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Intoxication Manslaughter Remains Too Common

Posted on in DWI

Collin County DWI accident defense lawyerOctober saw no shortage of intoxication manslaughter cases in Texas, with multiple people facing these kinds of charges for serious motor vehicle accidents. On October 26, 2022, a 27-year-old man was facing intoxication manslaughter charges after wrapping his Hyundai Elantra around a utility pole on West Commerce near Northwest 36th Street in San Antonio and attempting to flee the scene although police officers were able to apprehend him.

That same day, the bond amount for a 21-year-old man initially arrested and charged with intoxication assault with a vehicle although a Smith County grand jury later increased the charge to intoxication manslaughter for the death of a Smith County deputy was reduced by a quarter of a million dollars from $750,000 to $500,000. One day before those stories, a 30-year-old man was facing intoxication manslaughter charges after his black sedan crashed into a 24-year-old man working to repair his sister’s car stranded on the shoulder of a Harris County toll road in the Houston area.

How Intoxication Manslaughter Charges Work in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 49.08 establishes that a person commits an intoxication manslaughter offense if they operate a motor vehicle in a public place and are intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake. This crime is classified as a second-degree felony.

It is important to note that Texas Penal Code § 49.09 provides for enhanced offenses and penalties in certain cases, and Texas Penal Code § 49.09(b-2) states that an intoxication manslaughter offense becomes a first-degree felony if an alleged offender causes the death of a firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, peace officer, or judge while they were in the actual discharge of an official duty. The difference between these classifications can be huge.

Conviction for second-degree felony intoxication manslaughter offenses involve maximum sentences of 20 years in prison and/or fines of up to $10,000. When a victim is a firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, peace officer, or judge, convictions can result in up to 99 years or life in prison and/or fines up to $10,000.

Intoxication manslaughter convictions can also lead to driver’s license suspensions of up to two years. Certain alleged intoxication manslaughter offenders may also have to get ignition interlock devices (IIDs) installed in their vehicles and pay all costs relating to installation and maintenance of the devices. 

Additional penalties can include up to 1,000 hours of community service and completion of an approved alcohol or drug education program. In many intoxication manslaughter cases, a criminal defense attorney will work to prove that an alleged offender was not intoxicated because calling the state of intoxication into doubt can lead to criminal charges being dramatically reduced or completely dismissed.

Intoxication manslaughter is not the same as your standard manslaughter offense because intoxication manslaughter is a negligence crime meaning an alleged offender killed a person without any intent to kill them. The standard manslaughter offense will involve some requirement that an alleged offender intended to kill a person.

Contact a Frisco Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney 

If you or your loved one are currently facing charges of intoxication manslaughter in Texas, do not go into court without legal representation. Prosecutors are seeking convictions in these types of cases, and you will want to be sure you have an experienced Collin County intoxication manslaughter lawyer from Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. on your side.

Our firm’s record of success includes more than 350 not guilty verdicts. You can call us at 469-333-3333 or contact us online for a free consultation and case review.

 

Sources:

https://www.ksat.com/news/local/2022/10/26/1-person-dead-1-in-custody-after-vehicle-crash-into-utility-pole-on-west-side-sapd-says/

https://www.ktre.com/2022/10/27/bond-reduced-by-250k-man-indicted-intoxication-manslaughter-smith-county-deputy/

https://www.star-telegram.com/news/state/texas/article267850022.html

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.49.htm#49.08

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