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Driving While Intoxicated in Texas

An individual is considered intoxicated if they lack the normal use of mental or physical faculties due to the ingestion of alcohol, drugs, or any other substance. Texas’s DWI laws prohibit motorists from operating a motor vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more (a “per se” DWI); or
  • while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

Texas also has “zero tolerance” laws making it illegal for underage drivers (those under 21 years old) to operate a motor vehicle with any detectable amount of alcohol in their system.

Note that a motorist can get a DWI even without actually driving. The Texas DWI statute defines DWI as “operating” a vehicle while intoxicated or with a prohibited BAC. So, while driving is sufficient for a conviction, it isn’t required.

DWI penalties in the state vary based on the circumstances of the incident and can depend on how many prior convictions the offender has. For a 1st offense, an individual could face up to 6 months in prison, up to $2,000 in fines, 90 days to 12 months of license suspension, and/or ignition interlock device use (IID) if they choose to obtain an occupational license. A 2nd offense will warrant up to 12 months in jail, up to $4,000 in fines, 180 days to 2 years of license suspension, and IID use for 1 year.

Texas also operates under implied consent laws, which require all drivers lawfully arrested for a DWI to submit to a blood or breath test. Those who refuse testing could face license suspension for 180 days upon a first offense and 2 years for a second or third offense.

Drug Possession Laws

To be convicted of illegal possession of an illicit drug in Texas, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knowingly and intentionally possessed or had control over a controlled drug which they did not have a valid prescription or order for from a doctor for medical purposes.

Penalties for illicit possession will vary widely based on a few determining factors, such as:

  • type of drug;
  • quantity;
  • how the drug was stored or concealed;
  • possession of additional drug paraphernalia; and
  • past convictions.

The penalty for possession is at the very least a Class B or Class A misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to 1 year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000, depending on the type of drug at issue. For more dangerous drugs, the penalty can range from a third degree felony all the way up to a first degree felony. Be aware that the highest penalty given in Texas for drug possession is life or 99 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.

Note that the possession of marijuana may be classified as light as a Class B misdemeanor, carrying up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of no more than $10,000 for possession of 2 ounces or less. This penalty can increase to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000, though, for possession of over 2,000 pounds.

Assault and Aggravated Assault

In Texas, a person commits an offense of assault if they:

  • intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly cause bodily injury to another;
  • intentionally or knowingly threaten another with imminent bodily injury; or
  • Intentionally or knowingly cause physical contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will consider the contact as offensive or provocative.

Note that an assault is considered aggravated assault if it results in serious injury or involves use of a weapon in the commission of the assault.

Assault is considered a Class C misdemeanor if the person threatens another with bodily harm or causes physical contact in a provocative or offensive way, and this is punishable by a fine of up to $500. A Class B misdemeanor occurs if a person commits assault against someone who is a sports participant during a performance or in retaliation for a performance, and this carries up to 180 days in jail and/or $2,000 in fines. Such a threat of injury or offensive physical contact against an elderly individual constitutes a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

Be aware that assault can also be charged as a 3rd or 2nd degree felony if committed against a public servant or family member, and this could carry up to 20 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

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  • State of Texas v. MA Charge was reduced to a Class A Misdemeanor and
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    Bill J. Stovall

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    The Law Offices of Bill J. Stovall is devoted to representing citizens who have been accused, investigated or charged with crimes at both the State and Federal level. Bill J. Stovall understands both the challenge and the honor that comes through the representation of those individuals and the impact it may have on them and their families. Our office has a reputation for defending with compassion, intelligence, and imagination. Bill J. Stovall is a preeminent Dallas, Texas criminal defense ...
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Let the Law Office of Bill J. Stovall Fight for You

If you are facing criminal charges in Plano, let a serious legal professional fight for your defense. Attorney Bill J. Stovall will put his 22 years of experience to alleviate the stress off you during the course of your case. As a former prosecutor, he can effectively fight your charges and deliver the aggressive defense you need in your case.

22 Years of Experience Defending Clients

At the Law Office of Bill J. Stovall, clients can expect serious and aggressive representation in their criminal case. As a former prosecutor and with 22 years of experience in the legal field, Attorney Bill J. Stovall has the knowledge and skill to fight for your case. He aims to work with and for his clients and to take the stress off his clients during such a stressful time.

Schedule your free consultation with the Law Office of Bill J. Stovall today by calling (214) 972-0004 or submitting an online form here.

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