Intoxicated Manslaughter: An Important Part of Texas DWI Law

It is being reported that a man from Ganado, Texas recently pleaded guilty to intoxicated manslaughter. According to reports the man was originally charged with felony murder, but opted to plead out his case and not fight the charges against him.

The tragedy at issue, according to the stories being published, involved the man who pleaded guilty and a woman who was the mother of his child. Reportedly they were traveling on the highway when after an argument she left the car and as he traveled back to where she was, the car collided with the mother and she was killed.

Intoxicated Manslaughter in Texas

Texas, unlike most states, has a homicide crime specifically aimed at intoxicated drivers. In other states people accused of DWI can additionally be charged with manslaughter, but in Texas there is a specific law that punishes a driver when a person is killed and the driver is intoxicated.

Texas’s intoxicated manslaughter law is found in Texas Penal Code 49.08. This statute is broad when it comes to punishing a death that includes a driver who was intoxicated while driving. To be convicted under the statute a person must be found guilty of:

  • Operating a vehicle in a public place while intoxicated; and,
  • Because of the intoxication a person died by accident or mistake.

If a state prosecutor can prove these things beyond a reasonable doubt, then a person would be convicted of intoxicated manslaughter.

Conviction of intoxicated manslaughter is a second degree felony. If the intoxicated manslaughter happens and the driver has two or more prior convictions of DWI, then it is considered a first degree felony. As you can see, defending any charge of intoxicated manslaughter is important because of the serious consequences that could result upon conviction. Those consequences include extensive jail or prison time, fines, and license suspensions.

Facts and Law Matter in Every DWI Case

If you are charged with DWI Texas, there is a lot on the line. Not only are the current charges you face important, but two prior DWI convictions could mean the difference between a first degree felony and second degree felony in a subsequent intoxicated manslaughter case.

These are some of the reasons why every DWI and intoxicated manslaughter charge must be fought at every level. There are several important things that go into any fight against criminal charges. The first thing that goes into a case is hiring the right attorney. The right attorney should have the knowledge, experience, and ability to fight charges through:

  • An investigation of the facts;
  • An application of the right laws in your case;
  • A strong case in your favor presented to the judge, prosecutor, and jury; and,
  • An ability to counsel you on the choices you have to make.

At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm we bring all of these qualities to bear for you in your DWI case. If you have been charged with DWI or intoxicated manslaughter, contact us. We look forward to providing you with your legal options and fighting for you