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A continuing look at felony DWI in Texas, Part 2

Texas drunk-driving laws are notably stringent, with legions of convicted motorists across the state being able to confirm that through personal experience.

And then there's this: As we noted in a recent blog post at the experienced DWI defense firm of Sergi & Associates in San Marcos, some cases yield exceptionally harsh penalties. We duly stressed in our April 26 entry that state law "provides for graduated penalties applied in select cases that prosecutors and judges believe warrant escalated punishment."

Felony DWI is a case in point. A recent Texas media report notes that 33 in-state motorists were charged with felony DWI during March. Those individuals were assessed fines and penalties far above what is typically the case for a first-time offender.

The majority of those drivers were convicted on a third DWI charge, which is deemed a felony rather than a misdemeanor and carries a fine of up to $10,000. A third conviction can also result in license suspension and up to a decade in prison. An online primer on Texas penalties linked with felony DWI notes that a 10-year term of incarceration applies to select alcohol-related accidents where a third person suffers serious injuries.

A prison outcome can also feature for a drunk driver who gets behind the wheel with a child (an adolescent under 15) in his or her vehicle. Reportedly, that was the case in four of the 33 cases applicable to last month that are noted above.

Texas judges can also order felony DWI offenders to perform a high number of community service-related hours, as well as mete out numerous other exactions.

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