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Experienced Defense Attorney for Intoxication Assault Charges
Are you facing intoxication assault charges in Texas? Most people can’t imagine a situation worse than driving a car that is involved in a car accident with a family member in the car. The idea of this is bad enough but if you’ve been drinking and your family member is hurt or seriously injured, you could be facing charges of intoxication assault as well as DWI charges under Texas laws. These charges are automatic, your family member does not have to be willing to press charges; the State of Texas will pursue them automatically.
That’s where Jeff Hampton comes in. He’s an aggressive, strategic defense attorney who knows how to get results. If you’re facing felony charges as serious as this, you need the best intoxication assault lawyer on your side. Call 817-435-2909 now to schedule a free case review with the Hampton Law Firm.
Texas Penal Code Regarding Intoxication Assault Charges
Under Texas Codes, Section 49.07 you can face intoxication assault charges if you’re responsible, purposefully or accidentally, for serious injury that occurs to another person if you are operating a motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft or an amusement ride while intoxicated.
In addition, you can be facing the same charges if you were assembling an amusement park ride while intoxicated and someone later suffers serious bodily injury.
There are two important factors you must be aware of; first, the definition of serious bodily injury which is defined by Texas statutes as “… 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“.
The other factor you must be are of is that in these instances, a law enforcement officer need not obtain a warrant to draw blood from you for blood alcohol testing, they may do so by force if necessary.
Punishment for an Intoxication Assault Conviction in Texas
Intoxication assault charges are considered a third degree felony charge in Texas. The Texas Penal Code states that those found guilty of a third degree felony will serve a minimum of two years in prison and a maximum of 10 years and may face fines of up to $10,000. Because more courts are also assessing community service after jail time, once you are freed from prison you could also be required to perform up to 600 hours of community service.
You could face additional consequences including losing your right to own a firearm and being required to re-register to retain your voting rights after a third degree felony possession. You’ll also lose your right to say “no” to a felony conviction on job applications and could face other problems including your ability to secure housing. Never make the assumption you can beat these charges on your own; a skilled intoxication assault attorney is your best option.
What Does the Prosecutor Need to Prove for an Intoxication Assault Conviction in Texas Courts?
One of the challenges the prosecutor will face in proving intoxication assault is that the accident would not have occurred had you not been drinking. While this may sound simple, it’s in fact very complex. For example, if you’ve been involved in a two-person accident and the passenger in the other vehicle was seriously injured you may think the police will automatically assess the fault for those injuries to you. However, there could be other factors involved that could have reasonably caused the injury including:
- Other driver fault – if the other driver ran a red light and as a result of running a red light, you hit his vehicle. While you were intoxicated at the time of the accident, you were not the cause of the accident and therefore you may not be guilty of intoxication assault.
- Passenger fault – if a passenger in your vehicle or another vehicle was injured in an accident caused by you but they failed to wear a seatbelt, it’s possible you may be found not guilty of intoxication assault. While the accident may be your fault and you may have been under the influence of alcohol, the passenger may have not suffered as severe an injury had they been wearing a seatbelt.
The reason these defenses for intoxication assault could prove effective is because of section 6.04(a) of Texas Penal Code Causation: Conduct and Results states:
“A person is criminally responsible if the result would not have occurred but for his conduct, operating either alone or concurrently with another cause, unless the concurrent cause was clearly sufficient to produce the result and the conduct of the actor clearly insufficient“.
Sobriety Tests and Intoxication Assault
Another way to defend against these charges is to question the results of sobriety testing. This can be very important since there are frequently problems that arise with blood testing. Your attorney will want to know when you ate your last meal, what medications you may have been taking at the time of the accident and any medical conditions that could adversely impact a blood alcohol test.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea; driving a car in an accident where people are injured and facing felony charges is life altering. If you don’t seek immediate help from an attorney, important deadlines could pass; the use of certain defenses could be lost; and the opportunity to file objections to the inclusion or removal of specific evidence could be gone forever.
Contact an Intoxication Assault Defense Attorney Today
Call 817-435-2909 now to schedule a free consultation with Jeff Hampton. He is an aggressive, skilled defense lawyer who has taken hundreds of cases to trial. He knows how to tear apart a prosecutor’s case that is flawed. With so much on the line, you need to hire an experienced defense lawyer for intoxication assault charges like Hampton.
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