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Criminal charges

intoxication assault

A person commits the criminal offense of intoxication assault if the person operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated and causes an accident that results in the serious bodily injury of another person.

Some states have a broader definition of intoxication assault and may charge an intoxicated person who negligently causes serious bodily injury to another person while operating a motor vehicle, an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride with the crime of intoxication assault.

Intoxication assault is a felony offense and may be punished by significant jail or prison time. Intoxication assault laws are generally located in a state's statutes—often in the penal or criminal code.

In Texas, intoxication assault is defined under Texas Penal Code Section 49.07. A person commits this offense if they operate a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or an amusement ride while intoxicated, and by reason of that intoxication, cause serious bodily injury to another person. 'Serious bodily injury' is defined as an 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. Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony in Texas, which can result in 2 to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $10,000. However, if the victim is a peace officer, a firefighter, or emergency medical services personnel, the offense is elevated to a second-degree felony, which carries a punishment of 2 to 20 years in prison. Additionally, if the injury caused is a traumatic brain injury that results in a persistent vegetative state, the offense becomes a first-degree felony, with a potential punishment of 5 to 99 years or life in prison.

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