If you have been accused of killing another person while driving drunk in Frisco, TX, you may face charges for intoxication manslaughter. This is a felony offense that carries substantial penalties in Texas, including hefty fines, the loss of your driver’s license, and many years in jail — in some cases, even life. An intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Frisco, TX can help you fight the charges.
In his three-plus decades in the Texas court system, attorney Randall Isenberg has worked on all sides of intoxication manslaughter cases. Before opening his own firm to defend the accused, he served as a felony prosecutor and district judge. He understands how the other side works. His team uses this knowledge to clients’ advantage. For a free consultation and case evaluation, call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg today at 214-696-9253.
What Constitutes Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas
Intoxication manslaughter covers any situation in which a person causes a fatality while operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The motor vehicle may be a car, truck, SUV, commercial truck, or even a boat or watercraft. The person who loses their life could be a passenger of the accused’s vehicle, a passenger or driver of another vehicle, or a pedestrian or bystander.
The Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas
Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony in Texas — at minimum. Several aggravating factors could push your charge up to a first-degree felony. Any first-degree felony conviction in Texas has the potential for life in prison. If you are charged with any felony in Texas, it is essential to have aggressive legal representation.
If convicted of intoxicated manslaughter, you could be looking at:
- A fine of up to $10,000, plus court costs, fees, and restitution to the victim and their family
- A minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 20 years in prison
- A minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2 years of driver’s license suspension
- Probation and community service
- The installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle upon getting your license reinstated
- Mandatory alcohol education
If you receive probation instead of some or all your prison sentence, you will be subject to regular drug and alcohol testing. If you fail one of these tests or do not show up to be screened, you could face violation of probation charges and end up back in jail.
Several aggravating factors could cause an intoxication manslaughter charge to get bumped up to a first-degree felony. These include:
- Carrying a passenger under 15 years old in your vehicle at the time of the accident
- Having a blood-alcohol concentration above 0.15%
- Having a previous conviction of DWI, intoxication assault, or intoxication manslaughter
- Killing a first-responder (e.g., police officer, firefighter) while driving under the influence
How to Avoid an Intoxication Manslaughter Conviction in Frisco, TX
If you have been charged with intoxication manslaughter in Frisco, TX, the first thing you should do is contact a criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg. Our team will evaluate your case for free, with no risk or obligation. Based on what we find, we can go over your different legal options. Likely, an intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Frisco will pursue one of the following strategies:
- Work to get your charges dropped;
- Work to get your charges reduced;
- Fight your charges in court.
If we have substantial evidence that weakens the prosecutor’s case, we can approach them with this proof and negotiate to have the charges dropped. Most prosecutors do not wish to waste time with cases that are probably going to be losers. If we can convince them they have a low chance of winning, they may decide not to move forward with it.
If the prosecutor’s case is strong, we may be able to work out an arrangement in which you plead down to a lesser charge. They are often amenable to such an arrangement because it is a win-win. They still get a conviction, but you escape severe punishment.
Lastly, we can opt to fight your case in court in front of a jury, our goal, of course, being an acquittal.
Defense Strategies at Trial
If we go to trial, our case rests on whether the prosecution can prove you were legally intoxicated at the time of the injury and fatality. Our goal is to create reasonable doubt, thereby avoiding a guilty verdict. To do this, we will look to establish one or more of the following:
Lack of Probable Cause
By law, you are required to submit to blood-alcohol testing in Texas when asked by a police officer. But the law has a major caveat, which is that the officer must have probable cause to make the request. We will look for evidence showing that the officer did not have probable cause in your case.
Lack of Fault
If you were not at fault in the accident, then you are not guilty of intoxication manslaughter, even if the evidence shows you were driving while intoxicated. We will examine the accident scene, police reports, and surveillance footage. We may even hire expert witnesses or accident reconstruction experts to help us make the case that you were not at fault.
Other Cause of Death
An intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Frisco’s investigation may show that the deceased party did not necessarily lose their life as a result of the accident. If so, you are not guilty of intoxication manslaughter.
For a Free Intoxication Manslaughter Case Evaluation in Frisco, TX, Call the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg Today at 214-696-9253
For the best chance of a favorable resolution to your case, choose the lawyer who has worked the law from all sides, as a defender, a prosecutor, and a judge. Attorney Randall Isenberg will aggressively fight your intoxication manslaughter charge and help you avoid a conviction. His team offers a free consultation and case evaluation and is eager to hear from you.
To speak with a staff member at the Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg, call 214-696-9253 today.