If you are arrested for intoxication manslaughter in Colleyville, consider retaining a criminal defense attorney to fight your charges and protect your rights immediately. Barring certain circumstances, Texas law classifies intoxication manslaughter as a second-degree felony. Those convicted risk facing steep penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, significant fines, and life-altering societal repercussions that can jeopardize every facet of their life.
The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg have provided aggressive defense for many accused of DWI-related charges, including DWI manslaughter. Our Colleyville, TX intoxication manslaughter lawyer can conduct an independent investigation and build a case based on strong evidence and a compelling defense strategy.
Intoxication Manslaughter Lawyer Can Explain Your Charges
According to Texas Penal Code Section 49.08, a person commits the offense of intoxication manslaughter if operating a motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or amusement ride in a public place while intoxicated and, due to the reason of intoxication, causes an intentional or unintentional, fatal accident.
You could be arrested for intoxication manslaughter even if you weren’t at fault for the accident or if the substance you had in your system alleged to cause intoxication was medically prescribed to you.
What is considered intoxication?
In Texas, you are legally intoxicated if your blood concentration level is 0.08 or higher or your mental or physical abilities are impaired after consuming alcohol or another substance. Intoxication manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter share similarities in that both offenses involve the death of someone through a vehicle. But in intoxication manslaughter, the accused is also under the influence of alcohol or drugs, which clearly must contribute to the fatality.
Other than alcohol, prescription, illegal, and over-the-counter drugs also qualify as substances under this offense. These may include marijuana, heroin, cocaine, LSD, mushrooms, methamphetamine, asthma medication, pain relievers, and OTC medications. Some of these medications can have alcohol content and may push your BAC level above the permitted level, which could result in a false positive in the breathalyzer.
Penalties for Intoxication Manslaughter in Texas
The consequences of intoxication manslaughter in Texas are far more detrimental than those reserved for a simple DWI. Under Texas Penal Code Section 49.08 (2), intoxication manslaughter is an offense classified as a second-degree felony, penalties for which are detailed in Penal Code Sec. 12.33:
- Jail time between 2-20 years
- Up to $10,000 in fine
- Other possible penalties include license suspension and community service hours for a pre-defined time.
Understand that the penalties can compound if multiple people are killed in the accident. The charges related to each victim will stack up, resulting in stiffer punishment and even escalation of charges.
Other conditions could upgrade your second-degree felony to a more serious, first-degree classification. These include:
- If the victim was a peace officer, emergency medical service personnel, or a firefighter
- If your BAC level was 0.15 or higher
- If you had a prior DWI charge
- If you had a prior intoxication assault or manslaughter conviction
- If there was a minor present in your vehicle at the time of the fatal accident
- If there was an open container present in your vehicle
A conviction may also come with various social repercussions that could follow you even after you complete your incarceration and pay your fine. These may include
being denied certain jobs and having difficulty securing a mortgage or loan. It can also strain your personal and social life and instigate reputational damage.
Colleyville Intoxication Manslaughter Lawyer Near Me (214) 696-9253
An Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney Can Devise a Strategic Defense Plan to Fight Your Charges
To successfully convict a person of intoxication manslaughter, the state prosecutors must prove all of the following elements:
- The person was operating a vehicle, aircraft, motor craft, or amusement ride in a public place.
- Caused the death of another because of intoxication.
Our intoxication manslaughter lawyer in Colleyville, Texas, can fight your charge by using the most effective defense strategy suitable to your case’s circumstances. We may utilize sources such as eyewitness testimony, video footage, accident reconstruction experts, or forensic toxicologists to challenge or defeat the charges. Here are some examples of defense arguments that may be used to reduce or dismiss your intoxication manslaughter charges:
- Faulty sobriety tests: One of the most effective ways to beat your intoxication manslaughter charges is to instill reasonable doubt by calling into question the validity of the test’s administration and results. For example, failing to recalibrate the breathalyzer device could present skewed results.
- A different cause of death: The State has the burden to prove that your intoxication was responsible for the victim’s death. We may be able to prove that the deceased or another party’s reckless driving caused the death. This could include demonstrating that the victim ran a red light or swerved between lanes. Hence, the accident could have happened regardless of the measured BAC level.
- No criminal offense: Depending on the circumstance, we may be able to prove that the death occurred due to factors outside your control—for example, bad weather conditions or damaged roads that increased the risk of an accident.
Know that intoxication manslaughter is defensible, and the charges can be challenged in court. Our attorney can thoroughly investigate and examine the facts of your case and carefully assess the state’s evidence, explicitly looking for weaknesses that we can use to have your charges reduced or dismissed.
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Contact Our Intoxication Manslaughter Attorney in Colleyville, Texas
If you have been arrested for intoxication manslaughter in Texas, don’t lose hope. The Law Offices of Randall B. Isenberg has a dedicated team and attorney who understands that your future and freedom are at stake. Trust us to build a strong defense strategy to help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Don’t waste any more time — contact us to schedule a free consultation with our team so we can review the arrest and accident to determine the best strategy to get your charges dropped or reduced.