Most individuals in Texas know that driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is inherently dangerous. It is also well understood that being arrested for DUI will have serious consequences, such as fines, a license suspension, and possible incarceration. Nonetheless, drunk and drugged drivers continue to cause hundreds of accidents that result in fatalities each year, according to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. This is a serious criminal offense referred to as intoxication manslaughter or DUI manslaughter.
If you have been charged with DUI manslaughter in Texas, a conviction will result in a lengthy imprisonment, heavy fines, and additional penalties. There will also be collateral consequences, not the least of which is lasting damage to your reputation. With so much at stake, it is critically important to have a fierce advocate on your side. That’s the time to call the DUI defense attorneys at Phil Baker, P.C.
With offices in La Grange, our legal team has the knowledge and experience to handle your intoxication manslaughter charges. Well-versed in the applicable provisions of the Texas Penal Code, we have a proven track record of achieving successful outcomes in jury trials, as well as in plea negotiations with prosecutors. When you become our client, we will take the time to explain all of your rights, help you understand the law, carefully weigh the evidence against you, and choose the best line of defense.
At Phil Baker, P.C., we believe in the fundamental principle of the criminal justice system, which is that anyone accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. We also know that you have a right to the first-rate legal representation we know how to provide. Our DUI defense attorneys will fight back against your intoxication manslaughter charges, and work tirelessly to protect your rights, your good name, and your future.
What is Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas?
Under Texas law (Penal Code §49.08), intoxication manslaughter is defined as causing the death of another person while operating a motor vehicle in a public place, operating an aircraft, watercraft or amusement ride, or assembling an amusement ride, while intoxicated.
Moreover, the standard of a conviction of intoxication manslaughter is not the same as a conviction for a charge of vehicular manslaughter. In the latter case, the state must also be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender was guilty of reckless driving. In a case of intoxication manslaughter, however, the law presumes that operating a motor vehicle in a public place while intoxicated is reckless.
What are the penalties for intoxication manslaughter in La Grange?
Intoxication manslaughter is considered a second-degree felony in the state of Texas, and the penalties include:
- Imprisonment between 2 and 20 years
- Fines up to $10,000
- Between 240 and 800 hours of Community Service
In addition, the state’s mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines apply, meaning that a minimum of 2 years in prison must be served before you will become eligible for parole.
If there are multiple victims, then penalties will be enhanced. If other victims sustain injuries, intoxication assault charges will also apply. Intoxication assault is charged as a felony DWI in the third degree, punishable by fines up to $10,000 and incarceration for 2 to 10 years.
Finally, a conviction for intoxication manslaughter will lead to additional penalties such as sentencing surcharge fees, installation of an ignition interlock device, probation, abstaining from alcohol or drug use, and mandatory drug testing. Depending on the circumstances, prosecutors may also attempt to demonstrate that the vehicle was being driven as a deadly weapon, which can lead to additional penalties.
Texas Intoxication Manslaughter Defense Attorney
It is important to remember that there is zero tolerance in Texas for drunk driving that causes death, and conviction for intoxication manslaughter will result in harsh penalties. Moreover, having a tarnished reputation will adversely impact your standing in the community, interfere with employment opportunities, and restrict your freedom. With so much at stake, you need the experienced intoxication manslaughter attorneys at Phil Baker, P.C. in your corner.
If you are facing an intoxication manslaughter charge, you may be frightened and concerned about your future. Remember, our legal team is here to help. Being accused of a such a serious offense in Texas does not mean that you will be convicted. To prove intoxication manslaughter, the prosecution must be able to demonstrate that intoxication was the cause of the accident that led to the death.
Our attorneys will personally handle your case, conduct an extensive investigation, obtain and review police reports and medical reports, identify and interview witnesses, and determine if there were other causes of the accident, particularly any that were the other party’s fault. Although intoxication manslaughter is an extremely difficult charge to defend, we have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible result for your case. Please contact our office today to speak with our attorneys. The sooner you call, the sooner we can protect your future.