4 Common Aggravating Factors of a Texas DWI

A first-time DWI in Texas is considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to 180 days, driver’s license suspension for one year, and a maximum fine of $2,000. However, there are several aggravating factors that might be apparent, resulting in increased penalties or a getting charged with a felony. 

The following are common aggravating factors of a Texas DWI: 

  1. High blood alcohol content (BAC) – In Texas and every other state in the country, the legal limit to be arrested for a DWI is .08 percent. However, if your BAC is at least .15 percent – or nearly double the legal limit – then you will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable a maximum jail term of one year and a fine not exceeding $4,000. 

  1. Child passenger – If there is a minor who is at least 15 years of age in the vehicle when you are arrested for DWI in Texas, you can be charged with a state jail felony, which carries a maximum two-year state jail term and a fine no more than $10,000 fine. 

  1. Open container – If you drive with an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and subsequently arrested for a DWI, you will serve a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six days. In addition, having an open container in the vehicle is a separate criminal offense. 

  1. Car accident – If you drive while intoxicated and end up causing a car accident, you may face harsher charges based on the circumstances of the accident. While causing property damage can result in additional charges like criminal mischief and reckless driving (which are both misdemeanors), causing a serious injury or death will lead to felony charges. 

Aggravated DWI in Texas is a serious offense, which is why it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you avoid conviction or serving harsh penalties. At Rodriguez & Gimbert, P.L.L.C., we have more than 45 years of combined experience providing aggressive and personalized legal defense to clients facing a wide range of DWI charges. 

Do not hesitate to contact us today at (979) 559-3599 for a free initial consultation. Get honest and straightforward counsel immediately!