If you are alleged to be intoxicated, and are the driver in a car accident in which another person is injured, you can be charged with the crime of intoxication assault. In Texas, intoxication assault is a third degree felony, for which the range of punishment is from 2 to 10 years in state prison, and a fine of up to $10,000. Upon conviction for intoxication assault, it is possible to receive probation. However, any probationary term for the offense of intoxication assault requires the defendant to serve at least 30 days in the county jail. If convicted, the court will order you to complete between 160 and 600 hours of community service, and you will be required to report monthly, and pay a monthly probation fee. Additionally, you will be court-ordered to attend VIP (a victim impact panel, administered by Mother’s Against Drunk Drivers), and an alcohol education course.
Also, it’s possible to fight these charges. You have the constitutional right to request a jury trial, and require the prosecuting attorney to prove its case against you, to a jury, beyond a reasonable doubt. If the state is unable to do so, you are entitled to
a “not guilty” verdict. If you are acquitted at trial, you pay no fine, no court costs, and are not required to take any further action on the case. Additionally, a “not guilty” verdict renders you eligible to seek an expunction of the charges against you. Once expunged, the arrest or charge related to your intoxication assault case will no longer appear on your record. Furthermore, you can then deny (for job applications, apartment applications, etc.) that you were ever arrested or charged with intoxication assault.