The law for Intoxication Assault in Texas is as follows:
§ 49.07. INTOXICATION ASSAULT
(a) A person commits an offense if the person, by accident or mistake:
(1) while operating an aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride while intoxicated, or while operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated, by reason of that intoxication causes serious bodily injury to another; or
(2) as a result of assembling a mobile amusement ride while intoxicated causes serious bodily injury to another.
(b) In this section, "serious bodily injury" means injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes serious permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
(c) An offense under this section is a felony of the 3rd degree.
When a regular DWI charge includes the serious bodily injury of another, the stakes raise to a significant degree. To read more on Felony DWI Offenses, please read here. If you are facing an Intoxication Assault charge in the State of Texas, contact the Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, as soon as possible so he can begin helping mount a solid and aggressive defense.
Due to the extremely serious nature of these offenses and the impact to the victims, the State of Texas takes prosecuting Intoxication Assault charges very seriously. DWI's are one of the only criminal offenses in the Texas Penal Code that does not have a direct victim. Instead, there is only a "potential victim." This is obviously not the case in Intoxication Assault (or Manslaughter) cases. The defense has to deal with the additional burden of handling the emotional nature of having a victim that was badly result in whatever accident occurred.
Additionally, if you are under suspicion for either Intoxication Assault, the investigating officers will be allowed to take a blood sample without a search warrant. Texas Senate Bill 261 authorizes a blood draw if there has been an accident that required someone other than the DWI suspect to be taken to a hospital or medical clinic.
"By Reason of Intoxication"
A key component for the prosecution to be able to convict on an Intoxication Assault chargeis the accident must have been the result of the intoxication of the driver. The law states..."by reason of that intoxication...causes serious bodily injury to another."
What this means is that if the accident was not your fault, even if you were intoxicated, you may not be guilty of Intoxication Assault. This could be the case where, for example, the accident was caused as a result of faulty brakes or through the actions of another negligent driver. If you did not cause the accident, regardless of whether you were intoxicated, you may have a defensible issue to either charge.
Punishment for Intoxication Assault:
- A Fine Not To Exceed $10,000;
- 2 years minimum up to 10 years maximum in the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC);
- If probation is granted, a minimum of 30 days in jail as a condition of probation;
- 160-600 hours of community service.
Deadly Weapon Finding
If you are convicted of Intoxication Assault and the judge or jury finds that you committed the offense with a deadly weapon, you may be ineligible to receive probation. Offenses where the state alleges the finding of a Deadly Weapon are extremely dangerous because they are known as a "3G" offenses. This means it is one of the few offenses that Texas law statutorily prohibits the judge from granting probation if you are convicted following a jury trial. Under Texas law, a "deadly weapon" finding prevents a person who has been sentenced to prison from accumulating any good time credit toward an early release for parole until they have actually served one-half of their sentence. An Intoxication Assault charge with a finding that a "deadly weapon" was used would be classified as a 2nd degree felony.
A vehicle can found to have been a "deadly weapon" where an alcohol-related accident results in a death, or where a death could have occurred by the manner of driving by the defendant. The Texas Courts have held that intoxicated drivers who are involved in accidents where a death has occurred can be found to have used their vehicles as "deadly weapons." Moreover, the Texas Courts have also held that in an Intoxicated Assault case (where death did not occur), depending upon how the vehicle was driven, a "deadly weapon" finding may also be proper.
Contact the Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, if you have been charged with Intoxication Assault anywhere in the State of Texas. Carl handles cases Intoxication Assault cases anywhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and in Central Texas. Please call 214.702.CARL (2275) in Dallas-Fort Worth or 512.657.9992 in Austin for a free consultation.