DWI Child Passenger Charges Defense Attorney in Fort Worth
At the Fulgham Law Firm P.C., our experienced DWI defense lawyers are well aware that any DWI conviction can have serious consequences in terms of both formal sentencing terms and the effects that flow from such a conviction. When you are convicted of DWI with a passenger under the age of 15, the potential consequences can be even more serious including incarceration, a state jail felony conviction and substantial fines. Transporting a child passenger under age 15 when you are intoxicated may even be considered child endangerment or abuse which could lead to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services taking your child from your custody.
Because we understand that these formal penalties are accompanied by potential long-term consequences that may impact your job, education, immigration status, future employment opportunities and more, we use our experience handling these types of cases to seek acquittal or the best potential plea agreement to mitigate these harsh consequences.
DWI with a Child Passenger under the Age of 15
When a driver is arrested for DWI with a child passenger under 15 years of age in Fort Worth or elsewhere in Tarrant County, the driver will usually be charged with a state jail felony offense. Texas Penal Code Section 49.045 provides in pertinent part that a person commits this offense if the prosecutor proves the following elements:
- The individual is driving a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated; and
- A passenger in the vehicle is under 15 years old.
The penalties for driving with a child passenger who is under the age of 15 while under the influence of alcohol include both a significant period of incarceration and a substantial fine. If an individual is convicted for DWI with a passenger under the age of 15, the sentence may include incarceration in a mandatory minimum state jail term of 180 days to two years along with a fine up to a maximum of $10,000.
Because this serious form of DWI offense will likely be treated as a state jail felony, you may face other serious consequences that result from a felony conviction. The conviction could have the following consequences:
- Forfeiture of the right to vote or hold political office
- A criminal record
- Surrender of your right to own or possess a firearm
- Disqualification from certain types of public assistance or financial aid
- Ineligibility to engage in certain professions like the practice of law
Fort Worth DWI Felony Attorney
If you have been arrested for DWI with a child under 15 traveling in your motor vehicle in Fort Worth, you should exercise your right to remain silent and to speak to a Fort Worth DWI lawyer before answering any questions. Because of the serious nature of the offense of DWI with a child passenger, it is important to find an experienced DWI attorney. At Fulgham Law Firm P.C., we carefully investigate the facts and circumstances so that we can develop effective defense strategies to protect you from the harsh consequences of a conviction for this serious DWI offense. Contact our Fort Worth office now at 817-886-3078 for a free and confidential consultation with a skilled Fort Worth DWI Attorney.