A first offense of driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas is typically classified as a Class B misdemeanor. However, this crime becomes a state jail felony if the alleged offender had a passenger under the age of 15 in his or her vehicle.
If a person is convicted of this offense, he or she could be facing a minimum sentence of six months in a state jail. In addition to the potentially serious criminal consequences for the driver, certain cases may be considered child endangerment and can result in the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services removing the child from the alleged offender’s custody.
DWI with Child Passenger Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
Were you recently arrested for DWI in North Texas while a child was a passenger in your vehicle? You should not delay in seeking experienced legal representation for help obtaining the best possible outcome for your case.
The Collin County DWI with child passenger attorneys at Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy fight to protect the rights of clients all over the greater Plano area as well as communities in Grayson County and Rockwall County. You can have our firm provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case by calling (469) 304-3422 right now to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
DWI with Child Passenger Charges in Texas
This crime is classified as a state jail felony. Texas Penal Code § 49.045 states that a person commits the offense of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger if:
- He or she is intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle in a public place
- The vehicle being operated by the person is occupied by a passenger who is younger than 15 years of age
Under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(2), the term intoxicated is defined as meaning either “not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body” or having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. Alcohol concentration is defined under Texas Penal Code § 49.01(1) as meaning the number of grams of alcohol per:
- 210 liters of breath
- 100 milliliters of blood
- 67 milliliters of urine
DWI with Child Passenger Penalties in Plano
Following any DWI arrest, an alleged offender has only 15 days to request an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing to contest the suspension of his or her driver’s license. When a person has been charged with drunk driving while having a child as a passenger, he or she could lose his or her driver’s license for 180 days.
Additionally, the alleged offender will face separate criminal charges in state court. If he or she is convicted or pleads guilty, his or her sentence may include the following punishments:
- Up to two years in state jail
- Fine of up to $10,000
Additionally, a judge may also order an alleged offender to complete up to 1,000 hours of community service, attend a Victim Impact Panel, complete a DWI Education Program, undergo drug or alcohol treatment, and/or install a deep lung air device (ignition interlock device) on all vehicles he or she owns or regularly drives.
Texas DWI with Child Passenger Defenses
An alleged offender who has been charged with this crime may also have many of the same defenses that are applicable in traditional DWI cases. Such defenses include, but are not limited to:
- Unlawful stop of a vehicle
- Improperly administered tests
- Child passenger was actually 15 years of age or older
- Misleading or false statements by arresting officer
- Inaccurate officer observations
- Constitutional rights violation
- Police procedural error
Find A Collin County Attorney to Fight DWI with Child Passenger Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you were arrested in North Texas for driving under the influence while having a child passenger in your vehicle, you should immediately seek skilled legal counsel. Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has a tremendous record of success with drunk driving cases all over Texas, and we fight to get these types of DWI charges significantly reduced or dismissed.
Our firm represents clients in Plano, Garland, Richardson, Fairview, Allen, McKinney, Carrollton, Murphy, and Frisco as well as many other areas. Call (469) 304-3422 today to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our Plano DWI with child passenger attorneys review your case.