Fort Worth DWI with a Child Passenger Defense
Driving while intoxicated takes many forms throughout Texas. The circumstances of the offense determine the level of criminal offense. Often, the different varieties of DWI (driving while intoxicated) will result in more severe penalties than just DWI.
Where is this offense located in the penal code?
Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger is codified in section 49.045 of the Texas Penal Code.
What does the State of Texas have to prove for the offense of Driving while Intoxicated with a child passenger?
- A person;
- Operated a motor vehicle;
- In a public place;
- While Intoxicated; and
- The vehicle is occupied by a passenger younger than 15 years of age.
How are the penalties different for DWI with a child passenger
Generally, DWI is a Class B Misdemeanor.
However DWI with a child passenger is a State Jail Felony, which is punishable by :
- a fine up to $ 10,000.00; and
- a term of imprisonment between six months and two years in a state jail
It is important to note that an individual may be eligible for probation.
Further, a conviction will result in the loss of your driver’s license. If the person is 21 years of age or older, the suspension period is 90 days to one year. However, if the person is under 21 years of age, the suspension period is one year. It is important to note that a person’s driver’s license may be suspended as a result of the arrest under administrative procedures.
Is unintentional intoxication a defense?
Voluntary intoxication is not a defense. Involuntary intoxication may be a defense, meaning the person did not knowingly consume a substance that impaired the mental and physical faculties. The State of Texas still must prove the driver was intoxicated at the time of driving.
How is intoxication shown?
- Intoxication can be shown with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher;
- Lack of the normal use of a person’s physical faculties; or
- Lack of the normal use of a person’s mental faculties.
What happens to the child at the scene?
This depends largely on the arresting officer. Some officers will call Child Protective Services and others will call a family member to pick up the child.
If you or someone you know has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger, I can help. I will review your case develop a strategy, arrange for the necessary investigators and experts, investigate your case to provide you with the best defense. If you or someone you know needs to consult a criminal defense lawyer call (817) 231-0023.