Whether a car or another vehicle can be characterized as a deadly weapon arises most often in a felony DWI case that has gone to trial. A DWI usually results in felony charges when you have two or more prior DWI convictions. An affirmative finding that you used a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony can affect the sentence that you receive.
In a DWI case, the prosecutor will ask the jury to find that you used your vehicle as a deadly weapon in committing the DWI. A deadly weapon finding can impact your sentence insofar as your eligibility for parole is concerned. If the jury makes this finding in your case, then you must serve at least one-half of your total sentence, or a minimum of two years before you become eligible for parole.
Driving a vehicle, however, does not always mean that you are using it as a deadly weapon. Instead, your vehicle only is a deadly weapon if you use it in a manner that may result in serious bodily injury or death to others, as per Tex. Pen. Code § 1.07(a)(17)(B). Thus, the way that you drove the vehicle and whether a reasonable person would consider your driving to be reckless or dangerous will help determine whether you were using your vehicle as a deadly weapon.
For instance, if there is eyewitness testimony that at the time of your DWI you were speeding, disregarding traffic signs or signals, driving on the wrong side of the road, or causing property damage with your vehicle, a jury may find that you used your car as a deadly weapon. Similarly, fishtailing, losing control of your vehicle, and narrowly missing collisions with another vehicle can lead to a deadly weapon finding. The criminal defense lawyers of Peek & Toland have handled the legal defense of countless individuals who are facing criminal charges. We are here to protect your rights and advocate on your behalf to get the best outcome possible in your case. Call our office today at (512) 399-2311 to set up an appointment with our criminal defense attorneys today.