Keys and Drink
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You may recall in late April, famed Austin blogger Kelly Noel was walking home on the Interstate 35 frontage road when a drunk driver struck and killed him. Unfortunately, KXAN reports that the drunken driver, 40-year-old Wade Atwood, will not face felony charges.

The Travis County District Attorney’s Office said that a grand jury indicted Atwood on a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated (DWI). The jury decided against indicting him on an intoxication manslaughter charge.

Some are puzzled that the DA’s office will not pursue Atwood for intoxication manslaughter, which is a felony charge. Neil Diaz, a friend of Noel’s, said, “I personally feel it’s disappointing, and I feel that many of us are going to have questions about the judicial system.”

Even Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has said Austin’s drunken driving problem has become worse because of the DA’s failure to convict people arrested on DWI charges.

What Are the Punishments for Misdemeanors in Texas?

Misdemeanors are classified the same way as felony charges, which is they are classified on the severity of the crime. Below are the three types of misdemeanors and the punishments of those charges:

  • Class A Misdemeanor
    • No more than a $4,000 fine
    • No more than one year in jail
  • Class B Misdemeanor
    • No more than a $2,000 fine
    • No more than 180 days in jail
  • Class C Misdemeanor
    • A fine that is no more than $500

As you can see, a Class A misdemeanor is a worse punishment than a Class C misdemeanor. First time offenders of a DWI are generally handed a Class B misdemeanor, which can progress higher with subsequent offenses.

The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Personal Injury Attorney

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Aaron Allison

Aaron Allison, a second-generation personal injury lawyer from Austin, follows in the footsteps of his father, who founded their firm in 1978. Admitted to practice by the Texas Supreme Court, the Federal Court for the Western District of Texas, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court, Aaron brings extensive legal expertise to his clients.

Specializing in personal injury cases, Aaron offers a distinct advantage for Texas workers injured on the job. With Texas workers' compensation laws leading many attorneys to avoid these cases, Aaron is one of only 40 lawyers among 95,000 in Texas who represent injured workers in straight workers' compensation cases. His firm continues to provide dedicated support for those suffering catastrophic work injuries, maintaining a proud tradition of advocacy spanning decades.