Many arrests for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas result in misdemeanor charges, but certain cases are enhanced to felony offenses. Alleged repeat offenders are particularly susceptible to felony charges, but even first-time offenders can be accused of felony drunk driving crimes because of certain aggravating factors.
Felony convictions can often be far more damaging for individuals because they not only carry much steeper fines and terms of imprisonment, but the effect on people’s criminal records cause irreparable damage to housing, educational, and professional opportunities. Because Texas has no “lookback period” under which prior drunk driving convictions from more than a certain number of years ago cannot be used against alleged offenders, some people can be charged with felony DWI offenses because of previous guilty pleas that were entered several years or even decades ago.
Lawyer for Felony DWI Arrests in Conroe, TX
Have you been charged with any kind of felony drunk driving offense in Montgomery County? You should avoid making any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Evans & Powell, PLLC today.
Conroe criminal defense attorneys Sean Evans and Frank Powell represent clients accused of various DWI offenses in communities throughout Montgomery County, including Oak Ridge North, Patton Village, The Woodlands, Pinehurst, Shenandoah, Willis, and many others. You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case as soon as you call (936) 622-2000 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Montgomery County Felony DWI Information Center
- Which DWI crimes are felony offenses?
- How long might people be sentenced to prison if convicted?
- Where can I learn more about felony DWI in Conroe?
A person commits the crime of DWI under Texas Penal Code § 49.04 if he or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place. A DWI offense can be graded as a felony in the following circumstances:
- Repeat DWI Convictions — Texas Penal Code § 49.09(b) stipulates that a DWI, flying while intoxicated (FWI), boating while intoxicated (BWI), or assembling or operating an amusement ride while intoxicated offense is a third-degree felony if the alleged offender has been previously convicted either one time of intoxication manslaughter or two times of any other offense relating to the operating of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, operating an aircraft while intoxicated, operating a watercraft while intoxicated, or operating or assembling an amusement ride while intoxicated.
- DWI with a Child Passenger — Under Texas Penal Code § 49.045, it is a state jail felony if an alleged offender is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place and the vehicle being operated by the alleged offender is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age.
- Intoxication Assault — Texas Penal Code § 49.07 makes it a third-degree felony if an alleged offender—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. Under Texas Penal Code § 49.09(b-1), intoxication assault becomes a second-degree felony if the alleged offender causes serious bodily injury to a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of an official duty.
- Intoxication Manslaughter — Texas Penal Code § 49.08 establishes that it is a second-degree felony if an alleged offender operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride, and is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake. Under Texas Penal Code § 49.09(b-2), intoxication manslaughter is a first-degree felony if the alleged offender causes the death of a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel while in the actual discharge of an official duty.
Any DWI case that is classified as a felony offense carries the risk of far greater punishments than a misdemeanor. The maximum allowable punishments for felony convictions are as follows:
- State Jail Felony — Up to two years in state jail and/or fine of up to $10,000;
- Third-Degree Felony — Up to 10 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000;
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000; and
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fine of up to $10,000.
In addition to fines and imprisonment, felony DWI convictions often result in very lengthy suspensions of driver’s licenses as well as requirements to pay mandatory annual surcharges to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for three years once a license is reinstated. Additional court orders may include mandatory attendance at a felony DUI school, drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and/or the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on all vehicles owned and/or operated by the alleged offender.
District Clerk | Montgomery County, Texas — The District Clerk Criminal Division files and maintains all indictments handed down from the grand jury and also enters data and processes all documents referencing individual cases. It assists the public with any questions relating to felony criminal matters. Perform case inquiries and find information about criminal cases and records and research on thise website.
Montgomery County District Clerk
301 N. Main St.
Conroe, TX 77301
Health Topics | Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) — Article 42.12, Section 13(j) of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure requires persons convicted of subsequent DWI offenses to attend a program for "repeat offenders" approved by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (TCADA). Failure to complete the program results in the alleged offender’s license being revoked until the program has been completed. On this section of the DSHS website, you can view a listing of approved DWI offender education courses in Texas.
Evans & Powell, PLLC | Conroe Felony DWI Defense Attorney
If you were arrested in the greater Montgomery County area for any kind of alleged felony drunk driving offense, it is in your best interest to quickly find legal representation. Evans & Powell, PLLC defends individuals facing these kinds of charges in Cut and Shoot, Porter Heights, Magnolia, Woodbranch, Panorama Village, Splendora, and many surrounding areas of Montgomery County.
Sean Evans and Frank Powell are experienced criminal defense lawyers in Conroe who will protect your rights and fight to possibly get your criminal charges minimized or eliminated. Call (936) 622-2000 or submit an online contact form to have our attorneys review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free initial consultation.