Felony DWI

Many driving while intoxicated (DWI) offenses in Texas are felonies, and can result in serious criminal penalties and collateral consequences if an individual is convicted of a DWI felony offense. For example, a conviction for a felony DWI can lead to an inability to vote, hold public office, own or possess a gun, an inability to receive some types of governmental assistance, and/or limit certain types of professional occupations an individual can pursue.

Texas law requires Dallas County courts to order individuals who have been convicted of repeat DWI offenses within five years of one prior DWI offense to install an ignition interlock device on their car, or any cars they own and operate. This machine requires the driver to have an alcohol free breath reading after blowing into the machine before the car will start. The device also usually requires the driver to pull over and blow in the machine at various times throughout the car trip to make certain the vehicle operator has not been drinking while they were driving.

Warning: If you have refused to submit to chemical testing or failed a blood or breath intoxication test for DWI, you only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension to get your license back.

Dallas Felony DWI Lawyer

If you have been charged with a felony DWI in Dallas, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Decatur, Terrell, Weatherford, Sherman, Rockwall, Burleson, Waxahachie,Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’ felony DWI laws and will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and punishments for your alleged offense.

Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (972) 233-5700 about your alleged felony DWI offense. Let us help you through this difficult situation.


Dallas Felony DWI Information Center


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Texas Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)

Under Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.04, a basic driving while intoxicated (DWI or DUI) offense can occur of an individual operates their vehicle in a public place while they are intoxicated.

DWI charges can often involve additional elements, such as causing death or injury from DWI or DWI with a minor in the car that can often result in felony charges with very serious repercussions.


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Felony DWI Offenses in Dallas

  • Driving While Intoxicated with a Child Passenger, Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.045 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they are driving while intoxicated and they have a passenger in their car who is younger than 15 years old. This offense is punishable as a state jail penalty.
  • Intoxication Assault, Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.07 — An individual can be charged with this offense if, while operating a vehicle when they are intoxicated, they cause serious bodily injury to another person because they were intoxicated. It does not matter if they cause the injury by accident or mistake. This offense is punishable by a felony of the third degree. However, if the individual causes the injury to a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel, this offense is punishable as a felony of the second degree.
  • Intoxication Manslaughter, Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.08 — An individual can be charged with this offense if they drive while intoxicated, and as a result of the intoxication, they cause the death of another person. It does not matter if the death was caused by mistake or accident. This offense is punishable by a felony of the second degree. However, if the individual causes death to a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel, this offense is punishable as a felony of the first degree.
  • Repeat DWI Offenses, Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.09(b) — An individual can be charged with this offense if they have previously been convicted of two or more previous DWI offenses, or if they previously committed an intoxication manslaughter. This offense is punishable by a felony of the third degree.

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Penalties for a Felony DWI Conviction in Texas

An individual who has been charged with a felony DWI can face serious penalties and repercussions under Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code. These penalties can vary depending on the degree of the felony offense. The following are Texas’ statutory minimum penalties for felony DWI offenses.

A state jail felony DWI offense in Dallas can result in a mandatory minimum jail sentence from 180 days to two years. This degree felony can also result in a fine up to $10,000.

A third degree felony DWI offense in Dallas can result in a mandatory minimum prison term of two years, but can increase to a maximum prison term of ten years. This degree felony can also result in a fine up to $10,000.

A second degree felony DWI offense in Dallas can result in a mandatory minimum prison term of two years, but can increase to a maximum prison term of 20 years. This degree felony can also result in a fine up to $10,000.

A first degree felony DWI offense in Dallas can result in a mandatory minimum prison term of five years, but can increase to a maximum prison term of 99 years or life imprisonment. This degree felony can also result in a fine up to $10,000.


