When a driver operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Texas, the chance for a dangerous car crash is significantly increased. If the car crash results in serious bodily injury to another driver, the intoxicated driver may be charged with intoxication assault.
Causing serious bodily harm while drunk driving is frequently prosecuted as a felony offense. Lengthy jail time, steep fines and a permanent criminal record may be the result.
Intoxication Assault Penalties
The consequences for assault with drunk driving are very serious in Houston. They can be enhanced if the injured driver is severely hurt. If the injured driver dies, the charges may be upgraded to intoxication manslaughter. According to the Texas Penal code, some of the penalties for this crime can include:
- A third-degree felony conviction, punishable by two to 10 years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- Driver’s license suspension ranging from 90 days up to one year
- Up to 1000 hours of community service
- Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device and alcohol education classes
Assault While Drunk Driving Defenses
Legal defense strategies for defendants charged with causing serious bodily harm while drunk driving often involve plea bargaining in Houston. An experienced defense attorney may be able to negotiate with the prosecution for a plea bargain that reduces or eliminates jail time.
Some defense attorneys may use a more aggressive strategy that attacks the prosecution’s evidence. Challenging the statements of the arresting officer or the effectiveness of the breath or blood analysis in the case may result in evidence being removed from consideration.
Refusing Field Sobriety Tests in Texas
If the defendant refused the field sobriety tests or the blood alcohol tests, the state will have less evidence for their case. Drivers are not always legally required to submit to these tests but extended license suspension periods may apply if they refuse. However, a refusal may be worth it in the long run if the refusal denies the prosecution evidence to use in a trial.