Blood alcohol content (BAC) is a measure of intoxication, and a person is deemed to be intoxicated if their BAC level is higher than the permitted limit. If a person is using drugs, that person is also drunk.
In Texas, a person must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater to be deemed intoxicated. In Texas, numerous laws make it illegal to act in particular ways while inebriated or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) higher than the permitted limit.
In Texas, if you are accused of drinking and driving and getting into a car accident, you may be charged with an intoxicated assault.
If found guilty, you might face serious consequences. The prosecution in Texas must prove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that you were intoxicated at the time of the other person’s serious bodily injury. The burden is heavy, but the prosecution need not prove that you intended to harm someone else. You can still be prosecuted for this serious misdemeanor even if the injury was caused by an accident or a mistake.
You only have 15 days to pursue an administrative license suspension to get your license back if you refuse to submit to chemical testing or fail a blood or breath test for DWI.
What Does the Texas Term “Intoxication Assault” Mean?
Intoxicated assault is a felony that occurs when someone injures another person severely because of an error or accident:
- While inebriated and operating or putting together an amusement ride
- When driving a boat or an airplane while inebriated
- While under the influence of alcohol or drugs and driving a car
According to Texas Penal Code Ann. 49.07, an inebriated person may commit an assault if they drive a car on a public road and inflict serious bodily harm to another person as a result of their intoxication. The person might still be charged with DWI assault even if the crime was the result of an accident or a mistake.
A third-degree felony charge applies to this offense. A second-degree felony might be filed against the alleged offender if the victim was a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel.
What Does the Texas Term “Serious Bodily Injury” Mean?
A serious bodily injury is one that:
- Is severe and ongoing deformity
- Poses significant danger of death
- Poses long-term damage to or amputation of any organ or limb
Even though this kind of harm might not be immediately noticeable following an attack involving drinking, the suspected DWI offender could still be prosecuted for this offense if the injuries show up later.
In Texas, What Is the Penalty for Assault Committed While Intoxicated?
A third-degree felony is an assault committed while intoxicated. In Texas, the following are the possible penalties for a third-degree felony:
- A state prison sentence of two to ten years
- $10,000 fine
If found guilty of their first DWI assault, a person’s driving privileges may be suspended for up to a year. The license of the offender could be suspended for 90 days to one year plus an extra one year if they were the victim of a second or subsequent DWI assault within five years of the prior crime. A license suspension of one to two years may be imposed if the DWI assault offender has previously been convicted of any DWI offense during the previous five years.
An alleged drunken assault offender may also be compelled to perform up to 1,000 hours of community service, install an interlock device, complete a required alcohol or drug education program, or pay court costs and penalties.
Even if a client has not yet been found guilty, the legal repercussions of a drunken attack already exist. Texas state law typically requires a SCRAM ankle monitor, an ignition interlock device, Antabuse medication, or other measures as special bond conditions.
Additionally, individuals charged with intoxication assault risk having their licenses suspended even before being found guilty. Texas Minor Protective Services may get involved and limit your access to your kids if the wounded party is a child passenger; however, this can also happen when it’s an adult stranger.
Charges of intoxication assault necessitate knowledgeable legal representation proficient in criminal and DWI defenses, as these cases frequently call for a jury trial. The effects of intoxication assault can be severe, but by putting our clients’ interests first, working with knowledgeable experts, and relying on our trial expertise, the effects on our clients and their families can be kept to a minimum.
Offenses Relating to Vehicle Assault in Dallas
If someone kills someone else while operating a car while inebriated on a public road, they may be prosecuted with intoxication manslaughter. A second-degree felony is an appropriate penalty for this offense. A crime of the first degree may be filed against the suspected criminal if they are responsible for the death of a peace officer, firefighter, or member of the emergency medical services.
A person can be prosecuted for abandoning the scene of an accident, which is normally a crime of the third degree, under Texas Transportation Code Ann. Section 550.021 if they fail to take the following actions following an accident involving death or injury:
- Immediately stop their car at the location of the collision or as near to it as feasible;
- Stop immediately without obstructing more than is necessary;
- If they do not first stop at the scene of the accident, they must immediately return there; and
- Remain at the accident scene until all legal procedures have been fulfilled.
Under Texas Penal Code Section 19.04, a person who negligently causes the death of another person while operating a vehicle may be charged with vehicular manslaughter.
According to Tex. Transp. Code 545.401, if someone recklessly operates a vehicle and kills someone else, they may also be prosecuted with vehicular manslaughter.
Is There a Chance I’ll Spend More Time in Prison for this Crime?
Yes. The crime is, therefore, a second-degree felony if the victim was a fireman, police officer, or emergency medical staff who was doing their duties and suffered serious physical harm. A person could receive a sentence of:
- 2-20 years in jail
- $10,000 fine
Texas Resources on Drunken Assault
- Section 49.07 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines intoxication assault in Texas and outlines possible punishments for a conviction, can be found at this link: Texas Penal Code – Intoxication Assault. All of Texas’ criminal laws are contained in the Texas Penal Code; Chapter 49 deals with all of the state’s intoxication statutes.
- Texas Department of Public Safety – Alcohol-Related Offenses – This link provides details on alcohol-related offenses and associated penalties in Texas, including license suspensions, administrative license suspensions, and license reinstatement following an incident involving intoxicated assault.
- Texas Department of Transportation – Crash Reports – This link will take you to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) website, where you can find information about how to access your crash report in Texas, statistics about crashes and accidents involving alcohol, and other details about your allegedly alcohol-related car accident there.
Do I Need the Help of an Attorney?
Since intoxicated assault is a crime, you’ll probably require legal counsel to fight the allegation effectively. To avoid the repercussions of this offense, you should see a criminal lawyer in Texas. Your attorney can provide you with guidance and representation for your case.