October 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- In Dallas County and around the country, vigilance surrounding drunk driving is extremely high. Laws are clear and penalties are strict, especially in felony drunk-driving charges, which are involved in any DWI
accident that results in serious injury or death of at least one person.
According to statistics reported by the Century Council, more than 40 percent of all Texas traffic-related fatalities in 2011 involved alcohol and more than 37 percent of all vehicular deaths of people under the age of 21 were related to alcohol. With a total of 1,213 auto accident deaths statewide where alcohol was a factor, the number of potential felony convictions is something to take note of.
Felony versus misdemeanor
It is important to understand the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor as a DWI conviction can result in either one. Regardless of the nature of the offense, a misdemeanor is noted for those crimes generally considered to be "less serious" than felonies. Examples include shoplifting or petty theft. Jail time is typically less than one year and is in county jail facilities.
A felony is identified in the event of crimes with a more serious nature. These include murder, armed robbery and other similar actions. Jail time is commonly more than one year and in state prisons as opposed to county jailhouses. Additionally, persons convicted of felonies can lose the right to vote, hold public office or serve on a jury.
Felony convictions for DWI offenses
When an accident involving a DWI arrest results in serious injury to at least one other person, the arrested driver is charged with intoxication assault. If convicted, the final charge is for a third degree felony and offenders will receive a prison sentence between two and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
If a DWI accident results in the death of another person, the driver can be charged with intoxication manslaughter. If a conviction is obtained, the charge is for second degree felony and the accompanying prison sentence is between two and 20 years with a fine of up to $10,000.
Legal counsel matters
With such a wide range of prison sentences in felony DWI convictions, people facing these charges will want to ensure they have proper legal representation. Ensuring a fair trial and proceedings is important and an experienced DWI attorney
can guide clients through the process and work to prevent conviction or minimize sentence times. People arrested for drunk driving are encouraged to contact an attorney as soon as possible to secure the right help from the very start.
Article provided by The Shapiro Law Firm
Visit us at dallas-dwiattorney.com/