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Felony DWI Driver’s License Suspension

According to Tex. Transp. Code § 521.344, an individual’s driver’s license can be suspended upon the conviction of any DWI offense. The suspension is to begin no earlier than the date of conviction and no later than the 30th day after conviction. The following is the standard time period for driver’s license suspension for felony DWI offense convictions:

  • First DWI with a Child Passenger — 90 days to one year
  • First Intoxication Assault — 90 days to one year
  • Repeat Felony DWI Offenses — 180 days to two years
  • Repeat Felony DWI Offenses (within five years of a preceding offense) — One to two years
  • Second or Subsequent DWI Assault (within five years of a preceding offense) — 90 days to one plus an additional one year
  • First Intoxication Manslaughter — 180 days to two years
  • Second or Subsequent Intoxication Manslaughter (within ten years of a preceding offense) — One to two years

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Texas DWI Repeat Offender Class

An individual who has more than one DWI, which is a felony offense if an individual has two or more previous DWIs, is required to attend a repeat offender alcohol or drug education program.

If a repeat felony DWI offender fails to attend the DWI repeat offender class, their license will be revoked until they have completed the program, according to Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 42.12(13)(j).

The class is typically around 32 hours long and was created to intervene with an alcohol or substance abuser in order to encourage entry into treatment if necessary in order to prevent further substance abuse problems.

Some of the courses covered in this class include values, self-esteem, responsibility, alcoholism, physiological and psychological effects of drugs, chemical dependency, effects on family members, co-dependency, peer pressure, treatment options, relapse prevention and lifestyle issues.


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Felony DWI Resources in Dallas

Texas Constitution and Statutes – This link is to chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines the state’s intoxication laws and penalties that can result from a conviction, including felony driving while intoxicated offenses in Texas and the potential penalties for a conviction.

Dallas County District Clerk – This link provides individuals access to their criminal records and criminal case information, miscellaneous court information and resources about the justice system throughout Dallas County. The Criminal District Courthouse is located at:

Frank Crowley Criminal Building
133 N. Riverfront Blvd.
Dallas, Texas 75207
Phone: (214) 653-5960

Denton County District Clerk – This link allows individuals to access to their criminal records and felony criminal case information, miscellaneous court information and resources about the justice system throughout Denton County. The criminal courts are located at:

Denton County Courts Building
1450 E. McKinney St.
Denton, Texas 76209
Phone: (940) 349-2200

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Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Fort Worth Felony DUI Attorney

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation about your felony drinking and driving offense throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions.

Contact Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged felony DWI throughout Dallas County in Texas and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County,Wise County, Kaufman County, Parker County, Grayson County, Rockwall County, Johnson County, Ellis County, and Tarrant County.


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Client Testimonials

  • 5 stars
    I would like to thank the Law Office of Richard C. McConathy for your awesome and courtious attention to professionalism. I am amazed at Richard and Brian''s ability to get a fast resolution and am grateful to them for the time put into this matter. I could feel the genuine concern and dedication that the attorney''s put on my case.
    - Andrea L.
  • 5 stars
    I hired The Law Office of Richard C. McConathy after I got arrested for DWI. In my life of work, I absolutely could not have a conviction on my record. At trial, I was found Not Guilty. Brian and Richard are the best lawyers in Dallas!
    - David C.
  • 5 stars
    I was able to keep my driver''s license and keep a clean a record as both the ALR and DWI case were both dismissed! I was pleased with their professionalism and ability to work with me to achieve the best possible outcome, dismissals all around.
    - James M.
  • 5 stars
    I was pulled over on the North Dallas Tollway for going 90 mph. The cop said that I was all over the road, and failed all the field tests and was obviously intoxicated. I pretty much lost all hope that I would walk away from this. That was until I found Richard McConathy. Richard and his firm fought the DA and eventually got my case dismissed. I couldn''t give a bigger recommendation for these guys. If you''re in trouble don''t hesitate, it is worth it.
    - Greg B.
  • 5 stars
    The law offices of Richard C. McConathy represented me with the utmost professionalism and they secured a victory for my probation revocation case. My case was nine years old and I was told by other firms that it would be very difficult to get the judge to revoke. This firm took my case on, and not only won the judgment, but also got the original probation case conditions dismissed. I highly recommend this law firm to any person in need if legal representation. They are very considerate and extremely knowledgeable.
    - Brant G.
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