As a felony of the second degree, a charge of intoxication manslaughter in Texas comes with some hefty consequences. If you are convicted of intoxication manslaughter in Texas then you’ll be facing:
- Between two to twenty years in prison
- Up to $10,000 in fines
- A suspension of your license lasting between six months to two years
- Community service of between 240 to 1,000 hours
As you can tell, a charge of intoxication manslaughter is quite costly here in Texas. But it could be worse. For example, if your intoxicated manslaughter resulted in the death of a first responder then you could be facing up to five years in prison. A first responder would be a police officer, an EMS technician, or an on-duty firefighter.
These consequences are also assuming that this is your first offense of this nature. If you have a history of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol then the chances are that you will be facing steeper consequences because of the repeat nature of your charge. In fact, if you have previous DWI convictions and then go in to face an intoxication manslaughter charge then the courts are likely to be particularly rough because you didn’t learn from the earlier encounter and you allowed the problem to get worse to the point where it impacted others in a serious and negative way.
What is Intoxication Manslaughter?
Before answering that question it is a smart idea to ensure we understand the difference between manslaughter and murder. Both of these crimes result in a person’s death but the intent is different. With murder, your goal or your intent is to see the other party dead. But with a charge of manslaughter what is being accused is that your recklessness led to the death of the other party. There was not the intent to cause another person to no longer be living but that was the result of negligence or recklessness.
Intoxication manslaughter, therefore, is a form of manslaughter in which the defendant was operating a motor vehicle in a public place, while intoxicated with a BAC of .08 or higher (or, if they’re a lightweight, then they could be charged with a lower BAC if alcohol or drugs caused a significant impairment). If these criteria are met and you cause another person’s death through the operation of the motor vehicle, then you could be charged with intoxication manslaughter.
It doesn’t matter that the death occurred because of a mistake or an accident. What matters is that you were not in the proper mindset to operate a motor vehicle and your reckless choice to do so led to somebody else’s death.
How Do I Defend Against a Charge of Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?
There are several avenues of defense open to you to defend against a charge of intoxication manslaughter. But the hard part is picking the right defensive strategy. Picking the right strategy requires a careful examination of the circumstances of your charge. Reach out to Wilder Law Firm to inform one of our dedicated attorneys about your charge and the specifics of it so that you can get detailed and personalized legal advice on the best course of action to improve your chances of avoiding serious consequences.