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Additional Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated With a Child in the Car

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Austin DWI defense lawyerIn Texas, driving while intoxicated is taken very seriously, and violators face severe penalties. For those who are arrested on DWI charges while driving with a child in the vehicle, you will face additional charges and could even see other parental rights be impacted. It is imperative you work with a lawyer who will aggressively defend you against the charges and provide you with the representation and guidance you need.

Driving While Intoxicated Penalties in Texas

For a first DWI, violators face a fine of up to $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, and risk losing their driver’s license for up to one year. DWI in Texas means operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 0.08. The potential fines, jail time, and time without a license grow with each additional DWI offense. Each charge also comes with a state fine of up to $6,000 upon sentencing. The charges for drunk driving with a child passenger, defined as a child under 15, become more severe. You face a state jail felony, even if it is your first DWI offense. Additionally, you will be charged with child endangerment, regardless of whether the child was injured or otherwise harmed during the incident. Simply their presence in the car is enough for the additional charge.

Penalties for a conviction include:

  • Fined up to $10,000
  • Face up to two years in jail
  • Up to 1,000 community service hours
  • Lose your license for up to 180 days

Additionally, the child endangerment charges could impact your parental rights for child visitation if you have a custody (conservatorship) arrangement. As with other felony charges, you may also lose your right to vote, your right to own or purchase a firearm, and be excluded from certain job opportunities. The court could also order you to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle and mandate your participation in DWI education programs.

Contact an Austin Driving While Intoxicated Attorney

If you are facing any driving while intoxicated charges, including drunk driving with a child passenger, you need to be represented by an experienced Midland DWI defense attorney. At Morales Law Office, Attorneys at Law, PLLC., our firm can provide you with the representation you need to defend against the charges and protect many aspects of your life. We have been fighting DWI-related offenses in Texas for over 25 years. Call our office at 512-474-2222 today for your free initial consultation. 



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