There is no doubt that stories involving DWIs in Texas regularly make their way into the headlines for a variety of reasons. Among those are the frequency of DWI arrests and the number of famous and notable people that have been involved in DWIs. Then there are times when DWI stories make it into the headlines because of what happened as a result.
This is what happened to a 21-year-old out of San Marcos, Texas who is facing serious charges following a fatal crash. Police and prosecutors are accusing the young woman of intoxication manslaughter after the accident she caused resulted in two fatalities. According to reports, she crashed into a car driven by a husband and his pregnant wife. The husband died, as did the unborn child.
The law on intoxication manslaughter is found in the same section of the Texas Penal Code as DWI. The description of intoxication manslaughter is simple. When a person operates a motor vehicle, aircraft, boat, or amusement ride while intoxicated and causes the death of another by accident or mistake, then he or she is guilty of intoxication manslaughter. The law requires that the reason for the accident or mistake was the intoxication.
This puts the burden on the prosecution to prove their case, and they have to prove four things.
Each of these elements must be established by the prosecution beyond any reasonable doubt to end in a conviction.
If convicted, intoxication manslaughter will result in a second degree felony. Under Texas law this means that the penalty can be as much as 20 years in prison. Those are the basics of manslaughter by intoxication, but there is much more to any story than just this. When facing intoxication manslaughter by DWI charges, a defendant needs the best legal team available.
Mounting a Legal Defense
Before the prosecution gets to a trial and attempts to prove these kinds of charges, a lot has to happen. Any defense of such serious charges must handled by the right legal team. It will involve an investigation into the facts, police reports, and other aspects of what happened. Then it moves into a motions phase where each defense available is mounted and presented to the court.
Finally, particularly in these serious situations, it is important to understand that trial is an option. Many times a prosecutor will use the threat of a lengthy prison sentence to convince someone to plead before trial, but that decision can not be taken lightly or made out of fear. Our system of justice grants the defendant the right to a trial by jury when the state has to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are charged with intoxication manslaughter or other DWI, contact us today. At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm our team of dedicated DWI defense professionals will mount your best legal defense today.