If you have been charged with a drug or alcohol-related offense throughout Dallas, you could receive severe penalties and repercussions if convicted. An individual does not have to be charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs offense to receive a license suspension, jail or prison sentence, and/or steep fines. Some of the most common offenses similar to DWI can include, but are not limited to the following:
- Public Intoxication
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol
- Open Container in Vehicle
- Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Motor Vehicle
- Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Possession of Marijuana
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Resisting Arrest
- Common Moving Violations
Without a solid defense, an individual charged with any alcohol or drug offense could also face negative job or educational consequences, a negative impact on government assistance, and/or a possibly permanent criminal record. If you have been charged with an offense related to drug or alcohol use, it is important to hire an experienced Dallas DWI lawyer.
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.
Related DWI Defense Lawyer in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, TX
If you have been charged with an offense related to DWI in Dallas, contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.
Dallas Definition of Driving While Intoxicated
Under the Texas Penal Code § 49.04, an individual can be charged with DWI in Texas if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated.
Intoxicated is defined in Texas as not being able to use normal mental or physical faculties from the consumption of alcohol or having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more, which is the legal limit in Texas. Alcohol concentration is the number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath, 100 milliliters of blood, or 67 milliliters of urine.
A motor vehicle in Texas can be anything that is used to transport a person or property, except for devices that are used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks, such as railroads.
Charges Similar to DWI Under Texas Law
- Public Intoxication – Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.02 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they appear in a public place while so intoxicated they may endanger themselves or another person. This offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor unless the person is under the age of 21, which can result in a Class C misdemeanor for a first offense.
- Possession of Alcoholic Beverage in Vehicle – Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.031 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly possess an open container in a car that is located on a public highway, regardless of the car is parked or in operation. This offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor.
- Minor in Possession of Alcohol – Tex. Alc. Bev. Code Ann. § 106.05 – A person under the age of 21 can commit this offense if they possess an alcoholic beverage except in limited circumstances. This offense is generally punishable as a Class C misdemeanor for a first offense.
- Possession of a Controlled Substance – Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. §§ 481.115 – .118 – A person can be charged with this offense if they knowingly or intentionally possess a controlled substance listed in Penalty Group 1 – 4, unless the person had the substance from a valid prescription. This offense can result in a conviction for a Class B misdemeanor up to a first-degree felony, depending on the penalty group the substance falls into and the amount of the substance possessed.
- Possession of Marijuana – Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. § 481.121 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they knowingly or intentionally possess a useable amount of marihuana. This offense can result in a conviction for a Class B misdemeanor through a second-degree felony, depending on the amount of marijuana possessed.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Tex. Health and Safety Code Ann. § 481.125 – A person can commit this offense if they knowingly or intentionally use or possess the intent to use any drug paraphernalia to grow, harvest, cultivate, manufacture, prepare, pack, test, store, produce, conceal, ingest, inject or inhale a controlled substance or marijuana. This offense is punishable as a Class C misdemeanor.
Possible Penalties for Offenses Related to DWI
The penalties for offenses related to drug or alcohol use in Texas can result in various penalties, ranging from simple misdemeanor offenses to serious felonies. Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code defines potential punishments for offenses in Texas. However, the degree of offense and penalty can vary depending on the alleged offender’s prior criminal history, the severity of the offense, whether the offender is considered a habitual offender, and/or any other elements as provided for by the offense.
Class C misdemeanor offenses are punishable in Texas by a fine of up to $500.
A class B misdemeanor offense in Dallas can result in a maximum of 180 days in jail and/or a fine of not more than $2,000.
An offense that is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor can result in a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.
A state jail felony conviction can result in a jail sentence from 180 days to two years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.
Offenses classified as third-degree felonies can lead to a sentence from two years to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
A felony of second-degree conviction can result in a prison sentence of two years to 20 years and/or a fine of not more than $10,000.
An offense punishable as a first-degree felony can lead to imprisonment from five years to not more than 99 years and/or a fine not exceeding $10,000. Many offenses involving drugs or controlled substances can result in an increased minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a fine up to $50,000.
Many alcohol offenses are punishable by a minimum of three days in jail.
Additional penalties for alcohol and drug-related offenses can include community supervision, monthly reporting to a probation officer, community service, court costs, attendance at an approved alcohol or drug education program, installation of an ignition interlock device and/or license suspension.
Resources for Related DWI Offenses in Texas
Texas Constitution and Statutes – Penal Code – This link is to Chapter 49 of the Texas Penal Code, which defines offenses related to intoxication in Texas, including DWI, public intoxication, and possession of an alcoholic beverage in the vehicle, and the potential penalties for a conviction for any of these offenses.
Texas Constitution and Statutes – Alcoholic Beverage Code – This link is to Chapter 106 of the Texas Alcoholic and Beverage Code, which defines juvenile offenses related to alcohol, including juvenile DWI and minors in possession of alcohol, and the potential penalties for a conviction for any of these offenses.
Alcohol-Related Offenses – This link is to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s (DPS or TxDPS) possible punishments for offenses related to alcohol in Texas, including driver’s license suspensions and revocations, probation, and required course attendance. A local DPS office is located at:
East Dallas DPS11411 E. Northwest Highway Ste. 111
Dallas, Texas 75218
Phone: (214) 5523-0033
Find A Dallas County Defense Attorney for Related DUI Offenses Attorney | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact us today for a consultation about your offense related to DWI throughout Dallas County in Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced DFW lawyer for DWI who will make every effort to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your alleged offense.
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 for a consultation about your alleged offense in Irving, Dallas, Carrolton, Richardson, and surrounding areas of Dallas County, Texas. Our firm will work to potentially get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed.