What is Intoxication Manslaughter?
As opposed to manslaughter or vehicular manslaughter, both of which require proof of recklessness, intoxication manslaughter simply requires evidence that a person’s death was caused by an individual operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated. Below is an overview of this crime.
Proving Intoxication Manslaughter
In order for a defendant to be convicted of intoxication manslaughter, the prosecution must prove that a driver’s intoxication caused another person’s death. It isn’t enough to simply show that a driver was intoxicated and involved in an accident resulting in a death. Rather, the intoxication itself must be the reason for the accident and death.
Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter
Intoxication manslaughter is considered a second degree felony and is punishable by between two and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Intoxication Manslaughter differs from other types of homicide in terms of punishment in that it can be increased when there are multiple victims. For example, if two individuals are killed in a single accident, then the responsible individual can be charged with two counts of intoxication manslaughter. If the defendant is convicted of both counts, he or she can be sentenced to 15 years in prison for each case, resulting in a “stacked” sentence of 30 years in prison. Similarly, if one individual dies in an accident and another is seriously injured, then the defendant can be charged with both intoxication manslaughter and intoxication assault, again resulting in a stacked sentence. Finally, it is possible for an individual charged with intoxication manslaughter to receive additional prison time if the prosecution successfully argues that the vehicle the defendant was driving during the accident was a deadly weapon. If convicted and sentenced to prison for such a crime, the defendant’s sentence will be increased, probation will be denied, and the period for parole eligibility will be extended.
Due to the severity of the consequences, legal representation is imperative when facing criminal charges in Texas. Therefore, if you’re facing criminal charges in Texas, including those related to driving, it’s important that you engage the services of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney in order to achieve the best possible results in your case. Since 1995, I have successfully defended clients against all types of misdemeanor and felony charges. My team has a proven track record of winning acquittals at trial, and we also frequently have our clients’ charges dismissed or reduced. In addition, when a case results in a conviction, we are always ready and willing to appeal the decision. Throughout the years, I have developed strong relationships with local and state law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and court personnel, and I represent clients throughout the state of Texas. If you are facing criminal charges of any kind, please contact Phil Baker P.C. for a consultation as soon as possible.
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