What is Intoxication Assault in Dallas?
Intoxication assault occurs when someone causes serious bodily injury to another because they were driving while intoxicated.
Unlike most criminal offenses, these cases do not require that a person intend to have committed an offense – and instead are caused by accidents arising from the act of being intoxicated.
Like intoxication manslaughter charges, these unintentional offenses are devastating to the victims, the defendant, and both families. They require an experienced Dallas intoxication assault lawyer out front to defend your rights.
Intoxication Assault Charges are a Focus of the Dallas County District Attorney
Intoxication assault cases have become such a problem in North Texas it prompted the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to create a vehicular crimes unit in 2022. The goal is to give these cases as much attention as other violent offenses, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Varghese Summersett Can Help
If you’re facing intoxication assault charges in Dallas, call Varghese Summersett as soon as possible. One of our Board Certified criminal defense attorneys will review your case and explain your options.
In this post, we’ll explain intoxication assault, the penalties, and some of the collateral consequences that can come with an intoxication assault conviction in Dallas and why having a dedicated Dallas intoxication assault lawyer by your side is so important.
Dallas Intoxication Assault Lawyer Serving North Texas
Texas Penal Code 49.07 defines intoxication assault as someone causing serious bodily injury to another because the person was driving while intoxicated.
Specifically, Texas law states a person commits the offense if they:
“by accident or mistake: while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another; or as a result of assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated causes serious bodily injury to another.”
These cases can often be complex, which necessitates you have an adept Dallas intoxication assault lawyer.
Can prosecutors include additional charges to my intoxication assault case?
Yes. These cases can be complicated because often there is more than one cause for the accident. That’s why it’s advisable to contact an experienced Dallas intoxication assault lawyer as soon as possible. Additional charges could be added by prosecutors as well. Examples of additional charges include the following:
Reckless driving: Transportation Code 545.401 defines this misdemeanor offense as a person recklessly operating a vehicle with disregard for the safety of others or property.
Vehicular manslaughter: Texas Penal Code Section 19.04 defines this second-degree felony as a person causing the death of another while recklessly operating a motor vehicle. While it may seem that you’d be charged with one or another, it is not uncommon for us to see a case get filed as an intoxication assault charge and that later get changed to intoxication manslaughter if the injured person dies.
What does serious bodily injury mean in Texas?
Texas Penal Code §1.07(a)(46) defines it as any bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
What is considered intoxicated in Texas?
Texas Penal Code says a person is intoxicated if one of these three is found to be true:
- They don’t have the use of their normal mental faculties because of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any drug
- They don’t have the use of their normal physical faculties because of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any drug, or
- They have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher
A Dallas intoxication assault lawyer adept at handling intoxication cases will be able to lay out your options and a strategy to best fight the charge.
What are the penalties for intoxication assault?
In Texas, intoxication assault is a third-degree felony, carrying a prison sentence between two and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Other penalties include up to 600 hours of community service, a year’s suspension of your driver’s license, an interlock device placed on your car, probation, and required drug or alcohol treatment programs.
A Dallas intoxication assault offense can be elevated to a second-degree felony if it involves a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or other emergency services personnel. The penalties include up to 20 years in prison, 1,000 hours of community service, and up to a two-year suspension of your driver’s license. The potential for elevated charges is another reason to consult with a skilled Dallas intoxication assault lawyer.
The penalties can be enhanced if the offense occurs within five years of any other DWI offense.
Additionally, the punishment for a Dallas intoxication assault conviction increases if the victim of a serious bodily injury was a law enforcement official, firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel while acting in their official duties. These cases require the knowledge of an experienced Dallas intoxication assault lawyer.
Under Texas Penal Code 49.09, serious bodily injury to a firefighter or emergency personnel is a second-degree felony.
Serious bodily injury to a police officer or judge acting in an official duty is a first-degree felony. It is a second-degree felony if the serious bodily injury results in a traumatic brain jury that leaves the victim in a persistent vegetative state.
What are the collateral consequences of an intoxication assault in Dallas?
The serious nature of an intoxication assault conviction in Dallas can bring many collateral consequences beyond the court-ordered penalty.
If convicted, the repercussions can be overwhelming and long-lasting for the offender. An experienced Dallas intoxication assault lawyer can help mitigate some of these issues. Collateral consequences could include:
- Loss of driver’s license
- Required drug or alcohol Assessment
- Random drug or alcohol testing
- Administrative and court fees
- Mandatory attendance at a DWI education class
- Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment program
- SR-22 insurance
- Revoked right to vote or own a gun because of a felony conviction
Are you facing intoxication assault charges in Dallas? Call us.
If you or a family member face intoxication assault charges in Dallas, you need legal representation immediately. The criminal defense team at Varghese Summersett includes former prosecutors and Board Certified attorneys who are well-versed in the complexities of these cases. For a free consultation with a top Dallas intoxication assault lawyer, call us at 214-903-4000.