Dallas Felony DWI Lawyer Serving Dallas and Surrounding Areas
Each year, thousands of people are arrested for DWI in Dallas County. Most drivers will be charged with a misdemeanor, but certain circumstances can elevate the charge to a felony.
A felony DWI is a serious offense that can result in prison time, loss of driving privileges, and a permanent criminal record. That’s why is extremely important to retain an experienced Dallas felony DWI lawyer if you or a loved one is facing this charge.
The criminal defense lawyers at Varghese Summersett have years of experience defending drivers charged with felony DWI in Dallas and the surrounding areas. In this article, we will explain felony DWI, the possible penalties, and how our lawyers can help you fight the charge.
What is a Felony DWI in Texas?
In Texas, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) is typically charged as a misdemeanor offense. However, there are circumstances that can elevate the charge to a felony, including having at least two prior DWI convictions or driving intoxicated with a child. If you are charged with a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, you are looking at harsher punishment, including longer jail time, steeper fines, and the possibility of being labeled a felon.
What circumstances can lead to a felony DWI charge in Dallas?
There are two types of felony DWI cases in Texas, including:
- Driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under age 15;
- Driving while intoxicated with at least two prior DWI convictions – this is also referred to as DWI Felony Repetition. It’s important to point out that it doesn’t matter when or where you received the two prior DWI convictions. Prosecutors will use them to enhance your charge no matter if they were two years ago or 20 years ago – or even in another state.
Please take a moment to watch this video by Dallas felony DWI lawyer Benson Varghese, who is Board Certified in Criminal Law and explains these two offenses.
What are bond conditions for a felony DWI in Dallas?
If you have been arrested for a felony DWI, you can expect the judge to order you to have an interlock installed on any vehicle you operate and to refrain from alcohol and drugs while your case is pending. The judge is likely to order other conditions, but these are two are standard for felony DWI cases.
What is the punishment for a felony DWI in Dallas?
The punishment for a felony DWI depends on the underlying offense and your criminal history:
- DWI with a child passenger is a state jail felony punishable by six months to two years in a state jail facility and a maximum $10,000 fine. (The punishment can be enhanced further if you have a prior felony or DWI conviction, if your Blood Alcohol Concentration is greater than .15, or if someone was injured or if property was damaged in an accident.)
- DWI felony repetition is generally a third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine. If you have been to prison once before (for a DWI or another charge), the punishment is enhanced to a second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison. If you have been to prison twice before, the punishment is enhanced to a first-degree felony punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison.
To find out exactly what punishment you are facing, it is important to speak to a skilled and experienced Dallas felony DWI lawyer.
Is it possible to receive probation for a Dallas felony DWI?
Yes, it is possible to be placed on probation for a felony DWI offense in Dallas. Probation is a form of supervision that allows you to be released into the community, rather than go to jail, under certain conditions. These conditions may include regular check-ins with a probation officer, attending counseling or treatment, submitting to random drug or alcohol testing, installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, performing community service, and obeying all laws.
However, it’s important to understand that if you receive probation for DWI felony repetition, you will be required to serve 10 to 180 days in jail as a condition of your probation. This is mandatory; it’s required by law.
If you receive probation for DWI with a child passenger, you are not required to serve time in jail as a condition of probation, but the judge may order it. You could be ordered to serve up to 180 days in jail as a condition of your probation. Again, it is discretionary, not mandatory.
Here’s a chart that outlines DWIs and Days in Jail as a Condition of Probation.
Will my license be suspended for a felony DWI?
You can expect your license to be suspended if you are arrested or convicted for a felony DWI in Texas. How long depends on the charge and your criminal record. Speak to a Dallas felony DWI lawyer to find out exactly what to expect in your case and how you can regain driving privileges. This chart gives an overview of license suspensions for intoxication offenses.
How can a Dallas felony DWI lawyer defend my case?
The best way to defend against a felony DWI is to hire an experienced lawyer who has the knowledge and skill to challenge the evidence against you. Every case is different, but some possible defenses to a felony DWI include:
- The stop was illegal – if the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over or probable cause for an arrest, any evidence obtained after the stop may be suppressed.
- The test results are inaccurate – there are many ways to challenge the accuracy of a blood or breath test, including whether the machine was properly calibrated, whether the officer followed proper procedures when administering the test, or whether you have a medical condition that can impact the test results.
- You were not intoxicated – if your blood alcohol level was .08 or lower, an experienced DWI lawyer can create reasonable doubt. Retrograde extrapolation could be used to show that you were not intoxicated at the time you were driving.
The bottom line is this: if you have been charged with a felony DWI, you need an experienced lawyer on your side. The lawyers at Varghese Summersett are the best in the business, and we are here to help. Please watch this video for more ways we will work to beat a DWI:
What are the best outcomes for a felony DWI charge?
The best outcomes are those that result in the charges being dismissed, or if the case goes to trial, being found not guilty by a judge or a jury. Other than that, obtaining probation, rather than jail time, is the most favorable outcome. The most favorable results go to those who hire the best DWI defense lawyers.
How do I pick the best Dallas felony DWI lawyer for my case?
If you have been charged with felony DWI, now is not the time to cut corners. You will need an experienced and aggressive trial lawyer who is familiar with the laws and procedures in Dallas County and who has a track record of success. Here are a few tips for choosing the right felony DWI lawyer:
Speak to a Dallas felony DWI lawyer today.
If you have been arrested for a felony DWI, your liberty and livelihood are in jeopardy. You need an experienced and knowledgeable Dallas felony DWI lawyer on your side to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome in your case.
At Varghese Summersett, our Dallas DWI lawyers have the experience, knowledge, and skill to handle even the most complex DWI cases. We are committed to providing our clients with the highest quality legal representation and have the results to back it up. Call 214-903-4000 for a free consultation with an experienced Dallas felony DWI lawyer today.