What Is a DWI Classified as in Texas?

Drunk driving, referred to under the law as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), is a serious criminal offense. In the State of Texas, the severity of DWI charges can vary based on the specific circumstances of each case. Factors such as the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), prior convictions, and the presence of any aggravating circumstances are taken into consideration. Is DWI a felony or misdemeanor in Texas? Read on for a brief overview of how DWI offenses are classified in the Lone Star State.


Classifying DWI Offenses as Misdemeanor or Felony

If you have been charged with a first-offense DWI, you likely have questions. One thing you might be asking: Is first DWI a felony in Texas? It turns out that most first-time DWI offenses in the State are classified as misdemeanors. This means that if an individual is caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the first time and there are no aggravating factors, he or she will generally face misdemeanor charges.


While most DWI cases in Texas are classified as misdemeanors, there are some situations where a DWI can be charged as a felony. Repeat offenses and certain aggravating circumstances, such as when a DWI incident results in serious bodily injury or death to another person or if a drunk driver is caught with a child passenger under the age of 15 in the vehicle (even if it is a first DWI offense), may result in felony DWI charges being levied.


Official Statutes in the Texas State Penal Code regarding DWI Offenses




So, what is a DWI classified as in Texas? They can be either misdemeanors or felonies depending on contributing factors. For instance, while first-time DWI offenses are generally treated as misdemeanors, repeat offenses, offenses involving serious injury or death, and offenses of DWI with child passengers can all lead to felony charges. Regardless of whether a DWI charge is classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, it is important to note that it will usually result in severe legal penalties either way. To beat a DWI charge in Austin, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony charge, you need a criminal defense attorney to defend you and fight for your rights.

Drunk driving is dangerous to everyone traveling on Texas roads, and also has major legal consequences. If you or a loved one is facing a misdemeanor or felony DWI charge in Texas, you should seek professional legal counsel immediately from a reputable and experienced criminal defense attorney. In the Austin, TX area, Brian Erskine of Erskine Law is the man for the job. Mr. Erskine is a board-certified Austin DWI lawyer with years of experience handling DWI cases. He is available to answer questions and provide guidance about the circumstances of your case. Contact Erskine Law today to schedule a free consultation with Law Maverick Brian Erskine.