Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger
Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger is a serious charge under Texas law, and many East Texas counties look upon this charge far more seriously than a routine misdemeanor DWI. Below, you’ll find a contact form to reach our office for a free consultation regarding your charge. You will also find basic information about the DWI w/Child charge.
Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger is criminalized under §49.045 of the Texas Penal Code. Under that section, the law defines a child as a passenger in your vehicle who is younger than 15 years of age.
The charge is serious in part because no matter if it is your first or second DWI – if a child is in the car, you will be facing a state jail felony. Even if you’ve never been in trouble before in your life, you’re going to be up against a felony charge if a child was in the car.
A state jail felony offense carries with it a punishment of up to two years in jail, a $10,000 fine, a 2 year drivers license suspension and up to 5 years of probation.
Unfortunately, a great deal of negative bias accompanies the Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger charge. Every case is different, and it’s not hard to imagine how an innocent family dinner could turn into a felony arrest just because an officer smells wine on your breath.
A key component of your defense will be to humanize you to the judge and the government lawyers. Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger is a charge that brings about a strong negative sentiment, but your defense must confront that negative bias head on before the government.
Another component that makes these charges very serious is that there are collateral consequences. Being convicted of a felony offense means you will be barred in many situations from possessing a firearm, and you will also lose the right to vote. The arresting officer may file a CPS report, or there may be additional criminal charges related to endangerment or neglect.
Do not be intimidated or railroaded just because the Driving While Intoxicated with Child Passenger charge is a felony offense. It is critically important, as in all DWI’s, to carefully scrutinize the government’s evidence. The burden is still upon the state to prove your intoxication beyond all reasonable doubt.