DWI with Child Passenger

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a severe offense in Texas, especially when a child passenger is involved. The state of Texas has taken robust measures to deter such crimes by enhancing the penalties significantly, reflecting the increased risk to public safety and, particularly, to young passengers.

The Seriousness of DWI with Child Passenger in Texas

In 2003, the Texas legislature passed laws that elevated DWI with a child passenger under the age of 15 to a state felony. This was a significant shift from its previous classification as a misdemeanor, underlining the heightened responsibility drivers hold when minors are present in the vehicle. If you face such charges, it is crucial to understand the gravity of the situation and seek legal guidance promptly.

What Constitutes a DWI with Child Passenger Charge?

  • Age of the Child: The law explicitly applies to situations where the child passenger is younger than 15.
  • Level of Intoxication: Similar to other DWI offenses, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher or any sign of impairment from drugs qualifies as intoxication.
  • Legal Implications: Being charged not only increases the severity of the penalties but also brings additional scrutiny and the potential for child endangerment or abuse charges.

The Legal Process and Your Defense

Facing a DWI with a child passenger requires a strategic and informed defense to navigate the complexities of Texas DWI laws. Our Barbieri Law Firm team has extensive experience in handling such sensitive cases with the utmost discretion and aggressive advocacy. From challenging the legality of the stop to questioning the accuracy of BAC tests, we are prepared to explore every avenue to protect your rights.

  • Forced Blood Draw: In Texas, certain conditions allow law enforcement to perform a blood draw without consent during the alleged DWI incident. This evidence is crucial but can be contested based on how it was obtained or processed.

Penalties and Long-term Consequences

The penalties for a DWI with a child passenger are severe:

  • License Suspension: Automatic suspension of your driving privileges for up to 180 days.
  • Fines and Jail Time: Fines can reach up to $10,000 with a potential state jail time of up to two years.
  • Enhanced Charges: Prior convictions, injuries, or fatalities can further escalate the charges and penalties.

When Child Protective Services (CPS) Gets Involved

An often-overlooked consequence of a DWI with a child passenger is the involvement of Child Protective Services (CPS). The moment such a charge is levied, it triggers a mandatory report to CPS, which can lead to:

  • Investigations into Child Endangerment: Potential loss of custody or limitations on visitation rights.
  • Custody Concerns: In cases where no other guardian can take custody, children may temporarily be placed under CPS care.

Your Legal Rights and How to Defend Them

At Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., we understand the profound impact a felony DWI charge can have on your life, including losing fundamental rights like voting and owning firearms. However, there are often ways to mitigate these consequences, such as reducing the charges to a lesser offense or even achieving a dismissal in certain circumstances.

  • Strategic Defense: Leveraging our comprehensive understanding of DWI laws, we meticulously analyze your case for any procedural errors or rights violations.
  • Negotiations and Plea Bargaining: In some cases, negotiating with prosecutors can reduce charges, reflecting the nuances of your situation.

Call Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., for Trusted Defense

Facing a DWI with a child passenger can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to face it alone. If you or a loved one is dealing with this serious allegation, getting experienced legal help immediately is crucial.

Contact Barbieri Law Firm, P.C., today at 972-424-1902 or online to schedule a confidential case evaluation. Our seasoned legal team is ready to provide the robust defense and supportive guidance you need during this challenging time. Your family’s well-being and your future are paramount, and we are here to fight for them every step of the way.