DWI and DUI charges are extremely serious, but there are many, many other DWI-related offenses that sometimes go overlooked by the general public. While operating a motor vehicle under the influence or while intoxicated is a crime that is heavily enforced in the state of Texas, there are other crimes related to DUIs and DWIs that Collin County citizens must be aware of.
Crimes such as public intoxication or possession of alcohol as a minor may not seem as serious as driving while drunk, but in Collin County, you may face steep penalties, fines, and other consequences if you are caught committing these crimes. Without a quality criminal defense lawyer behind you, you may wind up encountering much more resistance than necessary if you are fighting DWI-related charges and offenses such as:
- Common Moving Violations
- DWI and Resisting Arrest
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Open Container in Vehicle
- Public Intoxication
Related DWI Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
DUI and DWI-related offenses require legal expertise. Without having someone who knows the ins and outs of Texas law, you may wind up being unfairly punished simply because the court wants to make an example out of you. Avoid this fate by hiring criminal defense attorney Richard McConathy. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has been defending the citizens of Plano, Frisco, McKinney, and the surrounding areas of Collin County for years, and his team is ready to help you with your pending charges. For more information on how our litigation staff can help you defend your rights in a court of law, call today at (469) 304-3422 for a free consultation with a legal expert.
Collin County Definition of Driving While Intoxicated
According to the Texas Penal Code Sec. 49.04, individuals in Texas (Plano, Collin County, Dallas, etc.) can be charged with DWI if they are found operating a motor vehicle in a public setting while intoxicated.
In Texas, intoxication is defined as the inability to properly or normally use mental faculties and/or motor functions due to the consumption of alcohol. In Texas, the legal limit for alcohol concentration is .08.
Keep in mind that motor vehicles are not just cars and automobiles. Motor vehicles are defined as any type of transportation device that can be used to transport someone or something. Therefore, if you are found operating a boat or motorcycle, you are still subject to DWI charges.
Charges Similar to DWI Under Texas Law
As previously mentioned, Driving While Intoxicated and Driving Under the Influence is not the only crimes Collin County citizens need to be aware of. There are a host of other related crimes that citizens can be charged with, including:
Possession of a Controlled Substance – Individuals in Texas can be charged with possession of a controlled substance if they are found intentionally possessing a controlled substance without a valid, physician-issued medical prescription. According to the Texas Health and Safety Code Ann. 481.115-118, the classifications for this crime range from Class B misdemeanor to a first-degree felony, depending on the substance, the individual’s criminal history, and how much of the substance was in the individual’s possession at the time.
Possession of Marijuana – Texas Health and Safety Code Ann. § 481.121 states that individuals in Texas can be charged with possession of marijuana if they knowingly or intentionally possess a usable amount of marijuana. This charge can be classified as a Class B misdemeanor, but it can also be upgraded to a second-degree felony depending on how much marijuana the suspect is in possession of.
Public Intoxication – According to Texas Penal Code Ann. § 49.02, individuals are subject to public intoxication charges if they are found in a public place and intoxicated to the point of becoming a danger to themselves and/or others. Public intoxication is typically classified as a Class C misdemeanor.
Minor in Possession of Alcohol – Individuals under the age of 21 can be charged with MIP if they are found in possession of an alcoholic beverage, according to Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code Ann. § 106.05.
Possible Penalties for Offenses Related to DWI
There is a vast range of potential penalties for DWI-related offenses, ranging from a Class C misdemeanor to a first-degree felony. Because of this, individuals must be aware of the possible penalties of the charges they are facing.
Class C misdemeanor offenses are typically punishable in Texas with a fine of up to $500, but the fines and penalties will continue to rise if the charge’s severity is higher than usual. Class B misdemeanors can be punished by a fine of up to $2,000 along with up to 180 days of jail time. Lastly, Class A misdemeanors are punishable by 1 year behind bars in addition to a fine of up to $4,000.
These are penalties for misdemeanors, but felonies are an entirely different story. State jail felonies typically result in a jail sentence ranging from 180 days to 2 years, along with a fine of up to $10,000. If the offense is classified as a third-degree felony, individuals can face 2-10 years behind bars along with a fine of up to $10,000. Second-degree felonies are subject to a penalty of 2-20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $10,000, while first-degree felonies are punishable by 5-99 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000.
Resources for Related DWI Offenses in Collin County
Alcohol Related Offenses in Texas – By clicking this link, you will be taken to the Texas Department of Public Safety, where you can learn more information about punishments and penalties that come along with committing a DWI-related offense.
The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code – This link contains Chapter 106 of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code, where you can learn about juvenile alcohol-related offenses and their accompanying penalties.
Find a Collin County Attorney for Related DWI Offenses | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Alcohol-related offenses cannot be taken lightly. Charges such as public intoxication and minors in possession of alcohol can have a severe effect on your life. In addition to potential jail time and fines, you may also be subject to court-ordered community service, legal costs, and lost wages due to hearings and mandatory court appearances.
There are so many charges and allegations associated with DWI that are not specifically driving while intoxicated. If you’ve been accused of a DWI-related offense and you need legal representation, do not hesitate to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. For decades, McConathy and his team have been helping citizens of McKinney, Plano, Frisco, and the surrounding areas of Collin County understand their charges and how to properly move forward. For more information on how we can help, contact us today at (469) 304-3422 to speak to an in-house legal expert.