Intoxication Manslaughter in Fort Bend County, Texas

Intoxication manslaughter is a serious charge in the state of Texas, carrying significant penalties for those who are convicted. If you or someone you love has been arrested for intoxication manslaughter, you should waste no time in contacting a Fort Bend County Intoxication Manslaughter attorney right away. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is crucial to defending your rights.

What is Intoxication Manslaughter?

The Texas Penal Code specifies what constitutes intoxication manslaughter. According to Section 49.08:

  1. A person commits an offense if the person:
    1. operates a motor vehicle in a public place, operates an aircraft, a watercraft, or an amusement ride, or assembles a mobile amusement ride; and
    2. is intoxicated and by reason of that intoxication causes the death of another by accident or mistake.

You may be charged with intoxication manslaughter in conjunction with other charges, such as Felony DWI or intoxication assault, depending on the details of your case.

What Are the Penalties for Intoxication Assault?

Texas law creates a unique distinction between intoxication manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter. Generally, prosecutors must be able to prove that the defendant was guilty of causing someone else’s death and knowingly acted in a negligent or reckless manner. In other words, the prosecutor must be able to show that you had a “guilty mind” at the time the crime occurred, regardless of intent.

In cases involving charges of intoxication manslaughter, the standard of proof is much lower and prosecutors are generally not required to prove recognition of guilt. The prosecutor typically only needs to establish the fact that you were driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol at the time the accident occurred, making it extremely important for you to contact a Fort Bend County criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

What Are the Penalties for an Intoxication Manslaughter Conviction?

Individuals who are convicted of intoxication manslaughter in the state of Texas potentially face some very serious penalties. Under Texas law, intoxication manslaughter is categorized as a Second-Degree felony and if you convicted, you may face the following:

  • Confinement – Under Texas law, individuals convicted on a charge of intoxication manslaughter may face a prison term of between two and twenty years.
  • Fine – Texas law also allows individuals convicted of intoxication manslaughter to be fined up to $10,000 for their actions.
  • Community Service – You may also be required to perform community service if convicted of intoxication manslaughter. Under Texas law, you can receive anywhere from 240 to 800 hours of community service.
  • Drug/Alcohol Treatment – You may also be required to participate in drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation, either during your incarceration or following your release.
  • Ignition Interlock Device – An ignition interlock device may also be installed on your vehicle, which prevents the car from starting unless you provide a clean breath sample.
  • Driver’s License Suspension – The Texas Department of Public Safety can suspend your driver’s license for anywhere from 180 days to two years if you face an intoxication manslaughter conviction.

It’s important to keep in mind that if you are convicted of intoxication manslaughter in conjunction with other serious charges, such as assault or manslaughter with a deadly weapon, you may face additional penalties beyond those listed above.

These penalties also do not include the potential for civil lawsuits brought by the victims and/or their families. Under Texas law, you can be sued for the injury or wrongful death of someone else if you acted recklessly or negligently in causing it.

Do I Have to Submit to a Drug or Alcohol Test?

Texas is an implied consent state, meaning that if you hold a valid driver’s license, you automatically consent to blood, breath or urine testing if arrested on suspicion of DWI or DUI. You can, however, refuse to submit to drug or alcohol testing in most cases.

Texas law offers an exception to this rule in intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter cases. Under Texas law, a blood test is required in cases involving suspicion of DWI resulting in seriously bodily injury or death of another person.

How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help Me?

If you’re faced with an intoxication manslaughter charge, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is the first step in protecting your rights. Typically, an intoxication manslaughter attorney will:

  • Fully investigate the facts of the case by reviewing police reports, interviewing eyewitnesses, speaking with members of law enforcement and taking statements from emergency personnel who were present at the accident scene.
  • Use this information and your own account of what happened to build the best defense for your case.
  • File motions on your behalf to exclude or suppress certain evidence, including eyewitness testimony, police statements and blood or breath testing results.
  • Challenge the evidence presented against you to weaken the prosecutor’s case.
  • Fight to eliminate or reduce the charges against you or negotiate a lesser sentence if it seems that a conviction is likely.

How Do I Get the Legal Representation I Need?

If you’re in search of an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent you against intoxication manslaughter charges, then look no further. The law firm of Lee D. Cox specializes in helping individuals who have been charged with intoxication manslaughter in the Fort Bend County area.

Lee relies on his years of experience both a prosecutor and a defense attorney to help his clients navigate the criminal justice system. He will actively and aggressively fight to win your case so that you can get your life back on track.

Call Lee today at 281-762-7345 to discuss your case. You don’t have to let an unfortunate mistake ruin the rest of your life. Call now to get the legal representation you need to fight your Fort Bend County Intoxication Manslaughter case.

20+ Years of Experience in Criminal Defense

I began my career with the District Attorney's office and have been in private practice focusing on criminal defense in Fort Bend and surrounding counties since 2002.

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