In March, police in Houston -- not far from Sugarland, Texas -- arrested a total of 33 motorists on felony-level alcohol charges. Fortunately, those who are accused of DWI in the Lone Star State are not immediately guilty just because they have been arrested and charged with this type of crime. Instead, they are always presumed innocent until and unless their guilt can be proved in a court of law.
According to authorities, some of the arrested drivers faced charges of engaging in intoxicated driving while children were in their motor vehicles with them. Meanwhile, others were charged with DWI for the third time. In fact, most of the felony cases in March involved repeat DWI offenses.
In the state of Texas, driving while intoxicated is usually a misdemeanor for those accused of doing this for the first or second time. However, a third offense related to drunk driving can lead to fines totaling as much as $10,000. In addition, those charged with their third offenses may have their driver's licenses suspended. They could also face between two years and a decade behind prison bars.
After being charged with DWI, an individual in Texas has the right to proceed to trial to fight the charge. However, he or she may choose to instead seek to negotiate a plea agreement with the prosecution, as this may yield a lighter sentence than what he or she would receiving following a guilty verdict at trial. In either situation, an attorney will push for the best outcome for the defendant given the circumstances surrounding his or her arrest.
Source: chron.com, "HPD arrested 33 on felony DWI charges in March", Fernando Ramirez, April 12, 2018