If you have been accused of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger in Texas, you may be faced with many difficult legal and financial challenges. The good news is that you have rights. If your rights have been violated by law enforcement, DWI charges may be reduced or dismissed in certain cases. This is why having Blass Law in your corner could make a huge difference for you. Before you speak with anyone about the case, call Blass Law at 713-225-1900 to let us review your case and see how we may be able to protect you.
Penalties for DWI with Child Passenger in Texas
Being charged with DWI is a very serious matter in Texas, and the state of Texas pursues these felony charges vigorously. The penalties that may be imposed upon the first offense are life-altering in many cases. If you have been charged with felony DWI with a child passenger, the penalties are even more severe. Texas law says a person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated with child passenger if, “the person is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place; and the vehicle being operated by the person is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age.” You may still be charged with a violation of § 49.045 without causing property damage or personal injuries.
Endangering a child
A person who is accused of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger may also be charged with felony endangering a child. Texas law defines endangering a child as, “knowingly, intentionally, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, or by act or omission, engages in behavior that puts a minor younger than 15 years of age in danger of death, bodily injury, or mental or physical impairment.” It is most common to be charged with child endangerment and DWI child passenger if there was an accident or if a child was injured. If this happens it is common for child protective services to become involved and they investigate in a similar way as they would for a child abuse case. CPS will consider additional information such as a report from the police officer, results of field sobriety tests, results of blood tests, and any history of drunk driving allegations.
Upon arrest, your Texas driver’s license may be temporarily revoked, even before you are convicted. For repeat offenders, revocations may be permanent. After a conviction, increased penalties will be imposed. This offense is a state jail felony, some of the penalties which you could be facing for a first offense may include:
- Loss of professional license in certain occupations
- Fine of up to $10,000
- 180 days or up to two years in state jail
- Interlocked vehicle
- Up to 1000 hours of community service
- DWI classes or Offender Education Programs
- Automatic driver’s license suspension up to 180 days
For first-time offenders with little or no criminal history, it is often possible to convince the court to reduce the charge or impose minimum penalties, such as community supervision. The court will consider all the facts of your case to make this decision. For most clients, this is a preferable alternative to jail time. These penalties are intended to impose a substantial burden on your life, and it can take months or even years in some cases to have your driver’s license reinstated and return to work.
So, if you have been charged under Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.045, driving while intoxicated with a child passenger, it would be advantageous to fight to minimize or eliminate the enormous burdens that follow these types of charges. In many cases, having an experienced and professional DWI attorney does provide a significant advantage when it comes to defending clients against the state’s charges. Call Blass Law today at 713-225-1900 for a case evaluation to see how we can defend you.
Blass Law Will Do Everything Possible To Defend Your Rights
At Blass Law, we are familiar with the procedures that law enforcement officers use to investigate all types of DWI offenses in Texas. These investigations must conform to certain rules if they are to be upheld in court. We will conduct our own investigation to determine if an officer deviates from investigative protocols or violates your constitutional rights, we will review all of the state’s evidence, and challenge your DWI charge zealously attacking every possible issue. Some of the favorable results we may obtain for you include:
- Reduced charges
- Plea deals for lower offenses
- Reduced sentences
- Reversal of driver’s license suspensions
Building a strong defense against DWI charges in Texas takes time depending on the evidence involved in your case. After charges have been filed, you have a limited time to begin this process before your case is heard before a judge. This means that waiting too long to act could cost you a favorable result. Contact us now because the more time we have to develop your defense, the better. Blass Law has helped countless individuals and families achieve favorable results in Texas DWI cases and move on with their lives. We know what it takes to get favorable results for our clients, and we are standing by to fight for you during these difficult times. Call our offices at 713-225-1900 today for a confidential case evaluation.