Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas
Intoxication Manslaughter in Dallas, Plano & Collin County Texas
Vehicular homicide cases are a major issue in metropolitan areas such as Dallas, where many people are on the roads. The consequences and penalties of vehicular homicide intensify if the driver is intoxicated at the time the homicide occurred.
Under Texas law, a person commits the offense of intoxication manslaughter if he or she operates a motor vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or amusement ride in a public place while intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication, causes the death of another by accident or mistake.
How to Determine Intoxication
Texas law allows intoxication of a driver in a potential DWI-related crime to be determined in two ways.
The driver lacks the normal use of his or her mental or physical faculties as a result of ingestion of:
- A controlled substance
- A drug
- A combination of two or more of those substances
- Or any other substance into the body
The driver has a blood alcohol content level of:
- 0.08 or higher for anyone 21 years of age or older
- 0.04 or higher for commercial drivers
- Any detectable amount of alcohol in anyone under 21 years old
Penalties of Intoxication Manslaughter
Intoxication manslaughter is a Second Degree Felony. If charged with intoxication manslaughter, an offender may face penalties such as:
- Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of time between two and 20 years
- A maximum fine of $10,000
- License suspension and/or revocation
Intoxication manslaughter may become a First Degree Felony if a peace officer, firefighter, or emergency medical technician are killed as a result.
First Degree Felony punishments in Texas include:
- Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a period of time between five years and 99 years, or for life
- A maximum fine of $10,000
Additional DWI Penalties
In most cases, Texas prosecutors charge the offender with both intoxication manslaughter and driving while intoxicated (DWI). As a result, the offender must face the consequences of both a DWI and of intoxication manslaughter on his or her criminal record. In addition to the penalties for intoxication manslaughter, potential DWI penalties include:
- Fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000
- Jail time ranging from 72 hours to ten years
- License suspension ranging from 90 days to two years
The fines and time periods are determined on the severity of the situation at hand.
Defenses to Intoxication Manslaughter
A driver charged with intoxication manslaughter may not plead mistake or accident as a defense to the crime therein. But, because of the severity of the consequences that a guilty driver may endure as a result of an intoxication manslaughter charge, it is important that he or she seeks a strong legal defense. The trial attorneys at the Wilder DWI Defense firm are extremely qualified in DWI-defense matters, with a proven track record of success. Contact the DWI Trial Attorneys today to schedule your free consultation.
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