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What Is an Aggravated DWI?

what is an aggravated dwi

Driving while impaired, or DWI, is a serious crime to be accused of, which means you could face fines, jail time, and other penalties if you’re convicted. An aggravated DWI is considered even more serious since it means one or more aggravating factors are involved in your case. Keep reading to learn what those factors usually are, what penalties to expect if you’re convicted, and why you need to hire a lawyer to help with your case. 

What Factors Lead to an Aggravated DWI?

If you were charged with an aggravated DWI in Texas, it usually means one or of the following are true:

  • This is not your first DWI.
  • Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .15% or higher, which is nearly double the legal limit of .08%.
  • You had an open container of alcohol in the car when you were pulled over.
  • You caused an accident that led to injury or death for someone else.
  • You had a minor under the age of 15 in your car when you drove while impaired.

You should already know if one or more of these describe your case. If none of them do and you were charged with aggravated DWI, be sure to point this out to your lawyer so you can fight the accusation. Aggravated DWI carries harsher penalties than a regular DWI, so it’s best to avoid this conviction if possible. 

What Are the Legal Penalties for This Crime?

When you get a DWI in Texas, you can expect jail time, fines, and driver’s license suspension. With an aggravated DWI, you will typically get the same types of penalties, but they will be more severe depending on the circumstances.

For example, if you had an open container, you could spend six days in jail. If you had a child in your car, you’d face a felony charge with two years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If this is your second DWI or your BAC was .15% or higher, you could have to pay up to $4,000 and spend up to one year in jail. 

Furthermore, if you caused an accident that seriously injured someone, you could pay up to $10,000 and spend up to 10 years in prison. You’ll also have a felony on your record. If the accident killed someone, those penalties could include a $10,000 fine and 20 years in prison. 

How Can a Texas Attorney Help You?

If you want to reduce your chances of serious penalties, you need a lawyer’s help. An experienced Texas attorney has the skills to negotiate a serious crime like aggravated DWI down to a less serious one, which could result in reduced penalties. 

Depending on the details, a lawyer could even get a charge dismissed or assist with other options – such as a plea bargain – if the case moves forward. If you want to learn what your legal rights are after being charged with aggravated DWI, contact our Texas law office at (972) 573-4532.

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