Property Damage, Personal Injury Add to DWI Charge
In a bizarre sequence of events, three drivers in Austin, Texas, were arrested for driving while intoxicated after being involved in three separate crashes at the same location and on the same night. Police officers were at the scene of a DWI crash when an allegedly intoxicated driver crashed into the back of a police car. After an ambulance arrived at the scene, another allegedly intoxicated driver crashed into that vehicle. No one was critically injured in the incidents, though three people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Causing property damage or personal injury in a DWI incident can result in harsher punishment if you are convicted.
Property damage in a DWI case most often involves damage done to another vehicle as the result of a crash. Prosecutors can add property damage as a separate charge from your DWI charge. Property damage is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of as much as $500. However, you may also face civil penalties if the owner of the damaged property files a lawsuit against you. The lawsuit is separate from the results of your criminal case and may require you to pay for repairing or replacing the property.
You will face more serious punishments if you are convicted for a DWI accident that caused serious injury or death. A DWI incident that causes serious injury is called intoxication assault, which is a third-degree felony and may result in:
- Two to 10 years in prison;
- A fine of as much as $10,000; and
- A driver’s license suspension of as long as two years.
The person who is injured in an intoxication assault can make a difference in your charge. Serious injuries to an on-duty firefighter or ambulance worker is a second-degree felony, and serious injuries to an on-duty police officer is a first-degree felony. A DWI incident that results in a death is intoxication manslaughter, which is a first-degree felony that includes even stricter mandatory penalties.
Contact a Central Texas DWI Defense Attorney
Depending on your circumstances, you may have a better chance of contesting your DWI charge than contesting that you were not responsible for the crash that caused property damage or personal injury. A San Antonio DWI defense attorney at the Law Offices of Sam H. Lock can object to unsubstantiated claims and unreliable testing that the prosecution is using as proof of your intoxication. To schedule a free consultation, call 888-726-5625.