Texas authorities take drunk driving offenses very seriously, especially those that result in a death. If you get into an deadly accident, and officers suspect you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you likely will face a charge of intoxication manslaughter.
This is a devastating offense that will severely impact the life of you and your family, as well as the victim’s loved ones. It is it is imperative to seek an experienced DWI attorney who has handled intoxication manslaughter cases right away. Representation from a seasoned Grapevine intoxication manslaughter lawyer from our firm can make the difference between a positive outcome and a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
According to Texas Penal Code Section 49.08, intoxication manslaughter occurs when an intoxicated person who is operating a car, boat, plane, or amusement park ride causes an accident that results in someone else’s death.
This offense is similar to the offense of vehicular manslaughter defined in Penal Code Section 19.04, but you must be legally intoxicated to be charged with intoxication manslaughter, whereas vehicle manslaughter only requires some degree of recklessness or carelessness leading to a fatal crash. Intoxication is defined as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more, or not having your normal mental and/or physical faculties due to some intoxicant.
Importantly, this means that police officers may allege that someone involved in a fatal accident was intoxicated based on circumstantial or subjective evidence, even if their BAC was not high enough for them to be legally intoxicated. Our Grapevine intoxication manslaughter attorney will thoroughly review the facts and circumstances to determine how to contest the allegations, as well as examine whether the tests law enforcement officers used were performed correctly and legally.
Both vehicular manslaughter and intoxication manslaughter are second-degree felony offenses, meaning a conviction could leave you facing anywhere from two to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. In addition, you would likely have your driver’s license suspended for six months to two years. You may also have to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle and complete hundreds of hours of community service.
Furthermore, accidents that result in multiple fatalities can subsequently result in multiple charges of intoxication manslaughter, which a judge can “stack” at their discretion in order to allow for even harsher punishments. Since intoxication manslaughter is a felony offense, a conviction would result in the loss of many essential civil rights, including the rights to vote, hold public offense, and legally own a firearm.
Effectively mitigating such serious allegations not something you should expect to manage alone. Working with a skilled intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Grapevine is essential when it comes to defending yourself against a second-degree felony.
Getting into a car accident under any circumstances can be a harrowing experience, but if you are arrested for DWI following a crash that resulted in someone else losing their life, the criminal penalties you face can be devastating. Depending on how your case proceeds, you could face up to 20 years in prison, steep fines and court costs, and the permanent loss of certain constitutional rights.
Do not try and fight for your freedom alone. Seek help right away from a dedicated and experienced Grapevine intoxication manslaughter lawyer with Varghese Summersett. To schedule your free initial consultation, call our legal firm today.