Last week, a 38-year-old Texas woman was jailed for alleged drunk driving with a child passenger. The crash was reported in the Black Oak Community. When law enforcement officers arrived, deputies located a woman and a child. She told the officer she overcorrected a turn, causing her to drive into the woods. The suspect got herself and her child out of her vehicle. She refused a blood draw analysis and was taken into custody. Eventually, she was released on a $10,000 bond after being charged with felony DWI with a child passenger.
DWI Charges With a Child Passenger in Texas
In Texas, driving with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is a class B misdemeanor for first-time offenders. Driving with a BAC of over .15% is a more serious Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a fine of $4,000, or both. Under certain circumstances, prosecutors can elevate the DWI charge to a felony, such as drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle.
Texas prosecutors take all DWI charges seriously, but they take DWI charges involving children in the car especially seriously. The state of Texas imposes the most severe civil and criminal consequences for those convicted of a DWI. These penalties become even more intense when a child is in the vehicle. Under Texas law, if you are arrested for DWI and one or more children are in the vehicle under age 15, you can expect penalties including serious jail time.
The Penalties for a DWI With a Child Passenger
Being arrested for a DWI with a child under age 15 is considered a state jail felony. The penalties for this type of felony include between 180 days to two years in a state jail facility. You will also face a fine of up to $10,000 and a suspension of your driver’s license. In addition to these penalties, you may also face probation and community service of up to 1,000 hours. You may have to pay for an ignition interlock device to be installed on your vehicle and pay for and complete an alcohol or drug education course.
If you already have a prior felony conviction on your record when you are charged with felony DWI with a child passenger, you may be considered a habitual criminal offender and experience even harsher penalties. In addition to these consequences, you could face potential problems with Child Protective Services (CPS). Professionals must report any suspected child neglect or abuse to CPS. The prosecutor in your case will file a report with CPS when you are charged with your DWI. This report could lead to you losing custody or having your custody limited.
Contact a Defense Attorney Today to Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation
If you have been charged with a DWI with a child passenger, you are facing jail time, probation, fees, and other collateral consequences. Contact the skilled Dallas Fort Worth criminal defense attorneys at Abel Law Firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.