If you have been involved in a car accident and charged with intoxication manslaughter in Dallas, Collin or Tarrant County, you could face very serious penalties and repercussions if convicted of the offense. Not only can a driver convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI) manslaughter face prison time and fines, they could also face a lengthy driver’s license suspension, a criminal record, an inability to vote or hold public office, ineligibility to apply for certain jobs or professions and difficulty being admitted to college or graduate school.
If you have been charged with intoxication manslaughter, the prosecutor has the burden of proof to show beyond a reasonable doubt every element of intoxication manslaughter. Although this burden of proof is the highest burden of proof, and often difficult to meet, the prosecutor does not have to show you intended to kill another person while operating your motor vehicle. Even if the death was the result of an accident or mistake, this is not a defense to DWI manslaughter charges.
If you have been charged with intoxication manslaughter in Dallas or the surrounding areas, it is essential to contact an attorney who is experienced in defending criminal charges that resulted from driving under the influence (DUI-DWI) of alcohol or drugs.
Warning: If you have refused to submit to chemical testing or failed a blood or breath intoxication test for DWI, you only have 15 days to request an administrative license suspension to get your license back.
DWF Intoxication Manslaughter Lawyer
If you have been charged with intoxication manslaughter in DFW, or any of the surrounding areas in Texas, including Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Denton, Plano, McKinney, Fort Worth, Arlington, Mesquite, Carrolton, Richardson, Lewisville or Frisco, contact The Law Offices of Katheryn H. Haywood. I will listen to the facts of your particular situation and make every effort to find defenses or mitigating factors to your particular situation.
Intoxication Manslaughter Defined in Texas
Intoxication Manslaughter can occur if an individual who is intoxicated operates a motor vehicle on a public road and causes the death of another person as a result of the intoxication, according to Tex. Penal Code § 49.08. Even if the offense occurred as a result of an accident or a mistake, it is not a defense to criminal charges for intoxication manslaughter. This offense is punishable by a felony of the second degree. If a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel were killed from the intoxication manslaughter, the alleged offender could be charged with a felony of the first degree.
Related Offenses in Texas
Vehicular Manslaughter – Tex. Penal Code § 19.04 – A person can be charged with manslaughter in Texas if they recklessly causes the death of another person. If the individual recklessly operates a vehicle under Tex. Transp. Code § 545.401 and causes the death of another person, they can be charged with vehicular manslaughter. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second degree.
Intoxication Assault – Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 49.07 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they cause serious bodily injury to another person because they were intoxicated while operating a motor vehicle. This offense is punishable by a felony of the third degree, but can be increased to a felony of the second degree.
Leaving the Scene of an Accident – Tex. Transp. Code Ann. § 550.021, an individual can be charged with this offense, which is typically a felony of the third degree, if they do not do the following after an accident involving death or injury:
- Immediately stop their vehicle at the accident scene or as close to the scene as possible;
- Immediately stop without blocking more traffic than necessary;
- Immediately return to the accident scene if they do not initially stop at the scene of the accident; and
- Remain at the scene of the accident until certain statutory requirements have been met.
Criminally Negligent Homicide – Tex. Penal Code § 19.05 – An individual can be charged with criminally negligent homicide under if they operate a vehicle with criminal negligence and cause the death of another person. This offense is punishable as a Texas jail felony.
Penalties for Texas DWI Manslaughter
An individual who has been convicted of a DWI manslaughter offense can receive a prison sentence from two to 20 years and/or a fine up to $10,000. offense is charged as a FIRST degree felony because the injury was to a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical personnel, the alleged DWI manslaughter offense could result in a minimum of five years in prison to a maximum of 99 years or life imprisonment and/or a fine up to $10,000, if convicted.
An individual who is convicted of a first intoxication manslaughter could receive a driver’s license suspension from 180 days to two years. If the offender received a second or subsequent intoxication manslaughter within ten years of the previous offense, their license could be suspended for one to two years.
Additionally, an alleged intoxication manslaughter offender could receive interlock device installation, community service up to 1,000 hours, court costs and fees, and/or required completion of an approved alcohol or drug education program.