured person is a “firefighter or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of an official duty,” and a felony in the first degree if the person injured is peace officer or a judge who was acting in the “actual discharge of an official duty” at the time.
What are enhanced DWI offenses?
If you’re charged with enhanced offenses in addition to your Killeen DWI, you can be facing much more serious consequences. What might normally leave you with fines and probation could end up being a felony crime. These situations can include:
- Having prior driving while intoxicated convictions
- Your DWI led to the injury of another person
- Your DWI led to the death of another person
What are the penalties for a DWI felony in Central Texas?
The possible jail or prison sentences and fines for felonies in Texas are set forth in the Texas Penal Code as follows.
- 33. Second-degree felony: Prison time from two to 20 years and fines up to $10.000.
- 34. Third-degree felony: Prison time from two to 10 years and fines up to $10.000.
- State jail felony: 180 days to two years and fines up to $10,000. Some state jail felonies may become third-degree felonies if the defendant has a prior felony conviction or a deadly weapon
How can a Killeen felony DWI defense lawyer help?
Our skilled Killeen felony DWI attorneys can assert many different legal defenses, depending on your particular circumstances. Some of the possible defenses include:
- Challenging the right of the police officer who stopped you
- Asserting that any statements you made violated your Fifth Amendment rights
- Asserting that any field sobriety tests or breath tests were invalid
- Contesting that the specific terms of the felony DWI statutes were met
- Arguing that the prosecution did not prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt
- Other legal and factual issues relevant to your legal defense
Charged with felony DWI? Call us in Killeen today
At Mary Beth Harrell Law Firm, our Killeen felony DWI lawyers understand how harsh felony convictions are. They can mean lengthy prison sentences, huge fines, a loss of driving privileges, and the need to use an ignition interlock device. Our lawyers have a strong track record of success working to negotiate fair plea agreements, to have evidence suppressed, and to obtain just trial verdicts. To discuss your felony DWI, call us at 254-680-4655 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our office locations include Killeen, Waco, and Copperas Cove.